With the New York Giants set to take on the winless Cleveland Browns this Sunday, defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon should be due for big outings.
At 0-11, the Cleveland Browns have had a rough season, representing the first team of the year to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Squaring off against a New York Giants pass rush that has started to find its stride in recent weeks won’t make it much easier.
Starters Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon will be padding their stat totals against a hapless Browns team.
Though Pierre-Paul and Vernon haven’t met the expectations many set for them in the sack column, by no means have either had poor seasons. The pair has notched just four sacks a piece, but have been forces in the run game.
JPP and Vernon rank fourth and fifth on the team respectively in total tackles and have amassed a combined 14 tackles for loss. Now that New York’s defensive ends have gained momentum in the pass rush, they will be a truly frightening tandem.
Meanwhile, the Browns just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Vernon has been a menace of late, picking up a sack in each of the Giants’ last three games. His counterpart Pierre-Paul is coming off a 2.5 sack game, a mark which tied for his career high. Both players will look to roll through a Browns team that has allowed 38 sacks this year, a league high.
Cleveland will also be without their starting quarterback, as Cody Kessler will miss the game with a concussion. Starting in his place will be veteran Josh McCown who has struggled mightily in 2016, posting a mere a 37.4 QBR on the year. Over the course of four games this season, McCown has completed just 53.3 percent of his passes for 778 yards and a 5-6 touchdown to interception ratio. The 14th year pro was also sacked 11 times over that span at an alarming 8.3 sack percentage.
New York’s edge rushers should be in living in the Browns’ backfield all day long come Sunday. Expect hugely productive games from Pierre-Paul and Vernon against Cleveland.