clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

New York Giants' Offensive Line: Can it be fixed?

What can be done to fix the Giants' porous offensive line?

The giants' offensive line could not keep Carolina pass rushers off Eli Manning Sunday.
The giants' offensive line could not keep Carolina pass rushers off Eli Manning Sunday.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Members of the New York Giants' offensive line were clearly embarrassed by their performance Sunday and they should have been. It was an embarrassing effort with seven sacks surrendered, quarterback Eli Manning being hit 17 times overall, the Giants getting zero or negative yardage on 25 of 50 plays and averaging a miniscule 3.0 yards per play overall.

It looked, honestly, like those performances you see in preseason games from the third- and fourth-team offensive linemen who have no chance to make the roster. Jailbreak after jailbreak with players either not knowing who to block, or not able to handle their assignment.

'It's unacceptable.' - David Baas

"It’s unacceptable, no matter who you are – especially if you are the New York Giants," center David Baas said. "We take a lot of pride in keeping Eli clean and that was definitely not the case today. We have to take a good, hard look at it and get it corrected - fast."

"Whatever it is, we have to fix it," guard Kevin Boothe said. "I don't know if it hasn't clicked. I think it's just, for whatever reason, we're not playing at a very high level at all. We need to play better as a unit."

Beatty, responsible for three sacks and a holding penalty that negated a 17-yard David Wilson touchdown run, said "this was not my best game by far."

"I keep Eli up two plays, those are two positive plays. I don't get a flag on Wilson's touchdown, that's the third positive play, we have points on the board. Three plays I fouled up right there. Three plays on my back, could have changed the game," Beatty said. "I've got one simple job - protect the guy with the ball. That's my job. Do your job, good things are going to happen. I let it get way out of hand by having him go down."

Let's break down the play of each player and look at what options head coach Tom Coughlin might have in terms of personnel changes.

LT Will Beatty

Beatty called Sunday a "rare blip," but this season it really hasn't been. Beatty earned himself a five-year, $37.5-million contract to protect Eli Manning's blind side after an excellent 2012 season. He has not played well thus far in 2013. DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys abused Beatty for three hits and three hurries on Manning in the season opener. Sunday's performance makes two awful games in three starts for the supposed franchise left tackle.

'Whatever it is, we have to fix it.' - Kevin Boothe
LG Kevin Boothe

Boothe started all 16 games for the Giants last season, the first time since he was a rookie with the Oakland Raiders in 2006 that Boothe had been a full-time starter. Boothe was solid last season, allowing only three sacks and compiling a +9.2 grade from Pro Football Focus. He hasn't been able to back that up so far this season.

On Sunday, Boothe was responsible for one sack, seemed to miss several run blocks and get pushed backwards at some other occasions.

C David Baas

Baas, by my count, was not directly responsible for any of the sacks of Manning on Sunday. However, Baas, like Boothe, seemed to get pushed around by Carolina defensive tackles. No one expected Baas to play like a Pro Bowler, but you expect him to be adequate. Sunday he wasn't. Maybe the knee he injured during the preseason is still an issue.

RG Chris Snee

It's painful to criticize Snee, a four-time Pro Bowler for the Giants. In his 10th season, though, Snee does not look anything like the dominant player he once was. He looks old. He looks slow. He looks like he can't anchor. He looks like he can't move. Snee, 31, had offseason hip surgery. Is it possible he still isn't healthy?

RT Justin Pugh

The Giants' first-round pick was so-so through two games, allowing eight quarterback hurries. He struggled Sunday, giving up one sack and being beaten off the edge on a few other occasions. Pugh should become a good player, but right now there are growing pains.

What Options Are There?

Head coach Tom Coughlin was asked Sunday night about making changes to the offensive line. Under the circumstances he gave about as honest an answer as he could.

"I don't know," Coughlin said. "I'll look at the tape and see what the tape tells us. We are what we are. We have people who have made this team and they've had an opportunity, except for the young guy at right tackle, to play in that position for quite some time and we expect more."

The real question is, do the giants have any good options when it comes to changing personnel on the offensive line? Maybe not. Let's look at the players they have to choose from.

James Brewer -- The third year offensive lineman got his first career start in Week 1 vs. the Cowboys with Baas still nursing a knee injury. Boothe played center. Brewer was so-so, allowing a pair of hurries but doing an adequate job overall. At 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, perhaps moving Brewer into the lineup (for Boothe or Baas?) would add some physicality to a unit that needs it.

Brandon Mosley -- The second-year man played well during the preseason when he had opportunities. He missed all of last season, however, and has no regular-season experience. It's tough to say what you might get from Mosle at a guard spot right now, although considering the play the Giants are currently getting giving him a chance is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Jim Cordle -- The veteran backup is a hard-working guy, but was found wanting when the Giants gave him an opportunity to start during the preseason. Cordle apparently struggled with both the line calls and the physical play. It's tough to see how he would be an upgrade over Baas at center.

David Diehl -- It's scary to think that Diehl, long a whipping-boy for fans, could possibly be an upgrade for this Giants' line. when he returns from his thumb injury could the Giants slide him in at guard? Would they consider playing him at right tackle and benching Pugh?

More from Big Blue View