Andrew Thomas looks like a different player through four games of the NFL season. Unfortunately, he couldn’t play through his foot injury despite dressing for the game on Sunday where the New York Giants lost 44-20 against the rival Dallas Cowboys.
Thomas’s absence forced Nate Solder to slide to the left side of the line while Matt Peart earned his first chunk of significant snaps on the right side this season. He played all 68 snaps and performed adequately. The same cannot be stated for Solder on the left side.
The Giants had to assist Solder often with tight end chips and help from running back Devontae Booker. When in 1-on-1 situations, Solder was often bullied by Dallas EDGE Randy Gregory. Peart, however, held up well. There’s certainly room for improvement for the second-year third-round pick out of UCONN, but the conversation of Solder over Peart isn’t all that debatable at the moment.
Peart only allowed one pressure in the game. According to Pro Football Focus, Peart ranked 22nd out of 65 eligible tackles who played at least 50 percent of their team’s snaps in Week 5. Solder ranked second to last. Peart flashed as a run blocker and was good enough in pass protection. Let’s get into his film!
Peart is No. 74
New York is in a triple Y set in 13 personnel, and Peart executes a down block on the 3-technique, Osa Odighizuwa (97). This assignment is typically a much easier block than a reach or scoop block for a tackle. The angle to attack is easier to diagnose. The offensive lineman can strike the defender’s outside shoulder while gaining hand positioning to the front and side of the defensive lineman. Odighizuwa puts himself into a bad position by attempting to swim through the B-Gap over the outside shoulder of Will Hernandez (71). Peart stays low and puts his inside shoulder into the leaping torso of the rookie defensive lineman. He then drives him to the ground.
Another down block and another power/gap concept. This time it’s a counter fake zone-read run with the backside guard and tackle pulling towards Peart. Hernandez and Peart have to block and double team (DEUCE) the 3T at the line of scrimmage. They do this well, but Peart is a bit slow to climb up to the second level. He has to jump his inside foot over Odighizwa’s, which delays his climb and allows Micah Parsons (11) to fly to Toney and make the tackle. It’s not a terrible mistake by Peart, more of a great play by Parsons, but that is Peart’s responsibility.
This is a more difficult block on Quinton Bohanna (98). Peart has to scoop underneath to the inside portion of Bohanna, who is initially aligned as a 3-T on the outside shoulder of Hernandez. I love how Peart explodes out of his stance with quick feet and a low center of gravity for a man of his size. His hand placement is a bit wide, but he gets his hips to the outside of Bohanna and adjusts his left arm underneath the armpit of the defender. Peart then lifts the defender up a bit, and this creates a crease for Devontae Booker (28) to run through.
Peart does an excellent job allowing Hernandez to climb on the DEUCE combination block. Hernandez takes a bit to let go of the defender, but Peart is in a solid position to handle as he makes initial contact on the outside shoulder and transitions his weight to the defender’s midline by initially making contact with that inside arm. Peart then gets his hips and feet in the proper position to prevent the defender from making a play on Saquon Barkley (26). This could have been a huge run if Hernandez had been able to locate Leighton Vander-Esch (55).
The Giants have Kaden Smith at right tackle with Matt Peart and Nate Solder on the left side in BIG personnel. Peart also has a tight end outside of him with Kyle Rudolph off the line of scrimmage. Peart has to step to Randy Gregory (94), who is on the edge. He makes solid contact to start, but Gregory keeps his hands open and grabs the inside shoulder of Peart, and pulls him downward. Peart has to maintain a firmer base and a stronger center of gravity on this play and not allow his pad level to rise. His feet have to move with his upper body.
Carlos Watkins (91) puts a superb move inside on Will Hernandez, and Peart doesn’t anticipate the strong inside slant. He goes for the double team DEUCE as he is supposed to but doesn’t adjust to the quick move. It’s difficult to adjust this predetermined block, but we have seen great tackles do it in the past. Peart fails to and stumbles awkwardly.
