The New York Giants' pass rush, missing most of the season, has arrived with a vengeance the past two weeks. The Giants had seven sacks a week ago against the Jacksonville Jaguars and eight Sunday in a 36-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans. That's an amazing 15 in two games.
Granted, these are the Jaguars and Titans, a combined 4-22. And granted, the Titans were trailing badly most of the day Sunday during a game in which they were playing without both starting offensive tackles. Starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger was eventually driven from the game due to the beating the Giants inflcited.
So, what has changed?
First, dynamic rookie linebacker Devon Kennard is finally playing full time. And has finally been turned loose as a pass rusher by defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. Kennard has had a pair of sacks in each of the past two games. It was Kennard who knocked the ball out of Zach Mettenberger's hands Sunday, creating the fumble that Markus Kuhn ran back 26 yards for a score.
Second, Jason Pierre-Paul seems to have finally re-discovered the path to the quarterback. Pierre-Paul had two sacks on Sunday, 3.5 in the past two weeks and seven for the season. Maybe it's a salary drive by the free-agent-to-be, and you wonder where it's been all year, but it's still good to see. And much-needed.
Third, Damontre Moore has been playing increased snaps. Moore had two sacks Sunday to bring his season total to five, and one ridiculous sack celebration we hopefully won't see again. He also committed a foolish personal foul that cost the Giants a touchdown. The kid makes plays, though, and he has to play to learn.
Fourth, some of the blitzes Fewell is dialing up are finally getting home. Maybe that is partially because of the presence of Kennard and Moore. The corner blitz on which Mike Harris got a sack Sunday was, however, beautifully designed. Mettenberger read blitz, but from the other side. He had no idea Harris was coming off the slot.
Can the Giants keep this up? We find out next Sunday when they face the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium.