New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck had a spectacular game this weekend against the Washington Redskins, bringing down Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III four times in the win. That raised Tuck’s sack total to 6.5 sacks, but don’t be surprised if the season ends and Tuck still has 6.5 sacks. Simply put, Tuck just hasn’t been able to rush the passer, but he has been effective on the defensive line.
After Griffin III was sacked numerous times in the previous game against the San Francisco 49ers, linebacker Ahmad Brooks said Griffin III shouldn’t be out there, as he is clearly not comfortable running around on his surgically repaired knee. Giants’ safety Antrel Rolle echoed those sentiments after the Giants’ win, so Tuck’s performance wasn’t just about him having a breakout game. Pass rushers have been able to get to Griffin III as of late, and it’s the reason the Redskins have fallen so far from last year’s success.
The Giants will have to make a decision this offseason on Tuck. He’ll be a free agent, and the Giants will probably need to make tough decisions like they did this past offseason to get cap flexibility. Last offseason, the Giants released linebacker Michael Boley, running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive lineman Chris Canty. They also let defensive end Osi Umenyiora walk in free agency, and all of the moves were geared toward giving wide receiver Victor Cruz the multi-year deal he seeked.
Even though Tuck more than doubled his sack total in the win, it’s doubtful that he will continue to have success rushing the quarterback for the rest of the season. He just hasn’t been able to do so for the past three years amid injuries and age. Tuck isn’t that old, but it’s obvious he’s slowing down a bit.