For New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, one good game could be considered a fluke, but two in a row is a trend. Tuck’s hot play is a trend that the Giants and their fans hope continues for the rest of the season.
With New York fighting for its playoff life on Sunday in San Diego, Tuck sacked Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers twice, including one sack that led to a Giants fumble recovery. The performance was a fitting encore to Tuck’s incredible four sack game last week against Washington. Before that game, the defensive captain had just 2.5 sacks for the season.
“We won’t worry about where we are in the playoffs,” said Tuck after the game. “We’ll put the blinders on and we have to go out there and win football games and that’s all we have to be worried about.”
On the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, Tuck rushed around rookie right tackle D.J. Fluker and slapped the ball out of Rivers’ hand. The resulting fumble was pounced on by defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, and the Giants scored a touchdown on the ensuring possession.
Tuck’s first sack of the game occurred midway through the second quarter when he beat Fluke on a speed rush and tackled Rivers five yards behind the line of scrimmage. Despite Tuck’s efforts, though, the Giants were routed by San Diego 37-14.
“It was kind of frustrating today to have to be questioning where our enthusiasm was,” said Tuck. “I thought we picked it up coming out of the second half and there was some good things there but it still wasn’t enough.”
The Giants will have to recapture that enthusiasm if they hope to have any chance of a strong finish to the season. The team’s next two games are versus playoff contenders Seattle and Detroit before they close the season with a home game against Washington.