We thought Pierre-Paul was going to be the Defensive Player of the Year this season. He's not going to be in the running at this point, with 4.5 sacks and 16 tackles, but the criticism of him this year hasn't made sense. Like Julius Peppers in Chicago, JPP can dominate without showing up in the box score.
"When we watch him every week, he plays at a pretty high level every week," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Thursday, via The Star-Ledger. "For him to have the number ... to produce those numbers consistently, that's a little bit unrealistic. He has the capability to do that. When I look at the tape, I see him just dominate, and it might not show up in the statistics, but it shows up on the coaches' tape where he just dominates a football game."
We've seen the same thing from Pierre-Paul all year. In the season opener against Dallas, he repeatedly blew up running plays and forced throwaways. He's already one of the best run defenders in the NFL. ProFootballFocus, which grades every play, ranks JPP as the best run-stopping defensive end this season.
In short: There are different ways to be dominant. Watch Pierre-Paul on Sunday and see if you disagree.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.