The New York Giants are back on track after a crucial win over the Washington Commanders in Week 15. Big Blue is sitting firmly in the postseason race with a 90% chance of making the playoffs according to ESPN Analytics. The Giants’ defense turned in a dominant performance in the Sunday night matchup headlined by rookie pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. But Thibodeaux is not the only pass-rushing excelling for the Giants’ defense. Second-year edge rusher Azeez Ojulari is making waves since his return from injury in Week 13. Ojulari is back to his old self and has made an incredible impact on Big Blue’s defense down the stretch.
Azeez Ojulari dominating down the stretch
The New York Giants are inching closer and closer to their first playoff berth since 2016. Big Blue needs all of its biggest players to show up in their most crucial moments to secure their spot in the postseason. Azeez Ojulari has been one of the team’s most impactful players over the last three weeks, setting the defense up for a dominant performance against Washington in Week 15.
Since re-entering the lineup in Week 13, Azeez Ojulari has constantly been in the backfield. Over the past three games, Azeez has totaled 3.5 sacks, 9 combined tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles. In Big Blue’s clutch win over the Commanders this week, Ojulari recorded 0.5 sacks, 4 combined tackles, 2 quarterback hits, and 1 forced fumble.
Looking at Azeez Ojulari’s season as a whole, Week 15’s matchup with Washington was Azeez’s fourth consecutive game recording a sack. Against the Chicago Bears in Week 4, Azeez Ojulari recorded a sack-fumble before missing the next nine weeks with a calf injury. Upon his return, Ojulari recorded another sack-fumble on Taylor Heinicke in the Giants’ Week 13 tie with Washington. That was followed up with a 2-sack performance against the Eagles in Week 14.
Azeez Ojulari has now recorded a total of 4.5 sacks in 5 games this season, adding 3 forced fumbles and 23 combined tackles. After a record-setting rookie season that saw Ojulari total 8 sacks, the second-year pass-rusher seems to be hitting his stride. Like Kayvon Thibodeaux, Azeez Ojulari is playing his best football right now as the Giants are at the most critical point of their season.
Kayvon Thibodeaux described he and Azeez Ojulari as “the two-man show” following the Giants’ Week 15 win on primetime. Fans are beginning to get flashbacks to the good old days when Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul were the team’s prime pass-rushing duo. Thibodeaux and Ojulari have limitless potential. The two young edge-rushers may have bright futures ahead of them, but the focus is on the present. The New York Giants are 8-5-1 this season and their pass-rushing success is a big reason why. Azeez Ojulari has been electric since his return from injury, having an impact on the defense that cannot be replicated.