Wow! Finally, a week where I can actually do the Gillette Pro Glide Top Five Defensive Plays of the Week post the way it's supposed to be done. The New York Giants really did make five defensive plays Saturday against the New York Jets that are worth talking about. More than five, in fact.
So, let's do this. These will be in the order in which they happened, not in any order of importance.
1. Jacquian Williams' open-field stop of LaDainian Tomlinson -- The Jets led 7-3 early in the second quarter and had driven from their own 13-yard line into Giants' territory, where they faced third-and-four. Mark Sanchez hit Tomlinson with a pass in the flat, but Williams was right there to stop Tomlinson short of the first down, forcing a punt. The Giants were on the ropes at that point, and Williams' solid play squelched a potential scoring drive by the Jets. Williams, in fact, did this to Tomlinson twice during the game.
2. Jason Pierre-Paul's sack right before halftime -- After the Giants had taken a 10-7 lead the Jets drove the ball to the Giants' 19-yard line and faced a third down with 23 seconds left in the half. Pierre-Paul sacked Sanchez, ending the drive and forcing the Jets into a 44-yard field-goal attempt that Nick Folk missed. That enabled the Giants to keep the lead at the half.
3. Justin Tuck's sack of Sanchez -- Early in the third quarter Tuck made the kind of play he used to make all the time. Coming off the edge he pursued Sanchez relentlessly, first leaping to force him to pull the ball down and then chasing him until he dragged him to the ground. What made this play stick out for me is the fact that Sanchez had a receiver wide open in the flat for what could have gone as a huge gain, but Tuck simply would not allow Sanchez to get rid of the ball. The Jets eventually punted.
4. Jacquian Williams' fumble recovery in the end zone -- This was a gift from Sanchez and Jets center Nick Mangold, but somebody had to recover the ball. Fortunately for the Giants it was Williams. This would have been disastrous if a Jets player had managed to come up with the ball for a touchdown.
5. Chris Canty's sack of Sanchez for a safety -- This is the play that really turned the game in the Giants' direction. After a Giant punt the Jets had the ball at their own eight-yard line with 2:24 to play, trailing 20-14. One drive from the Jets offense and the game could have turned out differently. Canty did not let that happen, however, breaking through the line and wrapping up a flustered Sanchez before he could get rid of the ball.
Amazingly, he have not talked about the Giants two interceptions. We haven't talked about Dave Tollefson's key sack. There are probably other plays I haven't even thought of.
What was your favorite defensive play?