The New York Giants improved to 8-3 with a win over the Cleveland Browns thanks to big outings by Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Like I predicted they would earlier in the week, New York Giants defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul produced huge statistical days. The pair accounted for 4.5 out of the team’s seven sacks en route to a Giants’ victory over the Cleveland Browns.
It was Pierre-Paul who came away with the most impressive performance of the day. The veteran recorded three sacks, during the last of which he forced a fumble that sealed the victory for New York. Additionally, Pierre-Paul finished the game tied for second on the team in total tackles with seven.
JPP also recorded what will go down as one of the top defensive highlights in the NFL this season. Giants’ defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins broke through the Browns’ offensive line and laid a huge sack on quarterback Josh McCown. The hit resulted in a forced fumble that landed right into the arms of Pierre-Paul, who brought it back 43 yards for a touchdown.
ICYMI: Watch JPP with the pick-six! https://t.co/zoN4qX4rST
— New York Giants (@Giants) November 27, 2016
Meanwhile, Vernon was also an absolute force throughout the game. Coming away with 1.5 sacks and four total tackles, he made an impact in both the run defense as well as the pass rush. Two of Vernon’s tackles were for a loss, while he also registered five quarterback hits.
This game marked Vernon’s fourth straight contest in which he’s recorded a sack, the third time in his career that he’s done that.
Not to be outdone by their two stars, the rest of the Giants’ defensive line was collectively lights out in the game too. Hankins finished with 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble, while fellow defensive tackle Damon Harrison had a team-high nine total tackles and forced a fumble of his own. Even the backups came up with several big plays, with undrafted free agent rookie Romeo Okwara batting down a pass and veteran Kerry Wynn recovering Pierre-Paul’s game-clinching forced fumble.
Vernon and Pierre-Paul continue to come up strong down the stretch for a Giants’ pass rush that was unimpressive earlier in the season. The duo, along with the rest of New York’s defensive front, will look to continue their momentum as the team pushes toward the playoffs.