The future for the New York Giants looks bright if Monday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is any indication. The defense played phenomenally, and the offense was more creative and efficient than weâ€™ve seen in weeks, let alone months.
While the blame for the loss can predominantly be placed on quarterback Daniel Jones, who missed several deep throws and turned the ball over twice, the Giants took several impressive steps forward.
The best unit of the night was the offensive line, which finally clicked on all cylinders with three rookies starting. As the ESM team stated before the game, it was about time the Giants blew up the line and started their youngsters to gain essential film. They likely didnâ€™t expect them to perform as well as they did, but it puts them in a position of advantage and leverage moving forward.
The new and improved offensive line for the New York Giants:
LT: Andrew Thomas
LG: Shane Lemieux/Will Hernandez
C: Nick Gates
RG: Kevin Zeitler/Shane Lemieux
RT: Matt Peart
With the November 3 trade deadline upon us, the Giants have a few decisions to make on the offensive line. Veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler has been rumored to be on the trade block as the Giants look to add more capital for the 2021 NFL draft.
Zeitler, if retained, will count $14.5 million against the cap in 2021, but he also represents essential continuity and veteran leadership in the trenches for such a young unit.
Personally, I donâ€™t like the idea of trading him away, as you likely canâ€™t replace his level of talent at his price tag with a mid-round pick. Keeping him for one more season should be an easy move, as the Giants should finally feel confident in their line after an impressive Tampa performance. More consistency and chemistry with Lemieux, Peart, and Thomas all featuring should do the trick for the future.
As for Will Hernandez, he is likely wondering if he has a starting job waiting for him when he returns to the facilities next week. Hernandez contracted COVID-19, forcing LeMieux into action, and his stellar performance against Tampa leaves a ton of questions for the coaching staff to figure out.
I would like to see Shane gain more reps over Hernandez, but they could also move him over to right guard and keep Hernandez at left guard. There are plenty of different avenues the Giants can take with their new and improved unit but stringing together some solid performances is the first step.