The return to life of the Giants defensive line last Sunday in San Francisco was rightfully celebrated as things starting to get right in the world of the defending champions.
Members of the Giants defense certainly seem to think so. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul was recently moaning about the lack of fun he's been having this season, but he seems to have rediscovered his smile after two sacks last week.
The man they call JPP was talking about the man they call RG3 on Wednesday and issued a warning to the Redskins rookie quarterback. Robert Griffin III should not expect to find much joy if he should decide to run the ball Pierre-Paul's way come Sunday.
"Don’t bring it to my side," Pierre-Paul said, via theDaily News. "Go the other way."
While the memory of the 49ers win burns brightly, it hasn't totally forced memories of games against the Eagles and Browns out of the mind. In those games, the Giants defense had a lot of trouble protecting the edges against a concerted rushing effort
That's not to say that they'll have those issues again this week against Griffin. There have been changes to the defense in recent weeks, notably Mathias Kiwanuka's return to the front four in many situations, and more coming with Chris Canty returning from the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Those changes made a big difference against the 49ers, but the 49ers had to gimmick their offense with Colin Kaepernick in order to try to take advantage of the Giants' previous issues with players attacking the outside of the defense. That's the bread and butter in Washington, so the defense will need to show it is able to shut down all manners of offensive attacks this season.
Generally, you'd like to see more than one good game before players decide to crown themselves. That's especially true when Pierre-Paul was often seen chasing after players who beat him around the edge in the early parts of this season.
It's a weird mix for the Giants as their coach and some players like to bemoan the outside world's vision of them and the yapping done by other teams without accomplishing much while others go the route that JPP decided to go this week. It works for them so there's not much point in picking apart the public roles they choose to play, but Pierre-Paul certainly set the bar high for himself and his teammates this week.
If they can't meet it, the 49ers game will look like an outlier in an otherwise underwhelming season for one of the greatest strengths of the Giants team.