If you’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to watch the New York Giants’ offense this season, you’ve likely experienced resentment, depression, and even pure hatred.
The Giants currently host the league’s 30th ranked offense, averaging 16.5 points per game, even worse than the 2020 average of 17.5 points. We once hoped Big Blue would turn things around on offense with Daniel Jones going into his third season and the acquisition of big free-agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay. However, general manager Dave Dave Gettleman promised he would solve the offensive line. He even went as far as to say management had more confidence in the OL than the media and fans — turns out we were right.
“It’s really apparent that we have more confidence in our offensive line than you guys do,” Gettleman said before the seasons started. “We’re happy with the group we have.”
However, the decision to release Kevin Zeitler and promote Shane Lemieux to a starting role backfired incredibly. The two free agents the Giants signed during the off-season to provide depth on the OL retired prematurely (Zack Fulton and Joe Looney). Lemieux suffered a partially torn patellar tendon during the off-season, which ruled him out for the rest of the year.
The Giants’ OL now ranks 27th in pass blocking after landing at 32nd in 2020. Considering the talent they have available, OL coach Rob Sale has done a great job trying to find the right combinations and extract any potential from the players available. However, left tackle Andrew Thomas has witnessed an incredible acceleration of progress after ranking as the 55th pass-blocking tackle in football during his rookie season.
This year, Thomas has been the lone bright spot in the trenches for the Giants, ranking 8th among tackles with at least 450 pass-blocking snaps, per PFF. He has allowed just one sack, three quarterback hits, and 12 hurries, going five consecutive games without giving up a sack. Compared to last season, when he gave up 10 sacks and 39 hurries, the Giants have experienced massive development with their now bookend left tackle.
You can cross that position off as one the Giants don’t need to replace this upcoming off-season, despite the fact they desperately need an upgrade at right tackle with Nate Solder becoming a free agent. The Giants restructured Solder’s contract after he opted out of the 2020 season due to Covid building in a void year for the 2022 campaign that will pay him $4 million just to depart.
If the Giants can find an offensive tackle in the draft like Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal out of Alabama, the team will be looking at two stud tackles for the foreseeable future, especially if they are intrigued by the quarterback class in 2023.
Nonetheless, there haven’t been many silver linings on the offensive side this season. The shiftiness and agility of Kadarius Toney stand out, but his injuries have dampened his rookie campaign. Thomas remains the lone bright spot, given he’s battling through injury and dominating almost every game this season.
The Giants have several big decisions to make in the coming months, specifically regarding the general manager position and if they desire to continue rolling with Daniel Jones at quarterback. However, building the foundation of the offense would be advisable before spending another top pick on a QB.