Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had 16.5 sacks last season, and he had at least half a sack in 12 of the Giants’ 16 games. Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell thinks Pierre-Paul’s great 2011 season may have set up unrealistic expectations.
Pierre-Paul has 4.5 sacks through seven games this season, and Fewell says that just because his sack production is down, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s having another great season. According to Fewell, anyone who thought Pierre-Paul could average a sack a game like he did last season is unrealistic.
“When we watch him every week, he plays at a pretty high level every week,” Fewell said. “For him to have the numbers . . . to produce those numbers consistently, that’s a little bit unrealistic. He has the capability to do that. When I look at the tape, I see him just dominate, and it might not show up in the statistics, but it shows up on the coaches tape where he just dominates a football game.”
Fewell is right: It’s not realistic to think Pierre-Paul is going to have 16-sack seasons regularly. The Giants have had two of the best pass rushers in NFL history, Lawrence Taylor and Michael Strahan, and neither of them ever had back-to-back 16-sack seasons. Averaging a sack a game, every game, for two years in a row, is extremely difficult.
So Pierre-Paul can be just as good this year as he was last year. Even if he doesn’t have as many sacks this year as he had last year.