Osi Umenyiora : Forever a Giant


Osi Umenyiora spent 10 years in New York and was a key force as a pass rusher for the Super Bowl 42 and 46 teams. Umenyiora racked up 75 sacks over 9 seasons as a Giant.  His specialty however was his ability to separate the ball from the quarterback. Over his 9 years in blue he forced 32 fumbles, most of which doubled up as strip sacks as his blind side pressure and swiping hand often knocked the ball away from clueless quarterbacks.

As a Giant he totaled 3 seasons of 11.5 sacks or more and never had  less than 6 sacks with the exclusion of his rookie year. His greatest individual game came on September 30th of 2007. On that day Osi piled up 6 sacks of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. The Giants tied a team record that day with 12 sacks.

Feb 2, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora during the press conference for Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

That very same season the Giant’s pash rush propelled them all the way to Super Bowl 42 and nuetralized the undefeated New England Patriots and their all time offense. The Giants held New England to just 14 points. Before that game the Patriots had averaged 36 per game in the regular season. The Giants pass rush harassed Tom Brady all day, hitting him 23 times and sacking him 5 times. Umenyiora did not get to Brady for a sack but he consistently pressured the bewildered Brady and recovered a fumble forced by Justin Tuck.

During the Super Bowl 46 run during the 2011 Playoffs Umenyiora had 3.5 sacks heading into the Super Bowl 42 rematch with the Patriots. During the NFC Divisional Round game at Green Bay Umenyiora stripped Aaron Rodgers of a ball early in the 3rd quarter that bailed out cornerback Aaron Ross as he bit hard on a Rodgers pump fake. The sack and fumble by Umenyiora prevented the Packers from clawing back into the game as the Giants rolled to their second consecutive playoff win at Lambeau Field.

The two time pro bowler will forever be remembered by a generation of Giant fans fortunate enough to see not one, but two Super Bowl Championships. Umenyiora’s impact on those teams is undeniable. His speed coming off the edge and his ability to force turnovers was probably taken for granted during his time in Blue. His absence has been felt as the Giants sacks numbers have drastically fallen off over recent years.

Only Michael Strahan (141.5), Lawrence Taylor (132.5), and Leonard Marshall(79.5) have more sacks as a Giant and nobody has forced more fumbles (32). Osi Umenyiora’s place in Giants lure is set and his contributions to a great franchise are well documented, he will forever be a New York Giant.

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