New York Giants news, 11/11 – Saquon Barkley received x-rays, Janoris Jenkis, Nate Solder injured

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants entered Sunday’s game against the Jets down several starters on offense. Specifically, Jon Halapio, Mike Remmers, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard all missed the week 10 loss.

The defeat 34-27 was disheartening for Big Blue, but they lost a lot more than just a nick in the win/loss column. Left tackle Nate Solder, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and Saquon Barkley all sustained further injuries and required evaluation.

Solder and Jenkins left the game with concussions (did not return), and Barkley received x-rays after the game on a suspected shoulder injury. Barkley’s previous ailment, a high ankle sprain, has still been a bother, despite him playing through it. His pass blocking and shiftiness at the line of scrimmage have been absent in recent weeks, which could justify the New York Giants shutting him down for the remainder of the season at 2-7 on the year.

Further risking damage or additional injury is not worth Barkley’s future at the position, especially if Big Blue is keen on competing in 2020.

Head coach Pat Shurmur said after the game at Barkley was “banged up,” but didn’t reference his trip to the x-ray machine. The star running back tallied just one yard on 13 rushing attempts. With Saquon struggling to get anything going, Shurmur might look to utilize Wayne Gallman more frequently, who’s readily available. However, Shurmur has also proven incompetent at times and has executed questionable decision making this season.

As for Jenkins and Solder, both will require the BYE week to return to the field. Hopefully, their symptoms aren’t too egregious and can begin practicing next week.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Ryan Dunleavy – Saquon Barkley injury concern escalates amid Giants anger

Alexander Wilson – New York Giants owner John Mara too angry to look up at reporters after loss

Chris Pflum – Five things we learned as the Giants drop their sixth straight
NYG – Quotes (11/10): Giants postgame reactions
Dan Salomone – What we learned from Giants vs. Jets

New York Giants Week 10 Game Day Inactives: Who’s Out & Who’s In?

The New York Giants face off against their in-town rival New York Jets today at 1:00 p.m. Both New York teams have struggled tremendously this season, combining for 3 wins. The Giants are 2-7 while the Jets are 1-7.

Here is the Giants’ Week 10 injury report for their matchup against the New York Jets.

Week 10 Inactives:

Seven players are inactive for the New York Giants today:

  • Tight end, Evan Engram (foot)
  • Wide receiver, Sterling Shepard (concussion)
  • Right tackle, Mike Remmers (back)
  • Center, Jon Halapio (hamstring)
  • Guard, Chad Slade
  • Linebacker, Chris Peace
  • Quarterback, Alex Tanney

This means that four starters will not be playing today for the Giants. Mike Remmers and Jon Halapio will each miss their first game of the season. Evan Engram will be inactive for the second time this season. Sterling Shepard will miss his sixth game of the season (and could miss even more). Slade, Peace, and Tanney are healthy scratches (as usual).

Week 10 Replacements:

The Giants will start Rhett Ellison in place of Evan Engram today. Ellison has seen limited playing time in 2019 but has made the most of his opportunities. He has caught 15 passes for 125 yards and 1 touchdown so far this season. Rookie Kaden Smith should also see some playing time.

Sterling Shepard is out again, so expect to see another game with a high volume of targets for Golden Tate. Darius Slayton and Cody Latimer could also see an increased role.

Nick Gates will make his first career start today at right tackle in place of Mike Remmers.

Spencer Pulley will be back in the Giants’ starting lineup today, filling in for Jon Halapio. Pulley played in 13 games and started 9 of them for the Giants in 2018.

The Giants will also have a few reserve players active to serve as backups. Offensive tackle Eric Smith, offensive lineman Evan Brown, and linebacker Devante Downs will all be active for the Giants today.

New York Giants news, 11/9 – Giants lose two offensive lineman to injury, Evan Engram,more

New York Giants, John Halapio, Eli Manning

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants will travel into Sunday’s game against the Jets without several starters, including Sterling Shepard, Jon Halapio, Evan Engram, and possibly Mike Remmers.

Engram, who suffered a mid-foot sprain in week nine against Dallas, was ruled out on Friday. He has already missed time with an MCL sprain and will again be unavailable. Injuries have littered Engram’s career up to this point and will likely be a worry for the remainder.

As an undersized blocker and primary pass-catching tight end, Engram is forced to deal with plenty of physical situations. Defenders often target his legs when taking him down, considering his size for a receiver, which elevates the probability of an injury.

