After recording the first sack of his career against Miami in late October, Linval Joseph played down the achievement, saying a tackle is just as good for an interior defensive lineman.
There is, however, some truth in the defensive tackle's modesty.
For example, a cornerback or a linebacker could give up 40 yards, make the stop, and be credited with a tackle in the box score. The statistic is essentially rendered meaningless; the player still gave up a chunk of yards. It's just another occasion when a stat doesn't tell the complete story.
But for a defensive lineman, the statistic isn't as misleading. For the most part, it means the player made a stop at or around the line of scrimmage, and that's exactly what Joseph did on Sunday – nine times.
"Really I just wanted to help my team any way I can," he said the Wednesday after the 38-35 loss to the Packers. "So it felt good to make a tackle for a loss. It felt good to make a tackle. It felt good to make plays. So I'm just glad I had the opportunity to make a lot of plays last week, and I hope I keep making a lot of plays."
Here is a rundown of his nine stops (all solo), which led the team on Sunday: Ryan Grant on runs for two, three, one, two, three, three and eight yards; and Brandon Saine for four and a loss of two yards.
Meanwhile, the Giants defense as a whole held the Packers to 89 yards rushing, 32 of which were from their leading rusher -- quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That left a 2.4 yards per rush average from their backfield.
Tom Coughlin's peppering of Joseph in the hallways at the training facility paid dividends.
"This game, I said to Linval, 'Stop the run, stop the run, stop the run,'" Coughlin said earlier in the week. "And he did do a nice job of that."
Not to be overlooked was the historical significance of his play. His nine tackles are the seventh-most by a defensive tackle in a single NFL game, four behind Patrise Alexander's 13 for the Washington Redskins on Nov. 10, 1996 against the Arizona Cardinals (according to STATS LLC).
"I think as a team now we're growing," Joseph said. "We're coming together. So I do like certain things. We wish our record was better, but losing is helping us to build as a team. I feel like we played a better complete game last week, and I hope we keep at it every day."
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