The New York Giants offensive line was the biggest concern surrounding the team entering the 2021 NFL season. Question marks surrounded nearly every lineman in the unit. In 2020,Â according to ESPN, the Giantsâ€™ pass-block win rate ranked dead-last in the NFL at 46%. Their run-block win rate ranked 18th at 70%, which is about average or slightly below. Despite this, the team made no major moves to upgrade their offensive line in the 2021 offseason until just this week.
With basically the same unit from last year carrying over, expectations were low for the Giants’ front line. In Week One, the Giants’ offensive line exceeded all expectations. The line was not the reason for the Giants’ offensive failures. The unit put together a good performance but needs to keep the momentum going in Week Two in order to prove that this first game was not a fluke.
New York Giants offensive line exceeds expectations
The New York Giants offensive line did a great job protecting Daniel Jones in Week One. Daniel Jones was kept clean on 74.4% of his dropbacks versus the Broncos, 2nd highest in his career (PFF). Granted, Jones and the offense did not have a stellar performance, but the blame seems to need to be placed on the play-calling, rather than the blocking.
According to ESPN, the Giants had the fourth-best pass-block win rate in the NFL in Week One. This is an astronomical improvement from 2020 when the unit ranked dead last in that regard.
In Week Two, the New York Giants will face the Washington Football Team and their ferocious, young defensive line. However, that frightening defensive front is coming off of a sluggish and disappointing performance in Week One. Washington recorded 2 sacks as Justin Herbert frequently found himself throwing in a comfortable pocket.
The Giants’ offensive line exceeded expectations while the Football Team’s defensive line failed to meet expectations. The Los Angeles Chargers totaled over 400 all-purpose yards against Washington on Sunday.
Washington’s defensive line is looking for a bounce-back performance. Inversely, the Giants’ offensive line is looking to string together two strong performances in a row and set the tone for their season. On Thursday night, this crucial matchup will take place and could decide the game between the New York Giants and the Washington Football Team.