In week 13 the New York giants suffered two losses. One loss was against the Pittsburgh Steelers who handed the Giants a 24-14 loss and snapped Big Blue’s six-game winning streak. The second loss occurred when Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul left the game with a dreaded non-contact injury. The non-contact injury can usually mean a major injury such as an ACL but before the end of the game, it was reported that JPP had a groin injury. Then it was reported that Pierre-Paul went under hernia surgery which placed JPPS 2016 season in doubt.
While Pierre-Paul was in the running for NFL comeback player of the year the Giants must come up with a way to still win games without the services of their dynamic pass rusher. The first remedy comes in the form of a new addition to the G-mens defensive front and that is Olivier Vernon. Vernon was one of the many free agent signings this offseason by Giants general manager Jerry Reese and Vernon has started to deliver on the field. In the last 5 games Vernon has 7 sacks and in the absence of JPP, it is imperative that Vernon continues to terrorize the opposition for Big Blue to be successful.
The second option is the next man up and the next man for the Giants is Kerry Wynn. With JPP being sign lined expect Wynn to take most of the snaps at defensive end. While Pierre-Paul left big shoes to fill if Wynn will have two major objectives when he is on the field. First will be to apply pressure to the quarterback. Wynn does not have to get quarterback sacks just make the quarterback feel uncomfortable and get some QB hits and hurry some throw and Giant followers will be satisfied. Second will be Wynn playing his part in stopping the run game with the biggest challenge up next against Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.
The third way will be the success of the Giants blitz. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is not afraid of dialing up the blitz and has called very aggressive blitz in defining moments of the game. Without one of his prominent weapons Spagnuolo could send more blitz but what is more important than the number of blitzes is the effectiveness of the blitzes. If the blitz works and forces turnovers and sacks the Giants can deal without their star defensive end if blitz leads to big plays then the Giants will have difficulty navigating towards the playoffs.
Offensive execution can also help with Pierre-Paul being unable to contribute. If the Giants offense improves in their running came, which could happen with the return of Shane Vereen, the G-Men will be able to increase their time of possession. Controlling time of possession not only wears out the opposing defense but can keep the Giants defense off the field. And by keeping the Giants defense on the sideline will minimize Pierre-Paul’s loss.