Heading into the season, it seemed that most people, including myself, believed that 2013 would mark Justin Tuck‘s last year with the New York Giants. Tuck had recorded just nine total sacks in the previous two seasons and seemed exceedingly sluggish and slow. It looked as if the bevy of injuries he had suffered through were finally taking their toll on the two-time All-Pro.
Even halfway through the year I thought Tuck’s exit from the team was still in the cards. He had quietly put together a solid season, but his pass rushing numbers were still way too low for comfort. In the locker room he was dubbed “Mr. Almost” because of the countless sacks he nearly had that slipped away. However, in the last four weeks Tuck has transformed himself from Mr. Almost into Mr. Dependable.
Tuck’s compiled 7.5 sacks in the last four weeks, including a four-sack explosion in a much-needed win (at the time) over the Washington Redskins. The nine-year veteran has upped his sack total to nine for the season, also five more than the next closest player on the Giants.
At this point it seems like the Giants have to bring Tuck back. He’s been the only Giants player to make any noise on the pass rush. The only question is going to be the price. New York has a bunch of problem areas and a lot of work to do in the offseason. Tuck will be 31 years old in March, so the Giants obviously won’t want to give him a long-term deal. But Tuck can continue to make his case in these last two games of the season.
The Giants head to Detroit this week where Tuck will butt heads with a stingy Lions offensive line. Matthew Stafford has attempted the fifth most passes in the NFL yet he has only been sacked 16 times, which is tied with Peyton Manning for the least amount of sacks on a quarterback that has started every game to this point.
Tuck has spent his entire career in New York and is one of the few players left on the roster that was a part of the Super Bowl victories in both 2007 and 2011. With a couple good games to finish off the season, Tuck could tie or even surpass his career-high in sacks of 12 which he hit back in 2008. Tuck’s resurgence has been a little bit of a silver lining on an otherwise disastrous season.