As for center Jon Halapio, head coach Pat Shurmur stated he’s “ways out” from making a return to the starting line. Spencer Pulley, who started during the 2018 season, will be slotted in, which could end up being an improvement. Also, right tackle Mike Remmers, who had back surgery this past offseason, could miss time due to a sore back. The New York Giants would replace him with Nick Gates, who looked solid during preseason play. It will be interesting to see how he performs against a lesser Jets team — a confidence-building game.

Sterling Shepard will miss week 10:

Shepard, who’s still dealing with concussion symptoms, is set to miss Sunday’s game as well. I anticipate he will miss the remainder of the season, considering the near improbability of Big Blue making a playoff run. After the team’s Week 12 BYE, they could shut Shepard down for the season, allowing him to recover and return in 2020 completely healthy.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Ed Valentine – Giants’ defense vs. Jets’ offense a matchup of groups that aren’t very good

Alexander Wilson – New York Giants: Daniel Jones could quickly fall into Eli Manning’s bad habits

Dan Salomone – Giants vs. Jets: 5 Players to Watch

Michael Eisen – Coach’s Corner: Heading into bye on a high note

Evidence That The New York Giants’ Offensive Line Problems Stem From Coaching

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

The New York Giants‘ offensive line has been the team’s biggest problem for years now. The unit let up 47 sacks in 2018 and has already allowed 28 sacks in 2019, putting them on pace to allow 49 sacks on the season. The Giants are often criticized for not placing enough talent on the offensive line.

But this year, New York made sure to bring in two key pieces that should have solidified its offensive line as at least an average unit. So far, that has not been the outcome. The additions of Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers have not been enough to improve the Giants’ offensive line so far.

Every year, the Giants’ offensive line makes the same mistakes. Whether it be an offensive tackle not understanding how far the quarterback is dropping back, or the interior linemen not understanding how to pick up a stunt. These mistakes frequently occur, year after year. These repeated mistakes beg the essential question: is there a coaching problem?

Much of the “hot-seat” talk in New York has been centered around the Giants’ and Jets’ head coaches Pat Shurmur and Adam Gase. But maybe the conversation should be centered around a position coach. The Giants’ offensive line coach, Hal Hunter, should be on the hot seat.

Hal Hunter’s Career History

The Giants’ decision to hire Hal Hunter in 2018 was a bit of a confusing decision. Hal had been out of the league for a year after two “one-and-done” stints with the Indianapolis Colts, then the Cleveland Browns. As the Colts’ offensive line coach in 2015, he coached an average unit that allowed 37 sacks (ranked 17th). Still, Indianapolis was not entirely pleased with this outcome and decided to go a different direction in 2016.

Hal Hunter was then hired by the Cleveland Browns for the 2016 season in which he coached a historically bad offensive line. In 2016, the Browns’ offensive line allowed 66 sacks and 140 quarterback hits. Hal was fired after that season and did not have a job in the NFL in 2017. The Giants then hired them to help fix their atrocious offensive line in 2018.

So far, the offensive line has not been fixed. It does not even look close to being fixed. And there is evidence that the reason it is not fixed could be directly coordinated to a poor coaching-job.

Coachable Mistakes That The Giants Continue To Make

Below I will provide a few video clips and breakdowns of some of the mistakes that the Giants’ offensive line has been making. These are mistakes that should be coached out but have not been. These mistakes also happen more than once per game and were happening last season, as well.

Here is a breakdown by Bobby Skinner of the Talkin’ Giants podcast. Bobby breaks down an error that the Giants’ offensive line makes frequently. On this play, the Giants got confused by the stunt that the Cowboys’ defense ran. They failed to recognize it and did not pick it up, allowing their rookie quarterback to be pressured from three different angles and hit by two defenders:

Here is another example. Nate Solder, a nine-year veteran, is seen demonstrating bad footwork and letting the pressure get right to Daniel Jones. This is a simple technique issue Solder has been struggling with all year. It should be coached out by now, but Giants linemen have been making these same mistakes repeatedly this season.

Here are a couple more clips where the Giants’ offensive line is simply not on the same page:

Yes, the Giants’ offensive line lacks talent. But they are also making the same, fixable mistakes over and over. Offensive line coach Hal Hunter has not done his job and has not coached these mistakes out of his unit’s players. At the very least, the offensive line should be on the same page, but they are not.

