EAST RUTHERFORD NJ - DECEMBER 05: Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants celebrates running back a fumble by the Washington Redskins during their game on December 5 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
For years, the New York Giants have had the NFL's most talented and most consistently excellent pass rushes. Keyed by players ranging from Michael Strahan to Osi Umenyiora to Justin Tuck, the Giants always get after opposing quarterbacks ferociously. The Buffalo Bills have a new Giants pass rusher to worry about this weekend in second-year pro Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Giants lead the NFL with 18 sacks heading into Week 6, and Pierre-Paul has emerged as the team's leading sack artist with 6.5 after recording five as a rookie. Ahead of such well-established veterans, is Pierre-Paul now the key to the Giants' pass rush?
"I would not call JPP the key cog in the pass rush," says Ed Valentine of BigBlueView.com. "What I would call him is the next in a long line of great Giants defensive ends. He is a tremendous player - probably a guy with the freakish athletic ability that should remind people of Jevon Kearse."
Valentine points out that while the Giants have excellent parts, their pass rush is a function of the sum of those parts, and not reliant on any of those parts specifically.
"Really it's the fact that it can come from so many places," says Valentine. "Pierre-Paul, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck - when he's healthy, which he isn't close to being right now - Mathias Kiwanuka, blitzing safeties off the edge... they just have a lot of guys who can get to the quarterback."
Bills head coach Chan Gailey, however, made sure that he let reporters know on Wednesday that the Bills are keenly aware of the South Florida product that the team passed on to select C.J. Spiller in April of 2010.
"We will know where he is, don't you worry," said Gailey.