The New York Giants emerged victorious against the Washington Commanders in Week 7, enjoying one of their best quarterback performances of the season under the leadership of Tyrod Taylor.
Winning 14–7, Taylor tossed two touchdowns and 279 yards, taking four sacks in the process. However, despite changes across the board, the Giants’ offensive line looked much improved. Justin Pugh started at left tackle, second-year guard Marcus McKethan moved over to the left side, and newly signed Philadelphia Eagles practice squad player Tyre Phillips started at right tackle.
The Giants Received a Solid Performance From Tyre Phillips
Phillips had played 365 snaps with the Giants last season when Evan Neal was forced out due to injury. Once again, Neal missed Sunday’s win with an ankle injury, but Phillips filled in valiantly despite having not played a single snap this season and was cut this past off-season by the Giants.
Neal had played 410 snaps leading up to his first missed game of the year, giving up 29 pressures and one sack. The 23-year-old former seventh-round pick has failed to take a developmental step forward this season, prompting a potential change long-term.
It is possible the Giants start working Neal out at offensive guard in the future, but for now, expect him to retain his starting spot as the Giants hope he can experience some progression and find a bit of comfort.
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After all, Big Blue has failed miserably to put together a competent offensive line, and while injury certainly hasn’t helped their cause, Neal failing to reach his potential has had devastating consequences.
In Week 7, Phillips posted an 85.7% success rate in pass protection, just slightly better than Neal’s 83.6%. The fact that the Giants scooped Phillips off a practice squad and started him just several days later, posting a better grade than the team’s usual starter, is quite an eye-opening reality.
The truth is, the Giants shouldn’t be in any rush to get Neal back, opening up more opportunities for Phillips to build on his momentum and get some essential game experience. The New York Jets host a formidable pass rush, posting 145 pressures and 14 sacks this season. The interior defensive line for the Jets is dominant, with Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Myers posting 25 and 26 pressures, respectively.
Tyrod Taylor seemed to have more time in the pocket against Washington, who certainly has a dominant unit themselves, headlined by Da’Ron Payne and Chase Young. The Giants ‘backup quarterback had a few extra seconds to target receivers downfield, hitting Jalin Hyatt on a number of passes 20+ yards in length.
In fact, there’s an argument that Taylor has performed better than Daniel Jones this season, despite the Giants handing out a four-year, $160 million deal this past off-season, betting on Jones’s upside.