While it is highly unlikely that the Giants would make a change at this position during the 2019 season, they should strongly consider making a change in the offseason.

New York Giants: Ranking each offensive lineman through eight weeks

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

After eight weeks of regular season play, the New York Giants have seen plenty of ups and downs in regards to the offensive line. Left tackle Nate Solder has been inconsistent and a liability at times to rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ blindside. Finding a way to supplement Solder’s deficiencies this season has been a challenge, and it has led to 15 total turnovers for Jones, who leads the league in the category.

However, while Solder has been lackluster, others have shown resiliency and promise.

Ranking the New York Giants offensive linemen:

1.) Kevin Zeitler

Zeitler, who was acquired in the Olivier Vernon trade with the Cleveland Browns, has earned a grade of over 70.0 through eight weeks, as per PFF. The tackles have been struggling for Big Blue, but their guards have been fantastic. Zeitler has been nursing a shoulder injury since the beginning of the season, but he has fought through it to become the Giants’ best offensive lineman.

The Giants own the rights to Zeitler for the next two seasons, and his cap hit is very team-friendly. His cap hit will be $12.5 million next season and $14.5 million in 2021. Compare that deal to Andrew Norwell, who’s averaging $15 million per season, and you can see what great value Zeitler provides.

2.) Will Hernandez

The second-year guard out of UTEP has been stellar for the Giants. Not hearing an offensive lineman’s name is usually a great thing, and Hernandez has been a ghost so far this season. He’s been on a rock next to the unreliable Solder and has saved Jones’ butt on numerous occasions.

Hernandez is only in the second year of his rookie deal, which provides value in of itself. He’s the future at left guard for the Giants and will likely be paid accordingly in the future, but the Giants must take advantage of his low cap-hit now.

3.) Nate Solder

Solder has been anything but good this season, allowing seven sacks through the first eight weeks. Jones has been blindsided frequently at the expense of Solder, and he realizes how poor his play has been. Solder and Remmers have combined to allow 58 quarterback pressures this season, which is a severe issue for Big Blue and has many scratching their heads.

The Giants will likely stick with Solder moving forward due to the lack of quality left tackles in the NFL, but they will need more from him to be a competitive team.

4.) Mike Remmers

The plug-in right tackle has hurt the Giants at times and saved them at others. I don’t expect Remmers to remain with the team beyond the 2019 season. Allocating draft capital or cap space to sign a quality right tackle is the plan for Gettleman, who desperately needs to upgrade the position. Remmers has a PFF grade of 61.6.

5.) Jon Halapio

Halapio has been plain bad this season, and general manager Dave Gettleman will undoubtedly look to upgrade the center position next offseason. He sits in last place with a PFF grade of 52.1, ranking in the bottom tier of starters in the NFL. Halapio might be an even more significant liability than Solder and Remmers at the tackle position. The Giants currently rank as the 17th best unit in the NFL.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones’s Up And Down Play Connected To Pressure Rate

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants stunned the world in April when they drafted Duke quarterback prospect Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since then, Jones has become the Giants starting quarterback, led them to two wins, and has strung together numerous impressive performances.

But through Daniel’s first six career starts, there has been a lot to like from the rookie’s play. He has shown aggression throwing downfield, mobility inside and outside of the pocket, and excellent accuracy. But Daniel has also shown inconsistent pocket presence, questionable decision making, and a bit of a fumbling problem.

Jones has had his ups and his downs. The potential for greatness is certainly there and has flashed throughout the season. But Daniel Jones’s flaws and rookie mistakes are creating a bit of a roller coaster experience. Interestingly, statistics show that these ups and downs might be directly correlated to the amount of the pressure that the Giants’ offensive line is letting up.

A High-Pressure Rate Leading To Turnovers

The New York Giants’ offensive line had high hopes heading into the 2019 season. So far, however, the unit has fallen flat. The main liabilities on the line are the two tackles. Veterans Nate Solder and Mike Remmers are not playing up to par thus far.

According to Pro Football Focus, Nate Solder has allowed 7 sacks and 33 pressures through eight weeks. This has led to a few drives being killed and a few too many blindside hits on Daniel Jones resulting in sack-fumbles. Mike Remmers has not been much better, allowing over 20 pressures from the right side.

Since Daniel Jones became the starter, he has faced the 2nd-highest percentage of dropbacks under pressure in the entire NFL. This is an insurmountable obstacle for most rookie quarterbacks and it has definitely had an effect on Daniel Jones’s performance.

