One thing is certain: the New York Giants’ offensive line has been terrible this season; everyone knows that. But just how bad have they been?
For years, the Giants’ offensive line has failed to protect QB Daniel Jones. But this season it seems worse than ever as New York’s signal-caller has constantly been under intense duress.
A deeper dive into the stats from Pro Football Focus reveals just how poor the Giants’ offensive line has performed through the first three weeks of the season.
Daniel Jones is being pressured at an intense rate
Taking nearly half of his dropbacks under pressure, it’s no wonder why Jones has seen a statistical regression through the first three weeks of the season.
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The pressure is coming, and it’s coming fast
Not only is the pressure getting to Jones, but it’s also getting there at an utterly rapid rate. New York’s front line has allowed 27 pressures in under two seconds, nearly twice as many as the second-worst team, per PFF.
With under two seconds to throw between the time the ball is snapped and the time the pressure has arrived, Jones has a shockingly small amount of time to properly read the field and go through his progressions.
Added help still isn’t getting the job done
Even when using added help (blocking six or more players), Big Blue’s offensive line has still given up pressure on 53.7% of those plays, the third-highest rate in the league, per PFF. The league average is 33.5%.
This statistic is shocking considering the praise that TE Daniel Bellinger has received in the past for his exceptional skills as an additional blocker. But this season, calling a max protect has not made much of a difference for New York as opposing defenses are still breaking through against the additional pass protectors.
Give Daniel Jones some time to operate and good things happen
Jones has thrown for just 562 yards and two touchdowns this season (both in Week 2) with four interceptions in three games. His 4.1% interception rate is far higher than his league-best 1.1% from just a season ago. What might be causing such a statistical regression? The pressure his offensive line is surrendering seems to be the leading factor.
The Giants’ quarterback has earned a disappointing 44.0 PFF passing grade on his attempts while under pressure, ranking 22nd among 34 qualifying quarterbacks.
However, that grade jumps to a respectable 75.7 from a clean pocket, 16th at the position. Keeping Jones’ pocket clean is the key to success for Big Blue’s offense. The front line needs to start giving Jones enough time to operate if they want to turn this season around.
Is there hope for the Giants’ offensive line to turn things around?
While it may not look like it, there is hope for the Giants’ offensive line to turn things around. They have been poor throughout the first three weeks of this season, however, they have also been banged up.
LT Andrew Thomas has been out for the past two weeks with a hamstring injury and LG Ben Bredeson missed the team’s last matchup in the concussion protocol. However, both of the starting linemen are expected to return to the lineup in Week 4.
Getting Thomas back will be a huge reinforcement. The 2022 second-team All-Pro surrendered only 23 total pressures across 18 games and was one of just three tackles to grade above 80.0 in both pass-blocking and run-blocking, per Pro Football Focus. If anyone is going to turn things around for the unit, it will be Thomas.
The offensive line needs to improve as soon as possible
The Giants’ offensive line is historically bad. The team will not succeed this season with this level of play. Something needs to change, and it needs to change quickly. Thankfully, Thomas and Bredeson will return soon, paving the way for improvement to come this season.