The New York Giants mightâ€™ve won by a slim margin against the Washington football team in week 9, but their offensive line finally stepped up and rose to the occasion.
After a solid game against Tampa Bay in week 8, the Giantsâ€™ offensive tackles once again proved to be effective against a stellar Washington defensive front.
Before we dive into Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart, two rookie tackles who have turned heads the past two weeks, I want to give an honorable mention to center Nick Gates. Gates had his best performance against Washington this past weekend, finishing with a 74.5 overall grade. He allowed just one hurry and one pressure in the contest, performing especially well in run blocking.
However, it was Thomas and Peart who completely dominated in the trenches. Facing off against one of the leagueâ€™s best pass rushers in rookie Chase Young, Andrew Thomas held his own at left tackle over 66 total snaps. He was penalized once, his first of the 2020 campaign, but allowed just one hurry and one pressure on the afternoon. He had his second-best pass-blocking grade, with his best coming against Tampa Bay. He has now strung together two solid performances and is making significant progress as the Giants head toward the BYE week.
It is clear that offensive line coach Mark Colombo is helping Thomas alleviate some of his issues. The Georgia product has taken a few steps back in his development, specifically in the technique department. He was getting beat inside too often and lunging out of his starting position to aggressively. Instead of mirroring pass rushers and letting them come to him, he was jabbing without much success, allowing speed rushes to beat him on the outside. He has since improved those technical problems and has turned into good performances.
“You see a lot of good things from And’ during practice — he’s definitely more consistent — but some of the same stuff pops up,”Â Colombo said several weeks ago. “It’s not perfect in practice, by any means. It just needs to show up on a consistent basis out there. But yes, he needs to fight through some of this stuff.
“A lot of this in football is kind of figuring stuff out on a fly. We can show you 5,000 different looks as coaches, give you every pass-rush move. We’re studying these guys constantly. But at the end of the day, you’re going to see different looks. You’re going to see different moves, stuff like that. And part of growing as an offensive lineman is being able to see this and be able to handle it, kind of on the fly. That’s something that (comes) as you get experience in the NFL, and this is experience is going to be really valuable for him.
The New York Giants are trending up on the O-line:
The Giants expect Thomas to be their left tackle of the future, and heâ€™s finally stepped into that role the past two weeks. There were always going to be rookie hiccups, so it is good to see heâ€™s finally taking positive steps forward.
As for Peart, the UConn product, he played 10 snaps at left tackle and 13 at right tackle in the contest. He had the best pass blocking kneaded on the OL with an 80.1. He didnâ€™t allow a single hurry or pressure, completely dominating when he was on the field. The Giants have eased him into their lineup, giving him snaps at both sides, and he has not disappointed.
At 6-foot-7 and 301 pounds, Peart looks the part of a tackle in the NFL, and his long arms have proved to be advantageous in containing pass rushers. His run blocking has also been solid, and his steady improvement puts the Giants in a great position in 2021.
The best part about Thomas and Peart developing simultaneously is that the Giants have two rookie starting tackles on the roster. Next season, they will have the financial flexibility to invest in other positions of weakness, which only attests to the Giantsâ€™ fantastic drafting I this past offseason.