Since becoming the Giants’ starting quarterback, Daniel Jones is tied for the most turnover-worthy plays in the NFL (according to PFF). This obviously includes Daniel’s 7 interceptions and 7 fumbles in the past 6 games, along with any other poor throws leading to dropped interceptions or fumbles that were recovered by the Giants.

As previously stated though, it has not been all bad for Daniel. In fact, it has been mostly good. Daniel Jones has made a number of impressive plays, separating himself from almost all other rookie and sophomore quarterbacks. Plus, it is hard to determine how many of these plays are really Daniel’s fault and how many of them can have the blame placed on the offensive line.

Throwing Dimes, Despite The Pressure

The pressure is definitely leading Daniel to make some rookie mistakes. But for the most part, Jones has risen above the offensive line’s mistakes. PFF also points out that Daniel Jones is 6th in the NFL in “Big-Time Throws” since becoming the starter. Here is a link for more clarification on what exactly a “Big-Time Throw” is. To sum, they are the most impressive/difficult throws to be made. Daniel is making them at a high rate, too.

The Danny Dimes are the good that’s weighing out the bad. Maybe Daniel Jones is not leading New York to wins lately, but that is not entirely his fault. The Giants’ defense is one of the league’s worst, and as previously mentioned, Jones is lining up behind a below-average offensive line.

Daniel Jones’s excellent week 8 performance is a perfect example of his up-and-down playing style. Daniel completed 28 of his 41 attempts for 322 yards, 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions against the Lions. But he did have an ugly fumble in the first quarter, along with two other turnover-worthy plays (like an interception ruled incomplete/out of bounds in the first quarter).

Jones threw some excellent passes in Detroit. His game wasn’t too sloppy. The high-end plays are enough to give Giants fans hope as they see his true potential as an NFL quarterback. Jones can be one of the league’s best if he cuts down his turnover-rate. But in order for that to happen, the Giants’ offensive line will need to make some serious improvements to keep their young quarterback from being flustered and making mistakes.

New York Giants news, 10/27 – Antoine Bethea to the bench? offensive line, more

New York Giants, Antoine Bethea

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

The New York Giants signed veteran safety Antoine Bethea to hold down the deep portion of the secondary, and he’s done all but that in his first season with Big Blue. Logging 55 combined tackles through five weeks, Bethea has just one pass defended, an astounding number for a player whose primary job is to defend the deep-ball.

Bethea has been playing more of a strong safety role after further investigation, running up to stop the run, and clean up missed tackles. Jabrill Peppers leads the team with 11. However, the Giants have been torched deep down the field on numerous occasions; just ask Janoris Jenkins, who allowed Mike Evans to trample the secondary for 190 yards and three scores in week three.

The New York Giants could look to move on from Bethea and star Michael Thomas instead. Thomas is a physical player that has an unstoppable motor. He’s a special team maestro which has forced the Giants to utilize him less on defense. He blocked a punt against the Arizona Cardinals last weekend, swinging the momentum in favor of the Giants for a portion of the game.

I would love to see more of Thomas in the secondary moving forward, as Bethea has been a none factor. Making a change is necessary, especially since the defense has given up 90 points in the past three weeks.

What unit needs to step up against the Detroit Lions:

The offensive line needs to come together and produce a solid game against a weak Detroit Lions team. With one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Giants offensive should theoretically be unstoppable, but we said the same thing against the Cardinals.

Left tackle Nate Solder must elevate his game, and Mike Remmers has to lock down Jones’ vision side. Giving him ample time in the pocket will see Jones’ production sky-rocket, considering his tendency to hold onto the ball for too long. This will be a statement game for the New York Giants offensive front, who’s in dire need of a firm/confidence-inducing performance.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

John Fennelly – Giants’ B.J. Hill experiencing a sophomore slump in 2019

Paul Schwartz – Giants’ painful rookie woes go well beyond Daniel Jones

Charles Vitolo – New York Giants: Is the Antoine Bethea experiment finally over?
Mark Schofield – Fixing an ailing Daniel Jones: A prescription for helping the Giants’ rookie quarterback
Alexander Wilson – New York Giants: What must happen for Janoris Jenkins to be traded

The New York Giants Offensive Line Rebuild Is NOT Complete

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The New York Giants are coming off of a crushing loss to the Arizona Cardinals in week seven. The Giants gave up 8 sacks to the Cardinals’ defense. The most notable sacks came on crucial third and fourth downs late in the game to officially hand the Giants their third loss in a row.

