The battle between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Giants at the Meadowlands on Sunday is one with a lot on the line. For the 2-6 Giants it is essentially their season on the line as they look to get back into the NFC East race in one of the most under achieving divisions in the NFL this season. After a Monday Night Football win over the Vikings, the Giants scored a road win over the Philadelphia Eagles before their bye week to give them some sort of hope heading into the second half of the season after seeing the wheels fall off over the first six weeks where they went o-6.
With the Raiders losing 49-20 to the Eagles at home on Sunday they too will be seeing their playoff hopes hanging in the balance when they head out to the East Coast. At 3-5 the Raiders are still in the mix for an AFC Wild Card berth but it will not be easy as Darren McFadden has been sitting out of practice this week with a hamstring injury and quarterback Terrelle Pryor is slowed by a knee injury picked up in the second half against Philly. It also appears that they will have to contend with a motivated Jason Pierre-Paul, who is eyeing the chance at having a massive game against the Oakland offensive line.
“For the past three years, I’ve been rushing the passer, you just see fear in the quarterback’s eyes. You see fear in the tackle’s eyes. They respect me. They know when they hit the field, they have a problem. And this week, they’re gonna have a problem,” Pierre-Paul said, via the New York Daily News. “Come this Sunday, I’m rushing the passer, stopping the run. I’m gonna be all over that field. They better bring their ‘A’ game, that’s what I can tell you.”
Pierre-Paul might be seeing a lot of rookie Menelik Watson, who made his first NFL appearance against the Eagles and should earn even more playing time on Sunday. Regardless of who is in front of Pierre-Paul the Giants defensive end will surely be facing a much more motivated blocker after giving Oakland plenty of bulletin board material to work with.