Sunday, January 1, 2012
JPP vs. Ware on Sunday night
By Matt Ehalt
It's a battle of the sack artists.
In Sunday night's game, two of the premier pass rushers in the game, Dallas' DeMarcus Ware and New York's Jason Pierre-Paul, will be trying to guide their respective teams to the NFC East title. Their play could have a huge influence on who wins the game.
In the first game, Pierre-Paul had two sacks, including a safety, and blocked the attempted game-trying kick to help his team win 37-34. Ware did not record a single sack in a losing effort and the Cowboys overall did not have any sacks.
Here are some stats on the two respective pass rushers, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
The Giants rushed four or less men against Dallas on 77.4 percent of passes, their fourth-highest percentage of the year. Both of Pierre-Paul's sacks in that game came in four-man rushes and he has 11.5 sacks in those situations this season, the fifth-most in the league.
In connection with his blocked kick, since the start of 2010, Pierre-Paul has the most passes defended or batted down among lineman in the league with 15. He has eight this season, which is the second-most on his team.
The linebacker is one of just four defenders to have at least four sacks when he lines up on either side of the defense. He has eight sacks from the left and 10 sacks from the right. He also has benefited from the blitz has he has a league-high nine sacks when the Cowboys send at least five men after the passer.
Combined, the two of them have 33.5 sacks. According to Stats & Info, only Philadelphia's Jason Babin has more games with at least two sacks than these two fearsome rushers, who have five each. Will they make the push for six on Sunday? We'll find out soon enough.