I admit it, I was wrong. I was really hopeful for the Giants’ offensive line heading into this season. In the offseason, I wrote an article stating that the rebuild was in fact complete. Kudos to all those who thought otherwise. Unfortunately, you were right. The Giants’ offensive line is not finished being rebuilt. In fact, it is far from it.

Left Tackle Liability

The Giants shocked the league in the 2018 offseason when they decided to make Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman of all time. Solder was certainly an upgrade over Ereck Flowers, so many fans were fine with the signing. The Giants were simply filling a position of need with the best player available.

But many fans were quick to point out the potential risk of the Nate Solder signing. Solder was an average left tackle being paid like a world-class player. Sure, he was an improvement. But how big of an improvement was he really? Well, this season, Solder has not looked anything close to the player the Giants are paying for.

So far, through 7 weeks of the 2019 NFL season, Nate Solder has allowed 5 sacks and a whopping 26 pressures. That means that Nate Solder is letting his man get to the quarterback at an average around 4 times per game. To put this in perspective, Nate Solder allowed a total of 33 pressures through the entire 2018 season. Nate Solder is clearly regressing to a below-average left tackle and quickly becoming a liability on offense. Unfortunately, Solder and the Giants are tied to the hip with no real out in his contract until 2021 when the dead cap number drops to $6.5 million, which is still a hefty cap burden to bear.

In this video, you can see Nate Solder was beaten badly multiple times against the Arizona Cardinals.

Rocky Right Tackle Play

On the other side of the offensive line, it has not been much better. Newly-signed right tackle Mike Remmers has been a disappointment so far. Remmers has allowed 24 pressures and 2 sacks through 7 games.

To put this in perspective, Mike Remmers is averaging about 3.43 pressures per game. If he keeps at this rate, he would end the season with roughly 54 total pressures allowed. Last year, the Giants’ biggest offensive line liability, Chad Wheeler, allowed only 43 total pressures.

The Giants pass protection did not receive an upgrade at right tackle this offseason. Luckily, the Giants are not stuck with Remmers in the long-run like they are with Solder. The Giants signed Mike Remmers to a one-year deal this offseason and can easily move on from him either through the draft or free agency (where New York is set to have lots of money to spend). Fans should just hope that Dave Gettleman does not tie up too much money to an average offensive tackle again this offseason.

A Hole In The Center

The Giants were excited to get their center Jon Halapio back from injury this season. Jon suffered a broken leg in week two of the 2018 season. To that point, the Giants’ offensive line was atrocious, but Halapio was performing the best out of any of the players in the unit.

In week one of the 2018 season, Jon Halapio had Pro Football Focus’s third-best pass blocking grade (85.2) among centers with at least 50 offensive snaps. Dave Gettleman himself said that Halapio was playing the best out of anyone on the offensive line before he got injured.

This led the Giants to feel content with their talent at center and roll with Jon Halapio in 2019. Halapio has struggled so far this season. So far this season, Halapio has posted a Pro Football Focus grade of 51.6, ranking him 26th in the league at his position.

While Halapio is not the worst center option, and he is on a cap-friendly deal, there is certainly room for improvement. Halapio is an inconsistent center who has flashed great potential as a pass-blocker but seems to be making too many mental mistakes in 2019. Such as this play against the Minnesota Vikings:

The Part That The Giants Have Right

The Giants have their hands tied at left tackle and could use a major upgrades at right tackle and center. But there are two other positions on the offensive line that they seem to have right.

Much of the pressure that the Giants have let up this season has come off the edge, which is why we can place blame on Mike Remmers and Nate Solder. But the Giants’ guards, as expected, have been the strength of the offensive line so far.

Kevin Zeitler is still playing like a top-ten player at his position. He has allowed only one sack so far this season, committed only one penalty, and has done a nice job keeping pressure away from the quarterback. The Giants are paying big money for Kevin Zeitler, too, but at least they are getting high-level production from their right guard.

Will Hernandez is in his second season and has been quietly building off of his strong rookie campaign. He has had his fair share of mistakes (3 penalties), but the sophomore left guard has not allowed a single sack so far this season. Big Will also boasts one of PFF’s highest pass-blocking grades at his position with a grade of 79.5.

