Offensive line play making and breaking teams already

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Offensive line play

New York Giants

In stark contrast, the Giants production has been hampered by shaky offensive line play in 2017. Only two teams have given up more sacks and no team has fewer rushing yards through two games.

So this is a clear indictment on the lack of protection and poor run blocking from this unit. Despite the lack of a true number one back, the failings in the run game have more to do with the play of the big men up front.

Eli Manning has been hit 20 times in just two games in 2017 and has rarely had a clean pocket from which to throw. Detroit sacked him 5 times, including 3 by Ziggy Ansah, who utterly dominated LT Eric Flowers all night.

Flowers has been a big problem on Manning’s blind side. The former first round pick looks out of his depth on the edge and was majorly exposed by Ansah.

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Having been drafted out of Miami to play RT, it begs the question why the third year pro is still toiling in a position he is clearly not suited to. Jerry Reese must take some of the blame for not investing in the position in the offseason.

Justin Pugh at LG and C Weston Richburg might be the only bright lights on a line that is otherwise filled with players who wouldn’t start on many, if any, other teams.

Bobby Hart, John Jerry and Flowers are near inept in pass protection. The trio doesn’t fare much better when run blocking, rarely reaching the second level. In both games Manning is left scrambling, something he’s poor at.  He already has more picks than touchdowns.

The two-time Super Bowl MVP has now failed to lead his team to a 20 point game in 8 consecutive outings. The poor play from his linemen up front has a lot to do with that.

The Giants have been thoroughly dominated up front by two average defensive fronts in Dallas and Detroit. The Lions restricted their trio of backs to just 46 yards on the ground, despite having the league’s 20th ranked rush defense in 2016.

The Cowboys and Lions managed to penetrate the backfield throughout their matchups. This is worrying for a struggling team who hosts Philadelphia next week.

The Eagles have one of the premier defensive lines in football, featuring All-Pro DT Fletcher Cox,  so the assignment wont be getting any easier. After that the Giants still have to face the fearsome pass rushes of the Broncos, Seahawks, Rams, Chargers and Bucs.

The failure to upgrade this line in the draft is going to prove fatal to the Giants season. They sit at 0-2 and with their incompetence up front, the offense will continue to struggle to put points on the board.

So Manning needs more support than Odell Beckham Jr but it doesn’t seem like he will have it. For a team who garnered some preseason Super Bowl hype, the deficiencies of this line seemingly  can’t be overcome and it will end up costing them a postseason trip.

Even with a stellar defense, this unit simply isn’t giving their skill players the chance to put up points. Manning is constantly under duress and there are virtually no clean running lanes.

The Giants rank 26th in the league in total offense and the poor offensive line play is a big reason for that.