The numbers don't lie but, veteran defensive end Justin Tuck says you shouldn't point fingers at him or his defensive line.
"I guarantee you if you get us in a game scenario in our favor we’ll be fine," Tuck said, via the New York Daily News. "But we haven’t had the opportunity to play downhill. If you look at the sack numbers from years past, normally we’re leading by two scores in a lot of those games. You get a team where you know they have to pass the ball, they’ve got to get five out, I don’t think an O-line in this league has a chance, regardless if it’s us or anybody else. There are other issues, too. … I don’t care what you bring, if the quarterback gets the ball out of his hands, you’re not going to get there. And I think that’s the game plan against us right now."
Who is to blame for the mysterious decline of this once-fearsome pass rush? The Giants will enter Monday night’s game against the Vikings with an NFL-worst five sacks in six games. This is a team that won the Super Bowl two years ago behind a brutalizing defensive line that collected 48 sacks. Three of those players are still lining up against opponents.
"If I was the only one having a bad year numbers wise, then you could easily say 'Justin doesn’t have it anymore,' " Tuck said. "But when Kiwi (Mathias Kiwanuka) is not having a good year, when JPP is not having a good year, when Cullen (Jenkins) is not having a good year, when whoever else is not having a good year, you might want to look into it a little deeper than the numbers."
Throw in the off-season back surgery on Jason Pierre-Paul and the age of Kiwanuka and Tuck's explanations sound reasonable. But for such a drop-off in production — they sound like excuses as well.