This is the first run of the game for the Giants. It appears to be DUO, a running style the Giants frequently used against Dallas, as Dallas did against the Giants. The point of the run is to form double teams upfront and vertically displace the defenders on the line of scrimmage. Peart is tasked to be 1-on-1 towards the backside of the play; he engages the defender but is too high, and the defender easily evades the block. As Peart moves his feet, he pops out of his stance and exposes himself to the quick pull-down.
Peart gets pressed a bit up the arc by Bradley Anae (59) on this play. He does a great job recovering and not allowing Anae’s chop to alter his body weight forward. Peart isn’t phased; he meets Anae at the top of the arc, recollects himself after the outside arm chop, and then repositions himself inside as Anae attempts to attack his inside shoulder.
Micah Parsons is aligned outside of Peart, and the young tackle does a good job getting his feet up the arc and making contact with that outside arm while staying square to target. Peart has his outside foot deep simulating a vertical set, and he gets out of his stance in a hurry to meet Parsons up the arc. Peart makes that initial contact and continues to flow up the arc, effectively putting Parsons in a position to lose the rep. His length came in handy here. I also like how Peart reaches and establishes two hands on Parsons once the defender couldn’t win to either side.
Peart again shows quick feet and a nice outside arm stab to engage Tarrell Basham (93). Peart doesn’t stop moving his feet upon making contact with that outside arm. He effortlessly glides up the arc and brings his inside arm underneath the inside shoulder pad to establish two points of contact on Basham and not allow the defender easy access to either his upfield or inside shoulder. As Basham tries to dip the inside shoulder, Peart continues to harass him and not allow the defender to bend through any kind of contact.
Peart’s outside arm gets snatched down by Basham on this play, but the second-year tackle is able to limit the separation and get Basham into his frame. The ball comes out quickly as Basham attempts to rip through Peart’s outside shoulder, but it seems like Peart would have been able to withstand the pass-rushing move for a bit longer.
Peart misjudges the defender’s outside shoulder when he goes to establish contact. Still, he does a good overall job mitigating the risk of the defender to create separation, despite the miss. It seemed, as the game wore on, the Dallas defenders started anticipating the outside arm punch. Being predictable as a tackle isn’t great, but Peart did a solid job not allowing the Dallas defenders to take advantage of his predictability. The defender isn’t phased much by Barkley’s chip, but Peart does a good job sinking his anchor and hips to absorb the bullrush from Basham. Peart did a good job with his inside hand and displayed the essential anchor to play in the NFL.
That outside arm is caught on this play. Peart isn’t technically sound, but he does his job and is effective. He punches the midline of the rusher and gets his center of gravity risen as his outside wrist is controlled. He then gets pulled down and to the outside. His chest is controlled, his first plan didn’t work, and the defender is dictating the rep, but Peart still finds a way to stay in front of the Cowboy rusher and not allow him to separate.
Here is the pressure that Peart allowed on Sunday. Basham reads the outside punch and snatches the wrist down while grabbing the inside shoulder of Peart and pulling that down as well. This forces Peart’s momentum forward and leaves his outside half vulnerable. We saw struggles like this around the edge last year as well from Peart. He has to diversify his sets a bit and not allow the anticipation from defenders.
Peart was sharp with most stunts against Dallas. He was quick to transition anytime Dallas tipped off their T/E stunts, which they ran often. Once the defender’s hips and head turned inside, Peart would go and allow Hernandez to pick up the inside looper. We see this in all three plays above. Hernandez also does a great job on the last one passing the penetrator towards Peart, allowing the transition to be easy.
Peart looked much better than Solder has all season on Sunday. He’s not technically sound, and he could improve his repertoire to attack as a pass blocker. Varying attack methods is what makes tackles like Trent Williams so good, but then again, that’s why he’s Trent Williams. Peart’s play on Sunday should earn him significantly more playing time. I don’t know if he’s the long-term solution on the right side of the line, and there is still plenty of room for improvement, but he did his job well on Sunday.