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DE Pierre-Paul Stepping Into Spotlight


Sunday night presented a moment that three initials both needed and deserved.

Sometimes lost in the shuffle of household names, Jason Pierre-Paul, the defensive end known colloquially as JPP, is now squarely on the marquee.

With six seconds left in regulation, Dallas kicker Dan Bailey lined up for his second attempt at a 47-yard field goal to tie the game after Tom Coughlin called a timeout just before his first sailed through the uprights. Pierre-Paul changed his plan of attack after the icing. 

"(Justin) Trattou told me to rush the guard," Pierre-Paul said. "I told him, 'No, the guard was blocking me the whole game, just rush the center.'"

Long snapper L.P. LaDouceur and holder Mat McBriar executed a seamless setup for Bailey, but that didn't account for Pierre-Paul. The 6-foot-5, 278-pounder stepped left, stretched his arms out and got a piece of the ball – just enough as it bounced to the turf into the end zone. Eli Manning took a knee with a second remaining to give the Giants a 37-34 victory and a lead in the division.

"You can't help your mind races ahead toward overtime," Tom Coughlin said. "But you shore it all up for that one play, that one burst to try to block the kick. We got a finger on it and that was enough. But that was where it started and then the other things started to fall in. I was so happy for our players that they won. Then the idea of being in first place and so on and so forth. It won't be such a bad trip home tonight."

Pierre-Paul's play was nothing out of the usual for the game, or his second season in the NFL for that matter.

His relentless effort and 10.5 sacks entering the night had been muffled by an inconsistent defense on a team in the middle of a four-game losing streak. But that didn't stop Pierre-Paul, who went right to work.

His first of two sacks of Tony Romo was for a safety -- the first of the season for the Giants – to take an early lead in the first quarter.

"That was just playing football," Pierre-Paul said. "I got off the ball quickly and I sacked him and he kept on going into the end zone and dropped his knee down -- safety."

Pierre-Paul also led the team with eight tackles and forced a fumble that popped out of Felix Jones' grasp into the hands of safety Deon Grant. The late second-half turnover led to a Lawrence Tynes field goal to give the Giants a 15-14 lead.

"We got what we came here to get – a win," he said. "Last year we didn't quite make it. We made it this far now and we just have to win on out." Join other diehard Giants Fans!

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