What the New York Giants did to the Seattle Seahawks’ run defense in week 13 was simply impressive. They ran for 190 yards on the ground without quarterback Daniel Jones. The offensive line has been fantastic the past few weeks, earning four consecutive games of 140+ rushing yards per contest.
Starting back Wayne Gallman ran for 135 yards and 16 carries, averaging 8.4 with a long at 60. It was his best performance since entering the NFL four years ago. His north-south style of running and ability to fall forward has helped the Giants gain extra yardage and close the gap for first down conversions. The Giants will be looking to do something similar against the Arizona Cardinals, who have a much weaker run defense.
Comparably, Seattle only allows 97.7 yards per game, and the Giants put up 190. Arizona allows 123 on average per game, which matches up well with a Giantsâ€™ strengths.
The New York Giants have found their answer in Wayne Gallman:
The evolvement of Gallman this season has been amazing, thanks to running backs coach Burton Burns. Some could argue that the running game is actually improved since Saquon Barkley went down, and while his explosive play-making ability is missed, the Giants have managed to get the job done at a very high-level with rookies plastered across the line and reserve running backs.
The notable rookies in this category have been Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, and Matt Peart. The development of Andrew Thomas has been a catalyst in the run game, as heâ€™s earned solid grades the past two weeks. He had his best run-blocking game of the season against Seattle and hasnâ€™t allowed a sack in five weeks.
Ever since making the change from Will Hernandez over to Shane Lemieux, the offensive line has improved their chemistry. Lemieux’s ability to trap block and move to the opposite side to open up strong side lanes has been a difference-maker. While Hernandez is known for his bullish style in blocking, he doesnâ€™t have the same agility that Lemieux has, which makes a difference in the zone run-blocking scheme implemented by Jason Garrett.
Nonetheless, with Daniel Jones preparing to play against Arizona at less than 100%, we should expect them to utilize the run game predominantly and try to establish that factor. It will help them in time of possession and keep Jones from moving too much, which could re-aggregate his injury.