The Giants’ offensive line is failing Saquon Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs with the ball during the second half, Sunday, November 26, 2023.
Kevin R. Wexler / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants’ offensive line has been downright awful this season. Their inability to provide a solid foundation for star running back Saquon Barkley has severely hindered his performance and limited the team’s offensive abilities. Despite some improvements, the offensive line’s overall performance has remained subpar, affecting Barkley’s ability to shine on the field.

Giants’ offensive line ranks near the bottom of the league

The woeful state of the Giants’ offensive line is not a new development; instead, it has been a persistent issue for the team for nearly a decade. Week after week, the line has consistently ranked among the bottom of the league, showcasing a lack of progress and consistent underperformance. According to Pro Football Focus, the Giants’ offensive line ranks 27th in the NFL.

Whether it be injuries, poor depth, or a lack of player development, everything that could go wrong for Big Blue’s offensive line has gone wrong.

The offensive line’s impact on Barkley’s performance

The inadequacy of the offensive line has severely hindered Barkley’s ability to make significant contributions in the run game. With insufficient run blocking, Barkley finds himself trapped in a challenging situation, often unable to find space to create running opportunities.

Despite being the team’s best playmaker, Barkley has been hampered by his surroundings. His ability to break tackles and create explosive plays has been severely limited, as running lanes are scarce and often close quickly.

His rushing statistics this season paint a disappointing picture. With just 697 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown on 165 attempts, his numbers fall short of expectations.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”151323″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

The offensive line has put up ugly run-blocking grades this season

Barkley’s disappointing rushing stats become more telling when considering the offensive line’s consistently low run-blocking grades throughout the season. Barkley’s lackluster performance stems from the lack of support provided by the offensive line.

Even with Andrew Thomas missing seven games due to a hamstring injury and battling through a sprained MCL in recent weeks, he remains the Giants’ highest-rated offensive lineman.

According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas currently holds the highest run-blocking grade this season with a grade of 77.0. However, when assessing the run-blocking grades of the rest of the line, the numbers paint a bleak picture.

  • Mark Glowinski – 68.4
  • Justin Pugh – 56.4
  • Marcus McKethan – 53.9
  • John Michel Schmitz Jr. – 53.5
  • Joshua Ezeudu – 53.4
  • Evan Neal – 51.1
  • Tyre Phillips – 47.5
  • Ben Bredeson – 44.6
  • Jalen Mayfield – 39.4
  • Shane Lemieux – 39.3
  • Matt Peart – 37.7
  • All stats via PFF

Barkley’s immense talent is being stifled by the G-Men’s struggling offensive line. If the Giants hope to maximize Barkley’s potential and elevate the team’s offensive performance, addressing the offensive line concerns must be a top priority.