Justin Tuck's Resurgence A Good Sign For The Giants
In a season of ups and downs (okay, mostly just downs) for the New York Giants, one player has been quietly having himself a solid year at the defensive end position. That player, of course, is Justin Tuck. Before the season started, I questioned whether we'd already seen the best from Tuck or if it was possible that we'd see a major resurgence from the defensive captain this year, and it appears that we've gotten the latter.
Tuck exploded over the last couple of games, combining for a total of six sacks against the Redskins and Chargers, and although he had some trouble getting to the quarterback for the first 12 weeks of the season, he's been a presence on the defensive line for most of the year, playing a major role in stopping the run. His 8.5 sacks leads the team and is almost good enough to match his total output from the last two seasons combined. Tuck hasn't reached double-digit sacks since 2010, but with three games still left to play in 2013, there's a good chance that he'll reach that plateau once again — provided he continues to get to the quarterback with the frequency that he has in the last few weeks.
Tuck's resurgence, which has been one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise bleak season, is also a good sign for the future of the Giants defense. With big, solid run-stoppers like Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson and Linval Joseph clogging up the run and Jason Pierre-Paul adamant that he will return to his dominant ways in 2014, there's no reason why the Giants defense can't be among one of the best in the league next season. As of right now, the defense ranks 10th overall and 10th against the run, and with a fully healthy unit together next year and some much-needed reinforcements added to the secondary, 2014 can be a big year for defense. And as we all know by now, when the Giants defense is dominant and making plays, there's no ceiling for this team.
Seeing No. 91 getting to the quarterback and making plays again is certainly a welcome sight for Giants fans, and over the last few seasons, the Giants defense has been at its most successful and its most dominant when Justin Tuck is playing at the top of his game. His resurgence is vital for this defensive unit, and he's certainly making a strong case for why the Giants should re-sign him and bring him back to anchor the defense for another few years. He brings much more to the table than just his on-the-field play, and he can serve as a mentor for younger players like Damontre Moore (who's also having himself a solid rookie season) and Jason Pierre-Paul.