In looking back at the New York Giants' victory over the Carolina Panthers Thursday night, perhaps the most important development of all was the outstanding play of the Giants' offensive line.
In this week's Pro Football Focus grades, the best and worst of which are after the jump, every Giants' offensive lineman has a positive score. PFF particularly highlights the play of offensive tackles Will Beatty and Sean Locklear.
"The Giants depth chart at offensive tackle has long puzzled us at Pro Football Focus. Well, with David Diehl absent through injury the Giants were last night forced to shuffle the pack. In his absence Sean Locklear (+1.3), and in particular William Beatty (+5.4) put forth the perfect example of why they should be the Giants' starting tackles for the rest of the season. Locklear had one extremely shaky play in pass protection that yielded a hit to Charles Johnson early in the first quarter and allowed a couple of stops in the run game. At left tackle Beatty was nearly faultless in one of the best performances of his career. He allowed a couple of pressures in pass protection, but his run blocking was dominant. He had the key block on each of Andre Brown's 1-yard touchdown carries."
PFF is correct in its analysis of Beatty's excellent work on Brown's two touchdown runs. On the second one, in particular, Beatty straightens up a Carolina defender and drives him several yards back into the end zone. A GIF of the first Brown touchdown run is below, and you can see Beatty driving his man into the ground. In this GIF you also see great work from Henry Hynoski, James Brewer and Bear Pascoe.
The way Locklear and Beatty played Thursday that is a difficult assertion to argue with. Beatty, quite simply, has to be the left tackle. Locklear has thus far outperformed Diehl. Knowing how loyal the Giants can be to veteran players benching Diehl is something they won't do easily. Here are the best and worst numbers from PFF for Thursday's game.
PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS NUMBERS
Will Beatty +5.4
Eli Manning +4.1
Ramses Barden +2.8
Sean Locklear +1.3
Jason Pierre-Paul +3.2
Prince Amukamara +1.4 (+1.6 in pass coverage)
Jacquian Williams +1.3
Jayron Hosley (-1.3)
Corey Webster (-2.1) ... Two penalties hurt his score
Osi Umenyiora (-2.3)
Chase Blackburn (-2.9)
SNAP COUNT NOTES
The NFL is now providing official snap count data in its game book. Here are a couple of notes.
Beatty (69 snaps) and Kevin Boothe were the only offensive players to play every snap. That is impressive for Beatty, who has missed so much time with back issues. ... Running back David Wilson played only four snaps. ... Corey Webster played 48 of 58 defensive snaps despite breaking his hand. ... Prince Amukamara played 43 snaps (74 percent of the defensive plays). ... Defensive tackle Marvin Austin made his NFL debut, playing 17 snaps.