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After not meeting sack goal as a rookie, Kayvon Thibodeaux wants more this season

From the 2007 Giants to the 2005 Steelers, Mike Florio and Chris Simms select the best teams that entered the NFL playoffs with a low seed and made it all the way to the Super Bowl.

Giants edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux had a sack total in mind for his rookie season. He never revealed the number, but he didn’t meet it.

After missing the first two games with a strained hamstring, Thibodeaux didn’t have a sack his first three game appearances. He had one in Week 6 before going five consecutive games without one.

“When you go four or five games with no sacks, you start to realize ‘Forget that number,’” Thibodeaux said, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “What can I do to just make a play? Come the Baltimore game it was like ‘OK, I’ve got to make a play. I don’t really have time to think about the goals I had. I’ve got to go for something now.’ ’’

Thibodeaux, the fifth overall pick in 2022, finished his first season with four sacks in 14 games. He had 13 quarterback hits and 40 quarterback pressures in 409 pass-rush snaps.

Thibodeaux wants more sacks -- a lot more -- in 2023.

“Getting sacks, finishing,’’ Thibodeaux said. “There were a lot of times when I had a good pass rush that I didn’t finish. You realize the guy on the other side of the line is paid a lot of money. They’re not going to let him get touched. Continuing to sharpen the end of my rush, that third phase and make sure I start to finish.’’

Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale told Thibodeaux after last season he needed to get stronger in his legs and core. The Giants list Thibodeaux at 258.

He insists he is stronger after going through the offseason program and hopes that will pay off for him in 2023. Thibodeaux, though, won’t set a goal this season.

“I had a number on it last year, and I figured out that the season is so long that you have to do it by game,’’ Thibodeaux said. “If I can make impactful plays like I was able to do and continue to win, I mean, no one will ever remember [the sack total], right? As long as we win, as long as I continue to play well, play for my teammates I think I’ll be good.’’