So, unfortunately, the Giants’ offensive line rebuild is not complete. It is, disappointingly, far from it. Sure, they have two strong pieces in place at both guard positions. But the Giants’ lack of talent at the tackle positions is proving to be killer this season. New York will need to address this in the offseason and continue working towards a long-term plan for their offensive line rebuild.

New York Giants: There’s a real problem on the offensive line

New York Giants, Nate Solder

General manager Dave Gettleman of the New York Giants made it a priority to find the puzzle pieces on the offensive line when he was hired two years ago.

After years of lackluster play in the trenches, the Giants finally had what seemed to be a serviceable front five. However, against the Minnesota Vikings, the line was torn apart by a superior defensive front. The unit allowed four sacks on the night and gave up far too many quarterback hits on rookie passer, Daniel Jones.

Jones has had bouts of good offensive line play, but the reality is, much improvement is needed for them to enabled the rookie‘s peak potential.

The real problem on the line has been Nate Solder; the starting left tackle for the Giants who signed a four year, $62 million deal with Big Blue last season.

After the 2019 campaign the New York Giants have a decision to make:

They have a potential out in his contract, which would count $13 million in dead cap; otherwise, they will pay him an average of $20 million per season over the next two years. With his performance the past few weeks, having Solder as the starting left tackle might not be worth the monetary investment.

They can probably find someone equally as talented for half the price considering how poorly he’s played. There have been no injury designations to Solder which have limited him in the past, which is the most concerning part of his porous season.

Aside from solder’s deficiencies, the rest of the line has been solid, apart from Mike Remmers at right tackle periodically. Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler have both been quality guards so far this year and will remain Giants for the foreseeable future.

The tackles have been the most concerning part and will need to be reevaluated after the 2019 season. Putting Jones under immense pressure will only stunt his growth and force unnecessary turnovers, something we have seen plenty of with Eli Manning over the last half a decade. This is a serious issue and must be solved one way or another, whether it means Solder elevating his game or the Giants finding someone to replace him.

The New York Giants have one massive positive to be excited about

New York Giants, Kevin Zeitler

The New York Giants should be excited about this unit:

While the New York Giants realized their most glaring weakness against the Dallas Cowboys in week one, they did see the fruits of their efforts on the offensive line flourish. Right guard Kevin Zeitler, who was acquired in the Olivier Vernon trade with the Cleveland Browns, was stellar on the line and presented a calmness that has been absent from the position for years.

New right tackle Mike Remmers struggled but performed far better than Chad Wheeler in 2018. Altogether, the line, including Nate Solder, Will Hernandez and Jon Halapio played at an elevated level the Giants not only wanted but desperately needed.

Having a 70.9 pass-blocking grade through one week, veteran quarterback Eli Manning should have more time in the pocket to move through his progressions. Also, the line finished with an impressive 82.6 run grade, which led the league. Head coach Pat Shurmur needs to utilize Saquon Barkley more often who only had 11 carries against the Cowboys.

General manager Dave Gettleman has spent ample resources fixing the starting five up front after years of shoddy drafting by Jerry Reese. Ridding the team of Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart was the first task for Gettleman, who quickly replaced them with Solder and Wheeler/Remmers. I anticipate the Giants finding a young right tackle next offseason, likely in the draft.

With a young and talented offensive front, they will have the ability to replace aging players one at a time rather than have to overhaul the entire unit in just two offseasons. Nonetheless, the Giants are trending positively, and the defensive line is now the focal point.

The Kevin Zielter effect:

One of the more impactful linemen is Kevin Zeitler, who ranked as a top-five guard in the league last season. Aside from his distinct physical traits, he’s mentally healthy, especially after facing adversity in Cleveland in the form of losing. The Giants are progressing nicely, even if it takes them the 2019 season to develop their secondary and gain more cap-space to address positions of need.

The Giants, though, are becoming a run-first team on the back of players like Zeitler. Saquon Barkley, the primary catalyst behind the team’s offensive production, relies on the front five to be efficient. With an improved unit, Barkley should continue to excel in the run game — he averaged 10.9 yards per carry against the Cowboys.

An interesting tidbit, Barkley’s runs primarily came from running between the tackles, which not only shows their ability to create space for Barkley, but it also shows the running back’s improved vision and desire to run vertically rather than bounce it outside.

His progression and star-quality only continue to improve, and the offensive line plays a big part in Barkley’s growth.