By Marc Rasbury
The New York Giants offense has not been a model of consistency this preseason. But then again, traditionally, they have never looked spectacular prior to opening day during the Coughlin era. Many look at quarterback Eli Manning as the source of the team’s troubles. However, one might want to focus on their offensive line as the crux of the problem.
It is hard to be encouraged about the upcoming season after watching Big Blue’s offense this preseason. Eli appears to be struggling with his new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s west coast precision schemes. That offense is based on quick timing strikes on three- or four-step drops. We all know that the younger Manning is your basic seven-step drop signal caller who loves to throw the ball down field.
With the exception of that last minute two-minute drive against the New York Jets and a few explosive plays by Rashad Jennings and Corey Washington, the unit has done very little to impress the masses. With Manning, Victor Cruz, Washington, Jennings, Ruben Randle and eventually Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants will make big plays every now and then. However, if they are to sustain drives, keep the defense off of the field and keep Eli alive, then the offensive line will have to show me more than they have for the last month.
Big Blue lost a key cog to this unit when veteran Chris Snee retired a few weeks ago. Not only did they lose a talented player, but they lost the heart and soul of the group.
The New York Jets Muhammad Wilkerson and Justin Babin went through the Giants offensive line as if they were the path of least resistance last week. I know the Jets front seven is good, but they looked like Pittsburgh’s famed steel curtain against Big Blue. Justin Pugh looked bad against Indianapolis on a few plays and the same with Charles Brown against Pittsburgh. William Beatty, coming off an injury, will have to rebound quickly to help his crew. Lets hope Geoff Schwartz’ injury isn’t something that will keep him of the out opening day lineup.
Most of these breakdowns can be fixed with players becoming familiar with one another and McAdoo’s schemes. The running backs will also have to step up their game as it pertains to pass blocking. There have been a number of cases were a chip block from the backs could have kept defensive linemen at bay.
The NFC East is up for grabs. The Giants have enough on defense and skill players on the other side of the ball to make some noise. However, for the team to prosper, the offensive line will have to step up their game. How quickly they accomplish that will determine how far Big Blue will go this season.
Do you think the Giants can go all the way?