Early in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game the momentum appeared to have shifted away from the New York Giants. A Green Bay touchdown by halfback Eddie Lacey cut New York’s advantage to 20-13, and after the Giants went three-and-out, the Packers got the ball back with a chance to tie the game.
That’s when everything changed. On the first play of Green Bay’s next offensive possession, quarterback Scott Tolzien took the snap and turned to throw the ball into the left flat. New York defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, having read the play perfectly, stepped into the passing lane, snatched the ball out of the air, and took off for the end zone.
Just like that, the Giants were up by two touchdowns again, and they used the momentum to cruise to victory.
“Whenever you make a play like that, energy drives the entire team, coaching staff as well,” said safety and captain Antrel Rolle. “Those are the kinds of plays we look for out of JPP and I know his back is feeling better and better as the weeks go along and I’m just thankful to have him as a teammate.”
It’s safe to say that Rolle isn’t the only Giants player thankful for Pierre-Paul’s presence on the team. The fourth-year player ha s struggled with injuries this season and has just two sacks, but his big play on Sunday changed the whole game and ensured that New York’s winning streak would continue.
“That’s one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. He’s freakish,” said Rolle. “It was a game time decision whether or not he was going to play. I just thank God and JPP that he was able to pull through for his teammates and play the way he did, with his shoulder the way that it is and go out there and make a game-winning play.”
Pierre-Paul’s intuition was just as important as his athletic ability when it came to making the interception. If it looked like he knew where Tolzien was going to throw the ball, it’s because he did know just that.
“He called that out,” added Rolle, “He said that he was going to pick the ball. I guess that’s what you call speaking into existence. I hope he speaks more to existence.”
The Giants are hoping that Pierre-Paul can envision a win over the Cowboys this weekend. A win for New York would pull it even with Dallas in the NFC East division race.
“Right now we’re just winning,” said Rolle, “We find a way to win. We’re coming together offensively, defensively, and special teams. I think so far this season, this is the most complete game we played as a team.”