Did the Giants actually improve their interior offensive line this offseason?


Did the Giants actually improve their interior offensive line this offseason?

They did, even though you may not know them


Everyone agrees that the New York Giants had poor offensive line play last year. Not everyone appreciates just how bad it was and what effect it had on team success. The Giants had not only the worst Pro Football Focus pass blocking grade in the NFL last season, but the worst in the two decades that PFF has been tracking offensive line performance. The Giants’ run blocking was awful, too, but only the third-worst in the NFL. Given that passing is king in the modern NFL, we’ll focus on pass blocking in this post.


The good thing about PFF pass blocking scores is that they simply reflect an analyst’s assessment of whether an offensive lineman was beaten or not by his opponent on a given play, and how quickly. Thus, they are independent of what the quarterback did or did not do on the play or what the end result (e.g., a sack) was. The only ambiguity is in cases where there was miscommunication on the line and it may not be obvious on film which lineman’s fault it was.


Here are the Giants’ 17 games last season, sorted in inverse order by PFF pass block grade:

The Giants’ offensive line as a group was awful (< 50) in six games and unfathomably bad (< 40) in three of them. It wasn’t just one or two players. But you knew that.

The Giants were at least average (> 60) only five times last season, above average (> 70) only three times, and not once were they even close to being elite (> 80).

Ten of the Giants’ 11 losses last season coincided with their 10 worst pass blocking games. Only the loss to New Orleans, which was the result of Tommy DeVito not being able to read the Saints’ defense, defied the pattern.

It’s not that way with every team. Kansas City, for example, won their three worst pass blocking games. On the other hand, they only had four games with below average pass protection all season, and two of those graded between 59 and 60. And of course they had Patrick Mahomes.



So you say, elite quarterback play can overcome a bad offensive line and the Giants’ record is really Daniel Jones’ fault? Consider the Baltimore Ravens. Three of their four games with below average pass blocking were losses (although Lamar Jackson did not play in one of them). The Ravens lost only five games all season. Or, look at the Houston Texans, whose rookie QB C.J. Stroud was a revelation. Their five lowest pass block grade games were all losses (and only four of those were below average). Even great quarterbacks can be shut down by poor pass blocking.


The Giants signed several free agents this offseason, with a focus on the interior offensive line. The most important signings were guards Jon Runyan Jr., Jermaine Eluemunor, and Aaron Stinnie, although Eluemunor has played a lot at tackle as well and serves as Plan B there in case Evan Neal does not show progress in the upcoming season. These were not the bigger name free agents such as Mike Onwenu or Robert Hunt, nor did the Giants draft an offensive lineman. Is the Giants’ IOL any better than last year?


Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *