Giants’ Andrew Thomas experiencing first rough stretch, but it doesn’t get easier in Week 15

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Oct 30, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates with guard Jack Anderson (77) and offensive tackle Andrew Thomas (78) after rushing for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Thomas has been superb for the New York Giants this season. But over the past few weeks, Thomas, like the Giants, has hit a rough patch. After giving up only 9 pressures and 0 sacks in the first Giants’ 10 games of the season, Andrew Thomas has surrendered 3 sacks and 7 pressures over the past three weeks.

New York has also failed to earn a win in the past four weeks, losing three games and tying the other. But a crucial matchup awaits Big Blue this upcoming Sunday as they face the Commanders in a game with massive playoff implications. Andrew Thomas and the New York Giants are hoping to turn it around in Week 15, but things will be getting no easier as Thomas and the offensive line prepare to face one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL.

New York Giants LT Andrew Thomas preparing for a battle in Week 15

A win in Week 15 could propel the Giants to their first playoff berth since 2016. Per FiveThirtyEight, if the Giants win this Sunday night, their chances of making the playoffs jump to 85%. A loss, however, decreases their postseason chances to 25%. This is a must-win game for the New York Giants.

Daniel Jones has a chance to define himself as a franchise quarterback on Sunday night. This is the biggest game Big Blue has played since the 2016 postseason. But Daniel Jones cannot succeed without the help of his offensive line. All year, Andrew Thomas has been DJ’s most reliable player in pass protection. But as Thomas has begun to struggle, so has the rest of the Giants’ offense.

Andrew Thomas has let up a sack and at least one pressure in each of the Giants’ last three games (including two three-pressure performances). As Big Blue prepares to face Washington in Week 15, they need Andrew Thomas to turn things around.

The Washington Commanders possess one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. Washington’s defense has totaled 34.0 sacks this season and sacked Daniel Jones 4 times in the last matchup between these two teams.

The Commanders’ front line is led by a menacing pair of interior defensive linemen. Daron Payne leads the team with 8.5 sacks on the year and is followed closely behind by defensive tackle Jonathan Allen who has tallied 7.5 sacks this season. Edge rusher Montez Sweat has also tacked on 7 sacks in 2022. This trio of pass-rushers is a lot to handle for any team, but, to make matters worse, the Commanders could be adding another pass-rushing specialist to the mix this week.

Chase Young, the 2020 second-overall pick in the NFL Draft and AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, could be making his season debut against the Giants on Sunday night. Young suffered a torn ACL last season but is “trending in the direction” and “seems to be pretty confident” to play in Week 15, according to head coach Ron Rivera (via JP Finlay).

Andrew Thomas and Chase Young will be forever linked together as the infamous “Chase Young Bowl” in 2019 decided the draft positioning of each player. The Giants came out on top of a late-season overtime matchup in 2019 that landed them the fourth overall pick, yielding Andrew Thomas, while Washington picked second overall, selecting the top non-quarterback prospect in Chase Young.

While Chase Young’s career has gotten off to a rocky start due to injuries, it will be entertaining to watch the two draft classmates duke it out on primetime in a critical December matchup. Andrew Thomas is having himself a breakout season and hopes to prevent Chase Young from making any headlines while re-entering the lineup. The New York Giants need to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. If Big Blue manages to earn itself a victory, Andrew Thomas will be a big part of the reason why they find success.