'The new' Jason Pierre-Paul spurring surging Giants


Jason Pierre-Paul's sack streak in the past fortnight sets the New York Giants pass rusher as the likely choice for Comeback Player of the Year.

After eight average games last season while wearing a club, JPP is finally used to playing with his mangled right hand. Ditching the club for a glove, Pierre-Paul has compiled seven sacks this season, including 5.5 the past two games.

"This is the new me," he told the New York Daily News this week. "I got to adjust to what I'm capable of doing with my hand. I feel this is as well as I've played since my new beginning last year. I'm like a rookie all over again."

Sacks don't tell the whole story. His 5.5 QB takedowns the past two weeks came against the hapless Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. In prior weeks, he was still pushing the pocket and disrupting both the run and pass game. For defensive linemen, pressure is production. JPP has gotten plenty of pressure even with only 8.5 fingers.

"You tell me what player you see out here with missing fingers. You don't see guys like that," he said. "I'm not taking anything away from any other guys playing football, but that's the difference between me and all the other guys. My terrible mistake -- but I knew I had the motivation and courage to come back with the help of God and my family. That's what makes me strive to go hard every day."

JPP is playing on a one-year $10 million prove-it deal. Sunday's game in which he compiled four QB hits, seven tackles, three sacks, a fumble return for a TD and four tackles for loss displayed he can still be a difference-maker. The pass rusher is not worried about his contract situation saying, "that will take care of itself."

At times last year, JPP was in a position to make plays, but couldn't wrap up a ball carrier. Now he's making those plays we were used to seeing before the accident. The pass rusher believes he can show overcoming a physical hardship to excel in the NFL is possible.

"It's totally different," he said. "It's never heard of. Never done. You can't do it, can't copy, you can't mimic. I love the fact than I'm a role model to people. I get Instagrams, DMs and Twitter. It helps me play even better. That is motivation for people that can't be heard and can't be seen. I speak for them when I am out there playing."