The disappearance of the New York Giants‘ pass rush has been one of the team’s more mysterious occurrences this season. One-time studs like Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck have seemingly fallen off the face of the NFL map as quickly as they had put their stamp on it.
In last night’s victory over the Washington Redskins, the Giants were issued a blast from the past from Tuck who looked like he was playing with adrenaline being constantly pumped into his veins. Tuck recorded four sacks on Robert Griffin III, one of the league’s most agile quarterbacks.
Griffin had his way in the first half, completing pass after pass with ample time in the pocket. He was also able to escape the little pressure that came his way. After two quarters, Griffin had completed 16 out of 17 passes, leading the Redskins to 14 first half points.
The New York defense held Washington to just three points in the second half behind five sacks.
Coming into the game, Tuck had only 2.5 sacks for the entire season. The nine-year veteran was having a solid overall season but was still struggling to generate adequate pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Sunday night he looked like his old self, spending so much time in the Washington backfield he should have been paying rent.
Tuck’s sack total is now 6.5 for the season, which is the most he’s had since 2010 when he compiled 11.5 sacks and forced six fumbles. Tuck has recorded at least ten sacks three times in his career, and it’s not out of the question to see him reach that point this year.
Tuck’s return to the Giants after the season has been in question. A steady decline had been evident in his career due to a number of serious injuries. However, games like Sunday will force New York to think twice about letting Tuck go. He is going to have to prove that Sunday night was a breakthrough and not a fluke.