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Bengals 23, Giants 10: Assessing the offense

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The offensive line remains a huge concern.

Eli Manning watches the action Friday night.
Eli Manning watches the action Friday night.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the New York Giants' offense, it is all about the play of the offensive line. That was the concern the entire offseason. That was the reason the Giants made offensive tackle Ereck Flowers the ninth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. That is the reason they have been hoping guard Geoff Schwartz would be healthy this season. That is the reason they released center J.D. Walton and moved Weston Richburg back to his natural position.

After Friday night' 23-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the team's preseason opener, it is still all about the line play on offense.  Friday night, that play wasn't good.

"We have some work to do. It's not just the right side, it's the whole offensive line," said head coach Tom Coughlin.

Let's assess what we saw.

Offensive line

The starters

This group played into the second quarter -- a long stint for starters in an opening preseason game. They obviously needed the work.

While Coughlin said he had issues with the whole line, it is still the right side that is particularly troubling. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse couldn't get a block on a swing pass to Rashad Jennings that resulted in a 5-yard loss. Right guard John Jerry proved to be an awful run blocker last year, and running behind Jerry and Newhouse Friday night got the Giants nothing. Flowers did OK, although he did commit a face mask penalty after getting pushed backwards and losing his balance in pass protection.

There really isn't much to say about the work of Richburg and left guard Justin Pugh. The entire line just didn't give the Giants a chance to get anything done.

The backups

Once you get to the backup offensive linemen in these preseason games, things are never smooth. The second line of Emmett Cleary (LT), Gettis (LG), Dallas Reynolds (C), Herman (RG) and Brandon Mosley (RT) played 30 snaps. Let's try to highlight a couple of individuals.

Gettis has spent some time with the first team at left guard. He had one nice block to help spring Akeem Hunt for an 8-yard run Friday.

Herman, bidding for a backup spot at guard, appeared to struggle in pass protection. That has always been a bug-a-boo for the third year guard.

Brett Jones, the center from the CFL, did not get an opportunity until late in the game. He played only 11 snaps.

The rest of the offense

Basically, it is impossible to assess the starters at the skill positions. They never had a chance without adequate blocking.

The star of the night offensively had to running back Orleans Darkwa, with nine carries for 52 yards. Wide receiver Julian Talley caught three passes. Backup quarterback Ryan Nassib completed just 8-of-18 passes for 79 yards, but was under duress and at least did not look panicked.

Final Thoughts

We won't get a better read on what the offense could really look like until -- and unless -- the Giants actually figure out a way to block adequately. Let's see what they do to correct that issue.