Though the Giants have been eliminated from postseason contention, Jason Pierre-Paul has remained active, at least in the news. The freakishly athletic defensive end did not practice on Wednesday due to a bum ankle, instead announcing he’ll have another surgery on his damaged hand after the season ends. JPP also said that the Giants poor season could be somewhat attributed to him missing the first 8 games due to the fireworks accident he suffered on July 4th weekend, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.
Pierre-Paul turns 27 on January 1st. For his birthday, the clubbed one asked for a win over the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Seeing as the Eagles fired Chip Kelly, Odell Beckham, Jr. returns from a one-game suspension, and players could be playing to get Coach Coughlin’s final win as Giants head coach, Big Blue has a shot to avoid double digit losses for the second year in a row. If only birthday wishes were that easy to grant, JPP would’ve asked for do-over on July 4th weekend.
It’s been clear the Giants pass rush improved with Pierre-Paul’s return to the lineup, even though in 7 games, #90 has tallied just 1 sack and 20 total tackles. In those 7 games, the Giants went 2-5. Before JPP came back, Big Blue was 4-4 and very well could be 7-1 had they held on to late leads agains the Cowboys, Falcons, and Saints. In those late collapses, the Giants defensive front gave the opposing quarterback boatloads of time to survey the field and pick apart the subpar linebacking corps and banged up secondary. If the Giants had JPP in those games – with 2 fully functional hands – would he have made a difference? I think so.
The Giants only need to win 1, maybe 2 of those games to win the NFC East over Washington. They only needed 1 stop against Dallas, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Knowing what a healthy, motivated JPP can do, it’s almost a certainty the G-Men would be hosting a Wild Card game. Now, it seems the man some call “MegaMitt” has seen his last game in a Giants uniform.