Rewind to the Fourth of July 2015, and many thought Jason Pierre-Paul would never play football again. With a gruesome fireworks injury devastating his right hand, Pierre-Paul’s status with the New York Giants was in doubt. While he came back in the 2015 season, it was clear he was not the same — with the infamous club he was forced to play with.
Now in 2016, Pierre-Paul is returning to his old self. He has been an anchor on the defensive line this entire season even if the statistics did not mirror his production. On Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bears, the dominant JPP of old made a return. In fact, JPP has recorded his first multi-sack game since 2014. JPP finished the day with 4 unassisted tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Pro Football Focus has him as their second-highest graded Giant all day. He was simply a force.
The forced fumble was a big momentum killer for the Bears offense. As big of a play it was Pierre-Paul did not think it was noteworthy.
“Just making a play,” Pierre-Paul said. “It wasn’t anything special. I just beat him. I rushed the edge and that was basically it. It wasn’t anything special.”
JPP’s mindset was key in the final minutes of the game where the Bears had a chance to take the lead.
“They can’t score,” Pierre-Paul said. “Buckle down. I even told some guys that it is time to blow up, it is on us and guys responded. I responded myself. I can’t just do the talking, I have to show up and we came out with a win, guys.”
JPP continued to speak highly on his teammates, especially to the man lined up opposite of him: Olivier Vernon.
“Any time you can have an end that you know is going to contribute and you don’t have to worry about him not setting the edge or giving up his gap, not playing the run, it is great,” Pierre-Paul said. “He is a good teammate, a good player, a humble guy; he doesn’t do a ton of talking. Me and him together is a dominating duo.”