Giants’ rising star pass-rusher will be an X-factor in Week 1

new york giants, kayvon thibodeaux
Sep 26, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) in action during the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants expect big things from second-year pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. After being selected with the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, Thibodeaux had himself a stellar rookie season. He may have only totaled four sacks, but the rookie was constantly disruptive as a pass-rusher, racking up 40 pressures on the year.

In Week 1, the Giants will take on the division-rival Dallas Cowboys on primetime. Thibodeaux turned in a dominant performance last time New York faced Dallas last season. He could be the x-factor for the Giants as they look to get their season off to a hot start on Sunday night.

Kayvon Thibodeaux was dominant against Dallas

In last season’s Thanksgiving Day showdown between the Giants and Cowboys, Thibodeaux had a signature performance. The rookie posted an incredible nine pressures against Dallas’ formidable offensive line. He also led the team with four QB hurries, five QB hits, and a 33.3% pass-rush win rate.

Thibodeaux earned the monicker “The Closer” last season after repeatedly showing up on the biggest stages. No stage will shine brighter this weekend than MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. With Thibodeaux aiming to take a jump forward in 2023, he will have the bright lights of primetime shining on him as he looks to get his season off to a hot start in Week 1.

The Giants need to disrupt Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott led a high-powered offense last season that finished fourth in the NFL with 27.5 points per game. Prescott averaged 238.3 passing yards per game last season and tossed 23 touchdowns in just 12 games. However, the Cowboys’ signal-caller also struggled to keep the ball out of harm’s way, throwing a league-high 15 interceptions.

Prescott has the ability to put points up in a hurry. While he may have had a down year struggling with injuries in 2022, Prescott had thrown for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns just a year prior. Disrupting his pocket and forcing errant throws from Prescott will be the key to earning the victory for the Giants and Thibodeaux will play a large role in completing that task.