Giants’ Evan Neal bounces back with dominant performance against Colts

evan neal, new york giants

The New York Giants are hitting their stride just in time for the postseason. Big Blue clinched its first playoff berth since 2016 with a landslide 38-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17. The Giants’ offense of line dominated in the matchup. The elite performance of rookie right tackle Evan Neal highlights the offensive line’s performance. The Giants selected Neal with the seventh overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He has struggled during his rookie season but is getting hot at the right time, playing his best football just a couple of weeks away from the playoffs.

Giants’ RT Evan Neal dominates in Week 17

Evan Neal, for the most part, has had a rookie season to forget. In twelve games this season, Neal has surrendered 37 pressures and 7 sacks. At times, Neal has been a liability in the Giants’ offense. But that was not the case against the Colts in Week 17.

Against Indianapolis, Evan Neal was a force to be reckoned with, turning in his best performance of the season. Neal surrendered just one pressure and zero sacks across 30 pass-blocking reps and dominated as a run-blocker. The Giants are finally seeing their rookie right tackle flash what made him so special in college, compelling them to draft him with a top-ten pick.

Evan Neal suffered a critical knee injury in Week 7 that kept him sidelined for a good portion of his rookie season. Neal has struggled to regain his footing since the injury, turning in some downright ugly performances upon his return. But the rookie first-round pick seems to be turning a corner with the regular season coming to a close.

“I’d say Evan’s improved since he’s gotten here,’’ Daboll said. “Really, all of us can continue to improve and get better in the things we need to get better in — not just Evan, really everybody on our team starting with the coaches all the way down to our players. But he’s smart. He’s tough. He’s dependable. He’s done a lot of good things, too.’’ 

Brian Daboll on Evan Neal in his rookie season via New York Post

The New York Giants are in the playoffs and have nothing left to play for entering Week 18. There is a chance that head coach Brian Daboll rests the starters on Sunday, but if he decides to send them out there, Evan Neal and the offensive line will have their hands full against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that leads the NFL in sacks this season. This could be a true test for Neal as he prepares for the playoffs. However, the Giants could rest the rookie and let him get his body and mind right to play at the highest level in the 2023 NFL postseason.

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