The key to the success of the New York Giants in recent years has been their pass rush and if the Giants hope to return to the playoffs this season they will need their pass rush to once again be a force for opponents to deal with. However, that plan has already taken a hit and the Giants haven’t even played their first game.
Jason Pierre-Paul may or may not play. He is a game-time decision after having back surgery on June 4th and even if he does play likely won’t have much of an impact. Damontre Moore, the team’s third round pick, is listed as questionable for the Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys with a shoulder injury.
Pierre-Paul is the biggest threat in the Giants pass rush and not having him at 100 percent will hurt, if he even plays. Moore has already teased Giants fans with a monster game against the Pittsburgh Steelers that saw him block a punt and cause havoc even if the totals weren’t there on the stat sheet. He showed he might just be exactly what the Giants need.
That leaves the Giants with Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka as the main pass rushers. Cullen Jenkins will see some time at defensive end as well but the onus will be on Tuck to show he can have a bounce-back season after two down years marred by injuries. Kiwanuka will also be out to prove he is better as a down lineman than as a linebacker. He had a fantastic game against the Green Bay Packers where he terrorized Aaron Rodgers with two sacks and three QB hits when he was returned to his natural defensive end spot.
Even if Pierre-Paul does play the Giants will need Tuck, Jenkins and Kiwanuka to put pressure on Tony Romo and force him into making mistakes. The Giants’ secondary is already missing Stevie Brown who led the team in interceptions last year and is out for the year with a torn ACL. Antrel Rolle has been banged up this preseason and rookie Cooper Taylor is still learning the defense after missing most of the preseason. Ryan Mundy will also be facing his first regular season game in a Giants uniform. Those problems are just at the safety position.
The corners aren’t in much better shape. Corey Webster is trying to regain his form after a terrible year last season. Terrell Thomas is still a big questions mark after tearing his ACL two straight years. Jayron Hosley is also trying to rebound from a rough rookie season and injuries that have nagged him.
The Giants front four will need to bring their A-game and force Romo to make a couple of mistakes otherwise the first game of the season could get ugly quickly.