New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett didn’t think his play-calling was much different against the New Orleans Saints than in the previous 18 games in which he had called plays as the team’s offensive coordinator.
The results, though, were different. Daniel Jones threw for a career-best 402 yards and the Giants’ 485 yards of total offense was the first time in Garrett’s tenure the Giants surpassed the 400-yard mark.
The play of the Giants’ make-shift and much-maligned offensive line.
“It truly makes a difference,” Garrett said. “That’s where it starts. The game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage every week in the NFL.
“Thought our guys did a good the other day in that environment against New Orleans ... hard place to play. The crowd noise is typically a factor there and I thought they handled all that really well. The protection throughout the game was really good.”
Despite using their fourth starting left guard and second starting center of the season, the Giants never allowed quarterback Daniel Jones to be sacked as he threw 40 times.
While the Giants were able to complete more downfield throws in the game, Garrett was adamant that his oft-maligned play-calling wasn’t any different than it had been.
“I don’t think anything we ran in the game was anything different, to be honest with you,” Garrett said. “Sometimes you call those plays and the ball has to go somewhere else for a variety of reasons. We had some opportunities that started with the protection to move the ball and drive the ball a little bit more than in the past. Again, a tribute to those guys.”
Injuries, of course, have meant the line has changed each week. Against New Orleans, Matt Skura made his first Giants start. He was the team’s fourth left guard in as many games.
“There have been some moving parts up there, but their approach is outstanding,” Garrett said. “The preparation mentally and physically is really, really good and they work hard to develop that chemistry in a short period of time.”
First-year offensive line coach Rob Sale credited the players.
“I think it’s about the guys that you bring in. Are they made of the right stuff?,” Sale said. “That’s Part A of it, getting ‘em in here and getting the right guys in here.”
Since the end of the preseason, the Giants have added center Billy Price and guard Ben Bredeson via trades, and signed Skura to the practice squad as a free agent.
“There’s plenty of reps and opportunities in walk-thrus and everything that we do to gel fast and you’ve got no choice” Sale said. “They’ve done a good job.”
The Giants could be in for more change this week, based on the status of left tackle Andrew Thomas. If Thomas, dealing with a foot injury, can’t play Nate Solder would likely move to left tackle and Matt Peart would play right tackle.