Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants Lack Pass Rush Fear Factor

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Giants Lack Pass Rush Fear Factor

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD -- Justin Tuck agrees with those of you who believe he and the rest of the Giants' pass rush have not lived up to expectations this season.

The Giants' defensive captain also takes no offense to Ravens coach John Harbaugh suggesting there isn't any "fear factor" involved in facing Big Blue's once-vaunted front.

"There's been years here ... [the pass rush] should have been feared, but this year we haven't had that year," Tuck said. "What have you done for me lately - that's how the league looks at you - and lately we haven't done much of anything as far as getting after the quarterback."

The Giants would rather not focus on what could have been, however.

There are two games left on the regular-season schedule and if they are able to win both, beginning with Sunday's showdown against the Ravens in Baltimore, they will reach the playoffs and earn the opportunity to defend their Super Bowl crown.

The onus will certainly be on the pass rush along with Eli Manning to help lead the way.

"I think they're frustrated a little bit mentally because of how people have taken the approach against them," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "I think that it weighs heavily on them because they're a very proud and productive unit. ... I think they will have success in the next couple of weeks and I think you'll see their numbers go up."

A puzzling aspect of those struggles is the lack of jump-out-of- the-television-screen games from Jason Pierre-Paul, whose presence down the stretch of last season led many observers to consider the All-Pro defensive end a strong candidate for NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor told The Record via email this summer there was no limit to Pierre-Paul's potential, joking that if he played with Tuck and Osi Umenyiora on this line "I'd have 40 sacks a year and I ain't kidding you. …

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