New York Giants: Justin Tuck Needs to Break out of Slow Start Against Browns

Doug RushSenior Analyst IOctober 3, 2012

Sep 16, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

Through the first quarter of the 2012 NFL season, one of the biggest surprises for the New York Giants is the defensive line.

What is usually a strength of the Giants defense has been very quiet in the early stages of the season.

In fact, they have been so quiet, Chase Blackburn is one of the leaders on the team with two sacks.

The other leader on the team with sacks is Osi Umenyiora with two as well. Jason Pierre-Paul has 1.5.

Justin Tuck however, has been shut out of the sack column in 2012. Through the first four games, Tuck has yet to record a sack for the Giants.

Tuck does have 14 tackles so far in the first four games, but Tuck isn't getting paid to get tackles; he gets paid to take down the quarterback.

Last year, Tuck had a very low sack total with just five, but he did have a very big game during Super Bowl XLVI, sacking Tom Brady twice.

The Giants will be playing the 0-4 Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium this coming Sunday. It's a perfect rebound game following their 19-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The offense can take advantage of Cleveland's secondary, while the Giants' defense can feast on Brandon Weeden.

The rookie quarterback for Cleveland has had a rough start to the 2012 season, as he has been sacked nine times and intercepted seven.

This is the kind of quarterback the Giants' defensive line needs to face in order to get back into the swing of things.

For the last four weeks, they faced quarterbacks who were able to make plays while scrambling and not allow the Giants' defenders to have a big day bringing down the quarterback.

Weeden is not that kind of quarterback; he's not going to scramble out of pressure and go on a 40-yard run like Michael Vick or Cam Newton would.

Chances are, if Weeden gets pressured, he's going down to the ground. With the Cleveland offensive line going up against the Giants' defense, he could go down a lot on Sunday.

Tuck needs Week 5 to have a breakout game for his 2012 season, because so far, he has barely been a factor.

I definitely do not think that at age 29, Tuck is slowing down or injuries are catching up to him. He's just had a really rough start to the season.

But I think on Sunday against Cleveland and its offensive line, Tuck needs to break out of his early slump and go after Weeden.

JPP and Umenyiora could also find themselves having big games going after Weeden as well, but Tuck needs it the most.

Tuck desperately needs to break into the sack column to kick-start his season. And I think once he does, he'll get back into his normal rhythm of causing havoc against offensive linemen and making quarterbacks run for their lives.

Stay tuned, Giants fans.