After constant problems with the front five, the New York Giants offensive line play is poised to improve upon last year’s disappointments.
Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranked the New York Giants offensive line 18th in the NFL, ahead of three playoff teams. This is a vast improvement from the 25th ranking the team received a year ago. In 2019, the offensive line was a huge problem that the Giants couldn’t overcome.
The Giants offensive line looked awful in 2018. Eli Manning was sacked a career-high 47 times, ranking sixth-most in the NFL. He also featured a career-high 7.5% sack percentage.
For the run game, Saquon Barkley was constantly hit behind the line of scrimmage. He forced a league-high 71 missed tackles but even this was not enough for the Giants to overcome the poor line play in some games.
Most of these shortcomings can be attributed to the poor play on the right side of the line from Spencer Pulley, Jamon Brown, and Chad Wheeler. The latter was graded—by PFF—as the worst run-blocking lineman in the entire NFL. Wheeler also allowed a whopping 45 pressures along with six sacks. The combination of the two made him ranked as the 78th tackle in the NFL.
However, this offseason, the woes upfront have seemed to be resolved. The Giants added Kevin Zeitler (a proven pass protector) and Mike Remmers (veteran offensive tackle who has played under Pat Shurmur) to help solidify things on the right side.
In terms of the center position, New York will be getting Jon Halapio back from injury and there are big things expected of him. Despite playing only 116 snaps, Halapio was easily the best Giants offensive lineman last year. He did not allow one pressure leading up to his Week 2 injury.
Now for the first time in a while, the offensive line has the potential to be a bright spot in East Rutherford.