The offensive line of the New York Giants wasn't supposed to be this bad, but yet, they are, and it's become a serious issue for the team through the first three weeks of the season.
Last season, the unit held up for the most part and at times, played really well up until the end of the season, and many thought they would be just fine heading into the 2013 season, but it's been anything but, and in the 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers this past Sunday, fans got a real taste of just how bad the line is.
There are two major weaknesses of the line which has hampered production; the first is the run game, or lack of one. In three games, the Giants have totaled for 133 yards. To put that number in perspective for you. LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles ran for 158 yards this past week against the Kansas City Chiefs; Bilal Powell of the New York Jets ran for 149 yards against the Buffalo Bills. Both running backs rushed for more yards in one game than the entire Giants team in three weeks.
Back in Week 1, the issue for the Giants running attack was David Wilson's fumbling issues and extremely poor blocking ability in pass protection, which lead to the team's signing of veteran Brandon Jacobs for Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, but then that's where the lack of push up front started to rear its ugly head. Against the Broncos, the Giants totaled for all of 23 yards in the run game and got absolutely no push up front, in which guys like Jacobs and Wilson were being sent backwards as soon as they got the ball.
Against the Panthers, it wasn't any better, as the Giants racked up all of 60 yards rushing, which is the most they've had in three weeks, but 39 of those were from Wilson. The team's second highest rusher was quarterback Eli Manning with 14; that's a problem considering Manning isn't exactly Colin Kaepernick or Robert Griffin III with his legs. For years the Giants bread and butter on offense was a strong running attack that followed a dominating offensive line, but over the last couple of years, they have gotten away from that. In 2013, the Giants have really gotten away from that winning formula as while the Giants do have the talent, but when the offensive line doesn't allow the Giants running backs the time to get to the line and make plays because the opposing defense is already in the backfield blowing a play up, it doesn't matter who is back there, they will be stopped.
The other issue is the inability for Manning to stay upright; as Manning has been sacked 11 times and sent running for his life, which has forced the Giants quarterback to force throws that he might not want to, but with defenders in his face, Manning has had no other choice. On Sunday against the Panthers, Manning was sacked seven times and went 12-for-23 for 119 yards, but Manning was never able to get comfortable and into a rhythm because the offensive line failed to protect him. Last season, Manning was sacked 19 times and already, he's been put on his back 11 times, which shows how bad the offensive line has been and have failed to keep their quarterback upright.
So, with those issues, what do the Giants need to do? It's quite simple; rebuild the line, especially in the middle. As much of a productive player he has been since getting drafted, Chris Snee has gotten old and injury prone in the later stages of his career and whether he wants to call it a career after 2013 or not is up to him, but with salary and age, Snee's time with the team is coming to an end; and after 10 years in the league, it's common.
Kevin Boothe is a free agent after the season and considering he was only signed to a one-year deal prior to the season, it's safe to assume that the team doesn't see him in their future plans. David Baas on the other hand, has been rather unproductive and also rather injury prone and given his salary situation, will likely be another player subject to being released after the season.
Will Beatty signed a five-year extension so he factors to be in the team's plans for the next couple of years, but even with the contract, still needs to play better and Justin Pugh has probably been the team's best lineman, although some feel that he would be better suited to move inside from right tackle to one of the guard positions. With Beatty and Pugh, the Giants can keep those two and look to draft younger bodies on the line.
Jerry Reese showed that the offensive line was a priority back in April when he took Pugh in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, but he simply can't stop there. After the season, Reese needs to continue looking at the offensive line as a priority and infuse some younger talent to help keep Manning upright and allow the running game to re-establish itself. In the mean time, the Giants can only hope the current unit can figure it out on the go, but a lot of the fans have lost hope on the current unit, which has been bad and hopefully, will not get their franchise quarterback completely decimated and beaten up before the end of the season.
- Be sure to like Giants 101 on Facebook, follow Giants 101 on Twitter & +1Giants 101 on Google+
- Be sure to “like” Sports Media 101 on Facebook and to follow Sports Media 101 on Twitter
- Subscribe to Sports Media 101 using Google Currents
It's not everyday you get to meet a super bowl champion, get an autograph and take a photo... unless you're Eli Manning. For everyone else here's your chance.
You're not an average fan, so why wear an average shirt to represent your team? LogoWear brings some originality to the game and will help you be the star of your team's following - not the third guy in off the bench. Your team isn't just another team. Don't be caught wearing just another shirt. Make a statement with LogoWear!
Your man cave is your home field advantage for every game. When the game is on the line, you should be able to look around and be reminded of the great moments you've watched unfold in that very room! MJR Sports Integrity offers a wide range or team and player-specific memorabilia that can do just that and take your game day room to the next level. Find your inspiration at MJR Sports Integrity and will your team to victory!Chris Snee, David Baas, Football, Justin Pugh, Kevin Boothe, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Will Beatty
- 2013 New York Giants Training Camp Preview: Offensive Line
- New York Giants’ Justin Pugh to Start at Right Tackle Vs. New York Jets as Part of Offensive Line Shuffle
- New York Giants’ Kevin Boothe Shocked by Line Being Out of Sync; Hoping for Better Play
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/11b9