No one likes to agree that they’re wrong, but an ever-growing person does. Houston, we not only have a problem along the New York Giants' offensive line, but we need help in figuring out what or who it is.
In 2010, the Giants’ offensive line was ranked second in the pass/pass blocking, gaining an average of 242.2 yards through the air and allowing only 16 sacks of quarterback Eli Manning. Their run blocking was 7th in the league and had a 59% success rate (getting “stuffed” 19% of the time). Most of that success was up the middle or off right tackle where they were ranked sixth and eighth, respectively. Once they got to the second level of opposing defenses (between 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage averaged/carry), they ranked fourth. In the open field (more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, divided by total running back carries), they ranked third. This is some pretty solid work behind a line that was aging and hurt, huh? David Diehl, Rich Seubert, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee and Kareem McKenzie sure were overlooked for their power and cohesiveness.
In 2011, Manning’s sacks increased to 28 behind a Giants line that was ranked 6th in pass blocking. The run game took the clearer hit (no pun intended, really) as the Run-Block rank dropped to 28th in the league. Aside from the obvious changes on the line itself, the statistical differences lay in a slight drop in success rate (53%), but when comparing those second level and open field runs, Big Blue was ranked 29th in both (from top five!).
As for choice of where to run the ball, not much had changed. Most run plays went up the middle or off guard (most in the NFL do – it’s at 50%). The difference was only a 6% increase. There was a 5% falloff in carries off right tackle and a 4% waning of left end calls. And the point? Nothing here, really. It’s still that decline (of over 20%) of outside breaks for longer gains.
So what is the main concern that’s hindering the lost production that paves the way for those big breaks in the opposing defenses that lead to (usually) those one-on-one off-to-the-races kind of runs? Some of us fans are endless problem solvers and feel compelled to figure out what in tarnation the issue is so it can be rectified (in our minds) faster than a snowball dissipating in hell. If it’s bothering us here to no end, how do you think the linemen themselves and Coach Flaherty feel?
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