Coming off the heels of an embarrassing 40–0 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, the New York Giants bounced back in a big way in Week 2, pulling off a huge 21-point comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals.
After being down 20-0 at halftime, things looked bleak for Big Blue yet again. However, New York had an incredible second half, scoring 31 points including 24 unanswered to steal a win from the Cardinals. A big reason for the drastic improvement was the exceptional play of the Giants’ offensive line.
The Giants’ offensive line took a big step forward in Week 2
According to Pro Football Focus, QB Daniel Jones was pressured on nearly 67% of his dropbacks in Week 1. In Week 2, that figure was down to just 29.5%. New York also only allowed five QB hits and three sacks in Week 2, compared to 12 QB hits and seven sacks in Week 1. What makes this sizable improvement more impressive is that New York was without All-Pro Tackle Andrew Thomas, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Joshua Ezeudu, in particular, was impressive in Week 2. Starting at left tackle in place of the injured Thomas, Ezeudu registered a pass-blocking rating of 78.4, per PFF.
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Rookie center John Michael Schmitz was also exceptional in the comeback win, delivering a pass block win rate of 100%, tied for first in the NFL in Week 2. These impressive performances give New York a glimpse of what their offensive line can be capable of for the rest of this season.
Can the offensive line continue to perform well in Week 3?
The Giants will face a real test in Week 3 as they take on the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football. If Big Blue is to have any chance of winning this matchup, it starts with the offensive line. Will the unit repeat their success from Week 2, or regress back to the dreadful showing they had in Week 1?
How the offensive line performs will be a deciding factor in the outcome of the game, and potentially the rest of the season.