NFL New York Giants

The Disappearing Act Of Justin Tuck

Howard Smith — US Presswire

The New York Giants have thrived in the past due to the success of their elite quarterback and their aggressive pass rush. QB Eli Manning has been very productive en route to a successful first half of the season. However, their pass rush hasn’t gotten off like they would have liked to.

DE Jason Pierre-Paul has still managed to accumulate 5.5 sacks so far through the first eight games and DE Osi Umenyiora has three off the bench. DE Justin Tuck, however, is in the game for the majority of the defensive snaps and doesn’t have a lot to show for it.

He’s still a force in this league and opposing offenses still game-plan for him. However, he only has one sack in the season, following an injury-riddled season in which he only racked up five sacks. Umenyiora only played in nine games last season and still was able to rack up nine sacks in less snaps than Tuck.

Does this mean Tuck isn’t as good a pass rusher as he used to be? Could there be something that has been bothering Tuck for the past couple of seasons that happens to be affecting his play on the field?

Philadelphia Eagles RB Lesean McCoy stated in the past that Umenyiora is the third best pass rusher on the Giants. McCoy hasn’t stated who those players are ahead of Umenyiora, but it appears Umenyiora is most definitely the second best pass rusher ahead of Tuck.

If the Giants’ defense plans on improving, Tuck will definitely have to improve his play. The secondary has shown a lot of vulnerability as they have shown in years past. Pierre-Paul, Umenyiora and Tuck are the forces for the defense and they must play like it in order to succeed.

Tuck is the starter opposite Pierre-Paul instead of Umenyiora because Tuck is better against the run. However, Tuck needs to step up his play, especially if he wants another lucrative long-term deal from the Giants. His contract is up at the end of next season.