New York Giants: What to expect from the offensive line moving forward

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

Continuity, chemistry, cohesion, these are all words that describe what the New York Giants’ offensive line should be aiming for. So far, none of these descriptive words even closely represent the Giants’ front five.

In fact, they’ve been so bad, they rank dead last in pass protection in the NFL, via PFF. Daniel Jones is one of the most pressured quarterbacks in the league for the second consecutive season, and the line is once again torturing their ability to succeed on offense.

The Giants made sweeping changes to their coaching staff this past off-season, including hiring former Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach Marc Colombo. As a former player, Colombo has the inside scoop on his players and their tendencies. He is a fantastic coach, even if the Giants aren’t displaying what they’ve practiced the past few weeks.

After three weeks of poor play, the offensive line is angry, but that doesn’t translate to success.

“I love that they’re pissed off. That’s the type of group that we want.”

“Obviously it’s not up to standard. It’s across the board, it’s the entire team right now. We’re going to keep pushing, we’re going to keep working. we just need to get a million reps at this stuff. It’s gonna get better. We’ve just gotta keep pushing and have this stuff show up on Sunday.”

The running game for the Giants has been virtually nonexistent, as Daniel Jones lead the team in rushing yards against the 49ers last Sunday. His 49 yards was four times as much as the man behind him, Devonta Freeman, who only enjoyed 29% of offensive snaps.

“We’ve gotta do better in the run, period. That’s where we’re falling short right now. It’s going to alleviate a lot of stuff in the passing game. That’s something we have to do,” Colombo said.

While pass protection has been bad, there have been plenty of opportunities for Jones to deliver the ball accurately. Establishing the run also helps in the passing game, as it forces teams to drop back into coverage and respect the play-action.

The Giants are simply a mess across the board, and every weakness is connected to one another. The offensive line’s struggles have been everlasting, and general manager Dave Gettleman, who is known for his ability to find good value in the trenches, has been unable to piece together this unit.

“We’re a million reps behind so we’ve gotta keep getting it, keep getting the technique down, keep grinding,” Colombo said. “We’re seeing a lot of stuff for the first time, but we’re at a point now we’re going into Game 4 this stuff should be ironed out. It’s our job this week to iron it out and move forward and get some more consistent play out of this group and it starts with me.”

Continuity is a significant factor for success in the trenches, and considering this is a rebuilt line with three players playing new positions; it was never going to be smooth sailing right off the bat. A tumultuous start was always written in the stars, despite the Giants expecting to develop quickly with the talent they have available. That has not been the case, as teams with strong defenses have dialed up creative blitzing techniques.

When it comes to blitzing, opposing defenses have utilized stunts and delayed blitzes to catch the Giants off guard. It has worked up to this point, but Colombo is confident his unit will improve over time.

“It’s been something so far that we’ve gotta do a better job of. We really made an emphasis on it last week in practice and again it didn’t show up in the game. Really inconsistent. When it’s done right, it’s great,” Colombo said. “It’s a matter of tight hands, it’s a matter of seeing it, reading keys, stuff like that. It’s a young line. They’ve just gotta do a better job of seeing it and recognizing it really quick. It’s something that’s hurt us and we’ve gotta do a better job, I’ve gotta do a better job of coaching it up. I’m going to keep pushing these guys. They can handle it, they’ve just gotta see it and they’ve gotta react a lot faster.”