After a full season missed due to injury and a season where his knee obviously wasn’t 100 percent, Osi Umenyiora is imposing fear in the eyes of opposing quarterbacks yet again.
He is second in the NFL with eight sacks, behind only Clay Matthews of the Packers, and leads the NFL by far with seven forced fumbles.
He is on pace to get 18 forced fumbles, which would shatter the previous record of 10. Obviously his pace doesn’t accurately predict how many he will end up with, but he only needs four in his last 10 games to break the record, which is definitely achievable.
The play of the defensive line has been the key factor in the defensive dominance over the past three weeks. It started with an NFL record nine sacks in one half against Chicago, and was followed by bottling up the NFL’s leading rusher Arian Foster to 25 yards on 11 carries.
Since the Titans game, the Giants have lowered their rank against the run from 25th to 7th in terms of yards per game, and allow only 3.5 yards per carry, tied for third in the NFL.
Chris Canty is a huge reason for that. I’ve said all along (well, just the past four weeks) that he has been the most underrated defensive tackle in the NFL this year, and is the unsung hero on the Giants defense.
His ability to consistently blow up offensive lines and get penetration in the backfield to stop the run has been the major factor in the run defense, but the fact that he was a former defensive end in Dallas makes him a weapon as a pass rusher up the middle as well.
He is not just a one trick pony.
It’s not just the defensive line that has been playing well, but they are the biggest reason for the latest defensive surge and why they rank second in the NFL.