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Fact or Fiction: Osi Umenyiora's biggest accomplishment

Osi Umenyiora's greatest statistical accomplishment is six sacks in a single game.


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JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -It was one sack away from an NFL record, so yes, it would be the most significant statistical accomplishment. Ironically enough, after that game, Osi told the media that he didn't even think that was his most dominant game. He felt he had played better against other tackles than he did against Winston Justice that day, but never had the opportunity to put up those sacks due to the quarterback getting the ball out quick, or other circumstances.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -It has to be his franchise record of 32 forced fumbles, which are nine more than Hall of Famer Michael Strahan. And Umenyiora did so in six fewer seasons. To put it into perspective, you only need seven to crack the top 10. That's how prolific Umenyiora's patented move was for a decade.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -How can you top that, especially since it set a franchise record? Osi Umenyiora recorded half of the team's 12 sacks against Donovan McNabb and the Eagles in Week 4 of the 2007 season.

It was a part of a very memorable day for not just Osi but the Giants defense as well because the 12 sacks set a franchise record and tied an NFL record. The only other statistical accomplishment that I put up there with the six sacks in a single game is 10 forced fumbles in 2010. That's quite a total and it's notable because his signature play was the strip-sack, but I give the edge to the six sacks because a feat in one game is far more impressive than a feat across a whole season.

The strip-sack and 75-yard return touchdown vs. the 49ers in 2007 was Umenyiora's best play.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -What strikes me most about that play is how Osi gets the strip and gets off the ground and to full speed so ridiculously quickly. It isn't the most important game he did something great in, or even his "greatest" play, but it was his best since he displayed so much of his ridiculous athleticism that set him apart from other players.

**

Photos Osi Umenyiora's top sacks

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - **It just epitomized Umenyiora. It was the speed, it was the strip, it was the sack, it was the return and, most of all, it was smooth. He had all the moves and made them look easy.

LANCE MEDOW: Fact -What makes this play even more notable is it was his first career touchdown.

That's always a special one. He only recorded one other, which came in the 2009 season opener against the Redskins when he also pulled off the trifecta (sack, forced fumble, TD) against Jason Campbell.

That was his first game back after suffering a major knee injury in a 2008 preseason game against the Jets. The play against the 49ers was impressive because he recorded the sack, barely hit the ground as he landed on top of Trent Dilfer and then the ball bounced right into his hands, setting up a clear path to the end zone. There were so many parts to the play and he couldn't have asked for better timing and execution.

Owa Odighizuwa will have more than one sack in his rookie season.

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JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -I expect Steve Spagnuolo to use a heavy rotation of defensive linemen, so the rookie third rounder should have plenty of opportunities to put up at least one sack over the course of his rookie year. He is still raw as a pass rusher, but he has long arms and a relentless motor. He'll be better as a run stopper off the bat.

**

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - **He has to play a game before he can even start to enter the conversation, but since many people are talking about him possibly being the next in line, let's compare some of the rookie seasons by past great defensive ends. Coincidentally, Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck all had one sack apiece in their first seasons. So let's see Odighizuwa in a game before we go with fact on this one.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - This is very tough to predict given we don't know exactly how many reps he'll see during the season or how he'll be used within the defense. Therefore, my answer is based on trends over the last two seasons. Last year's rookie class included defensive tackle Jay Bromley and linebacker Devon Kennard.

Bromley had no sacks, Kennard finished with 4.5. In 2013, the Giants drafted defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and defensive end Damontre Moore in the second and third rounds, respectively, and neither recorded a sack during their rookie campaigns. Based on those numbers, Kennard is the only rookie defensive player from the front seven to collect more than one sack over the last two seasons combined. Since Owa Odighizuwa is a defensive lineman, I'm going to go with the trend and say he won't get more than one as a rookie but could very well follow the same script as Hankins (7) and Moore (5.5), who combined for 12.5 sacks as sophomores.

Of the players not on the Giants' roster last season, linebacker J.T. Thomas III will have the biggest impact in 2015.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -I will put my vote in for Dwayne Harris as the second biggest contributor, but ahead of Thomas. He will be a factor on all four special teams, and be a contributor on offense as well. If he gets a return touchdown or two on punts and kicks, his contribution will rank slightly higher than Thomas. The top contributor will be Shane Vereen, who might catch 50 passes and be a nightmare matchup for opposing linebackers who will have to deal with him one-on-one due to the presence of the Giants wide receivers stretching the field.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -I think Thomas brings a lot to the table, which we saw last week in the preseason game against his former team. But you have to go with the rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers. Not only is he playing a critical position, but he is also the future of the line along with Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg.

LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - Since this statement says 'players not on the Giants' roster last season," that also includes rookies, so I'm going to go with offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. With Will Beatty sidelined until at least midseason, this year's first round pick is immediately stepping into the starting left tackle spot.

Protecting Eli Manning's blindside is by far the most important job on the team, which means Flowers will have a major impact this season. I'd put this year's second round pick, safety Landon Collins, right behind Flowers, given he'll likely also be starting from day one, and free agent signee Dwayne Harris, who will have an opportunity to make a big impact on special teams because of his ability to tackle and return the ball.

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