Giants’ star pass-rusher now on pace for monster season

New York Giants linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux (5) reacts after sacking New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) during the second half at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants second-year pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux has been on a tear in recent weeks. After receiving media criticism last week (albeit, unjustified criticism), Thibodeaux responded with an explosive Week 8 performance against the Jets. Thibodeaux is on pace to finish his second season with elite numbers.

Kayvon Thibodeaux dominates in Week 8

Despite the Giants’ loss to the Jets, Thibodeaux turned in one of the best single-game performances of his career. He finished with a single-game career-high three sacks

According to Pro Football Focus, Thibodeaux was the only defender with an 85+ pass rush and run defense grade in Week 8. He posted a 90.6 run-defense grade and an 86.1 pass-rush grade against the Jets.

On what should have been a game-winning sack, Thibodeaux put Jets RT Max Mitchell in a blender, blowing past him and getting his third sack of the game:

Thibodeaux is on pace for a monster season

So far this season, Thibodeaux has posted 8.5 sacks in only eight games. This puts him on pace for 18 sacks this season. He also has 24 pressures on the season, putting him on pace to finish with 51 — 11 more pressures than he totaled last year.

It has been a long time since the Giants had an edge rusher like this

Thibodeaux’s 8.5 sacks are the most by a Giants defender through the first eight games of a season since Jason Pierre-Paul in 2011 when he had 9.5 sacks.

After being selected with the fifth-overall pick in last year’s draft, Thibodeaux entered the league with exceedingly high expectations. As a rookie, Thibodeaux totaled four sacks and 45 total pressures — solid number with plenty of room for improvement.

In year two, Thibodeaux is improving week by week and turning into one of the best young pass-rushers in the NFL. If he keeps this pace, the 2023 season will go down as one of the very best from a Giants edge rusher in recent years.

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