JPP is playing on a one-year $10 million prove-it deal. Sunday’s game in which he compiled four QB hits, seven tackles, three sacks, a fumble return for a TD and four tackles for loss displayed he can still be a difference-maker. The pass rusher is not worried about his contract situation saying, “that will take care of itself.”
At times last year, JPP was in a position to make plays, but couldn’t wrap up a ball carrier. Now he’s making those plays we were used to seeing before the accident. The pass rusher believes he can show overcoming a physical hardship to excel in the NFL is possible.
The Redskins’ collapse down the stretch — losing four of their last six games — will lead to an offseason of speculation about quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future. In a big spot, Cousins flopped, throwing two interceptions (including one on a potential game-winning drive). With no help from the run game, the quarterback couldn’t keep the chains moving against a good defense.
With the playoff dream out the door, the Redskins will now have to decide how many millions of dollars Cousins is worth. It’s a choice that will define the franchise’s future for the next several years.
The Giants signed Lewis, 23, as an undrafted free agent last summer, and he appeared in 13 games with the team last season. He caught seven passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
He was one of the players who was photographed on a boat in Miami with other Giants players in January just days ahead of their playoff opener.
The Giants were one of the worst teams on the ground in 2016, making running back an obvious need this offseason. While fifth-rounder Paul Perkins had his moments, this committee-led attack needs more help alongside Shane Vereen and Orleans Darkwa.
Look for Big Blue to pick up a rookie and potentially make a run at Adrian Peterson if the Vikings decide to cut bait with the 31-year-old veteran set to count a whopping $18 million against Minnesota’s cap.
Watching the Giants struggle to run against nickel and dime defenses in Green Bay was reminiscent of New England’s loss in last season’s AFC Championship Game. The Packers dared the Giants to run on them, and New York wasn’t tough enough to oblige. Blaming the struggles on rookie runner Paul Perkins is missing the point. The Giants can upgrade their depth at running back, but the offensive line’s lack of toughness was far more striking.
The Giants need to make an honest evaluation of where Eli Manning is in his career. With the quarterback at 36 years old and coming off one of his worst seasons, the team’s best chance to make it back to the Super Bowl is with Eli as a supporting actor. That can be accomplished if the Giants develop a strong running game and protect Manning better. Their offensive line didn’t rank in the top-20 in pass-blocking or run-blocking according to Pro Football Focus, despite Manning’s quick release and excellent on-field adjustments. Both tackle spots were problems all season, including 2015 top-10 pick Ereck Flowers. Reese erred last season, reportedly losing out on free agent options because he wanted Flowers to get a real chance on the blind side. The results hurt the Giants far more than any shirtless combination of jeans and Timberlands.
Next Monday night, when the Giants host the Bengals, they will put former coach Tom Coughlin, defensive lineman Justin Tuck and general manager Ernie Accorsi into their Ring of Honor. They are three pillars of the Giants teams that won their two most recent Super Bowls, but they are also a reminder of what is gone and how this team has changed. Those two championship teams were won largely on the backs of a ferocious pass rush, and the Giants have been in desperate search of one ever since those teams were slowly dismantled.
Since then, Manning has been the sole barometer for the Giants — they go as he goes — and the takeaway from this season for him has been uneven. He completed passes Sunday to eight different receivers for 257 yards and four touchdowns against a defense that had allowed the fourth fewest points in the league entering the game. Both of his interceptions were of the type he labels “cheap” — one on a tipped ball, one when Odell Beckham Jr. was stripped of the ball before he fully had possession.