The New York Giants are preparing for an in-state rivalry matchup with the New York Jets in what is considered to be a “must-win” game for both teams. Returning to face his old team this week is Giants’ starting safety Jason Pinnock.
The Giants acquired Pinnock last year after he was released by the Jets following the conclusion of the preseason. Since then, Pinnock has quickly ascended into a prominent role for Big Blue and has become a leader in their defense.
Entering Week 8, Pinnock is preparing to face his old team as one of the few players who understands this rivalry matchup from both sides of the fence.
Jason Pinnock understands the Giants-Jets rivalry
Pinnock recently reflected on the rivalry between the two New York teams, saying to the New York Post, “Being over there, the little-brother thing, that’s how they feel. Being on both ends of it, it’s funny. It’s time to get it in the regular season now.”
While preparing for this matchup, Pinnock is viewing it as a battle for the city.
“Even if you didn’t know the history of it, we play in the same stadium,” Pinnock said. “You literally are fighting for this city overall.”
With the Giants at 2-5 and the Jets at 3-3, both teams are in dire need of a victory to keep their seasons alive. That, coupled with the in-state/in-stadium rivalry should lead to a thrilling Sunday afternoon matchup.
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Pinnock could be an X-Factor in this matchup
This season has been a bit of a mixed bag for Pinnock so far. Now in his second season with Big Blue, this is Pinnock’s first season participating as a full-time starter.
Pinnock has totaled 40 combined tackles through seven games with four tackles for loss, one sack, one pass defended, and one interception (which he returned 102 yards for six points).
Despite the mostly impressive stat line, Pro Football Focus has been underwhelmed with Pinnock this season. His 59.0 overall grade ranks 63/85 at the safety position. According to PFF, Pinnock has missed six tackles this season.
However, Pinnock has not missed a tackle since Week 3, demonstrating significant improvement in the tackling department for the past four weeks.
Pinnock has had his struggles while adjusting to his full-time starting role. However, he has been one of the Giants’ most reliable defenders this season. It will be intriguing to observe how Pinnock plays while matching up against his former teammates on Sunday afternoon.