The return of New York Giants‘ top pass rusher, Olivier Vernon, will surely provide the boost they need on defense to create some much needed turnovers on Sunday against the Panthers. Week 5 will present virtually the Giants’ last chance at climbing back into the NFC East race. Surprisingly, they’re only one game out from the Eagles (2-2), Cowboys (2-2), and Redskins (2-1).
If the rest of the division loses, which is certainly possible as the Eagles play the Vikings, Cowboys the Texans, and Redskins the Saints, the Giants will be in a solid position moving forward. But, again, they must win the next game against GM Dave Gettleman’s former club.
What New York Giants’ Damon Harrison had to say about Olivier Vernon:
Defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison made it very clear that having Vernon back will be a game-changing reality, according to the NY Post:
“It’ll be a nice surprise for the Panthers, if we can get him back,” the Giants tackle said Thursday. “That [means] everything. That’s the Terminator. [He] can do it all. … That’s not a discredit to the other guys, but [he’s] just a different animal.
Vernon has been out with a high ankle sprain since August 26, and his absence has been felt. Rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill has been the Giants’ best pass-rusher to date, and not to discredit his success thus far, but Vernon is in a different stratosphere in terms of ability.
In the past two years with Big Blue, Vernon has amassed 101 tackles and 15 total sacks. He’s one of the league’s most efficient pass-rushers in terms of QB pressures and hits, despite his sack totals being questionable. After making the transition to outside linebacker in the 4-3 defense, it’s expected that he will have more sack production off the edge. Hopefully, that assumption will be true in his first live action.