Eli Manning needs more time and more help.
While the quarterback has been off target recently, some of the blame can be pointed at the offensive line, which struggled mightily in last week’s loss to the Packers. The Giants surrendered four sacks, six quarterback hits and five tackles for loss in the game.
“I want to see from the whole offensive unit really, I want to see them bounce back,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “Had a tough outing last week and it’s going to be a physical type ballgame (this week against the Ravens). I believe our offensive line is looking forward to it. Protection unit last week wasn’t as good as it needed to be, nor was the run game unit.”
“I would go as far as to say last week was our worst game of the season as an offensive line,” guard Justin Pugh added. “We’ve got to bounce back from putting some sacks up. And go out there and give Eli that confidence to sit back there, and he can step into throws and really make all those things and get everyone back on track.”
The offensive line has probably taken more heat than it deserves. It was supposed to be a major weakness for this team — and it certainly was in Green Bay — but overall hasn’t been that bad.
The Giants have allowed .232 pressures per snap this season, which is 11th best in the league, per Pro Football Focus. And when PFF weights pressures, hits and sacks into its pass blocking efficiency statistic, the Giants rank 11th in that as well. But that hasn’t stopped fans from panicking after last week.
“I think everyone wants our offensive line to be unsuccessful,” Pugh said. “Preseason everyone was bashing (us). So it’s like, ‘When’s that O-line we thought we were gonna see show up?’ Everyone got a glimpse of that, us not having a great game last week, and everyone jumped all over it.”
The interior of the line, in particular, has been strong in pass blocking. Pugh, Weston Richburg and John Jerry rank 10th, seventh and fifth in pass blocking efficiency at their respective positions.
Justin Pugh is a major part of the o-line succeeding.
But no doubt the tackles have been an issue, and the pressure is mounting on last year’s first-round pick, Ereck Flowers (who ranks 48th in pass-blocking efficiency), to improve. Flowers was particularly bad against the Packers, surrendering two sacks and getting called for a holding penalty. His bad extended after the clock hit zero, as the tackle shoved a reporter in the locker room.
McAdoo said he hasn’t needed to do anything to keep the second-year tackle’s confidence up.
“He’s a resilient young man. He’s going to have an opportunity to go out and compete at a high level versus some pretty quality opponents,” McAdoo said.
“Went to a big school (Miami), a big university, played some good football there, played some good football for us, so we look forward to him bouncing back.”
The Giants’ could certainly benefit from a better running game as well. Defenses have been able to sit back and take away the deep balls because the ground game hasn’t been effective. The Giants are ranked 27th in rushing and are averaging 3.8 yards per attempt.
“I think if we (are) able to sustain running the football throughout a game, it will definitely help us out,” Jerry said. “I think we haven’t had a consistent running game throughout a game, so that’s what we’ve got to get done.”
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News