Jason Pierre-Paul was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week twice in January. Even he with his limited football acumen could figure out what was coming next.
The Giants defensive end was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for December (and a little bit of January).
In the season’s final five games, Pierre-Paul had 37 tackles (28 solo), including six sacks for 46 yards in losses. He twice had two sacks in a game, both of which earned him those POW awards.
In a Week 14 victory in Dallas, Pierre-Paul led the Giants with eight tackles (six solo), including two sacks of Tony Romo, the first of which resulted in a safety. He also forced a fumble that led to a Giants field goal and secured the Giants’ victory by blocking a field goal attempt with one second left. He had a career-high 16 tackles (11 solo) and a sack in Week 15 vs. Washington, a game in which he was NOT names Player of the Week. Then on Dec. 24 he had five tackles and two sacks against the Jets to reclaim his title.
The first-time Pro Bowler – oh yeah, he got that honor in the last few weeks too! – finished the season with 16.5 sacks to become the only Giants player other than Hall-of-Famer Lawrence Taylor and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Michael Strahan with at least 16 sacks in a season.
Now that he’s been named Player of the Week and Player of the Month, could Defensive Player of the Year be far behind? There is some rising sentiment for him. Then again, maybe his best is yet to come.
“I knew that I was going to have a great year this year,” Pierre-Paul said today. “I came in and last year (as a rookie) I had an alright season and I wanted to do better than what I did last year. Next year, or next season in 2012, I should be better than this year.”