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New York Giants’ midseason review: Some good, some bad from offensive line

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Justin Pugh’s versatility has been big help

New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Pugh battles to protect Eli Manning.
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The much-maligned offensive line will be the final group we look at in our series of midseason position-by-position reviews for the New York Giants.

We have discussed the offensive line in many ways. There has been some good, but far too much bad during the 2017 season.

GM Jerry Reese said this week that the team’s offensive line is “comparable” to others around the league. He’s right, but not really in a good way. That just means there are a lot of mediocre to bad offensive lines around the NFL.

Per Football Outsiders, here is how the offensive line stacks up.

  • The Giants are 18th in run-blocking at 3.97 Adjusted Line Yards per running play.
  • The Giants are last in the league in power success (percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown)
  • The Giants are 14th in the league in Adjusted Sack Rate, giving up sacks on 6.5 percent of dropbacks.

Offensive Line Grades

Player Position Overall Grade Rank Pass Blocking Run Blocking
Player Position Overall Grade Rank Pass Blocking Run Blocking
Weston Richburg C 71.3 13 67.1 71.8
John Jerry G 59.9 33 69.2 52.8
Justin Pugh T 53.9 48 46.3 76.3
Brett Jones C 50.5 25 73.4 45.2
Ereck Flowers T 46.7 54 56.4 36.2
D.J. Fluker G 43.4 57 35.6 72
Bobby Hart T 40.2 66 37.4 61.2

* 35 centers, 74 offensive tackles, 78 guards were graded by PFF

Individually

We asked/hoped/begged for improvement from Ereck Flowers this season. We appear to have gotten it, at least in pass protection. Doesn’t mean he has been great, or even good, but he has been better.

Justin Pugh gets “Kudos” for moving back-and-forth from left guard to right tackle without complaint, and playing pretty well.

Weston Richburg was playing well before his concussion, and Brett Jones has filled in ably.

John Jerry has flip-flopped from right guard to left guard. He has played well enough at left guard to make you think he might have been better off there all along.

Whether you think the Giants took too long to get right guard D.J. Fluker into the lineup, his toughness and enthusiasm have helped the Giants find an improved run games.

Bobby Hart, who said he felt like the best right tackle in the league entering the season, has been hurt. When he has played, he has been a disaster. He gets a “Wet Willie.”

Overall grade: “Kwillie.” Enough good to take the line out of the “Wet Willie” realm. But, not that much good.