New York Giants' Offensive Line Woes Reach New Low in 24-3 Loss to Seahawks


The struggles of the New York Giants' offensive line over the past decade have been well-documented, but on Monday night, they plummeted to an unprecedented low. In a disappointing 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked an astounding 11 times, leaving the Giants in disarray.

While the offensive line wasn't solely responsible for the Giants' defeat, it undeniably played a central role. Other issues, including subpar special teams, missed tackles, and Jones reverting to his rookie-year tendencies, compounded the team's problems. Jones turned the ball over three times, including a costly pick-six and a fumble that gifted Seattle a prime scoring opportunity.

The offensive coaches also faced criticism for their uncreative game plan, but the offensive line still shared a significant portion of the blame. Despite calling only one trick play, the Giants struggled to provide adequate protection for Jones.

Through two home games this season, the Giants have allowed an astonishing 18 sacks, setting an unfortunate NFL record, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The previous record was held by the New York Jets, who allowed 16 sacks in their first two home games in 1987.

Andrew Thomas, the Giants' franchise left tackle, missed his third consecutive game on Monday. Additionally, rookie center John Michael Schmitz suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter and did not return. In their absence, New York allowed 19 pressures.

Notably, the Giants' offensive line's performance with Schmitz and Thomas has been lackluster, but it reaches a historical low without them. Josh Ezeudu, a second-year converted guard filling in for Thomas, allowed four pressures and three sacks.

Pro Football Focus (PFF) has ranked New York's offensive line as the second-worst in pass-blocking, run-blocking, and overall performance. PFF also labeled the Giants' offensive line as tied for the worst in pass-blocking efficiency, on par with the Tennessee Titans.

Remarkably, all nine players who have been part of the Giants' offensive line in 2023 have received PFF season grades that categorize them as either backup players or of unplayable quality. The responsibility for this dire situation falls on the shoulders of Joe Schoen, the architect of the offensive line, and offensive line coach Bobby Johnson.

It's important to note that not all sacks can be attributed to the offensive line alone; receivers' inability to get open and the quarterback's hesitations can also play a role. In the Giants' case, all these factors have contributed to their woes. Among the 11 sacks on Monday, only four were attributed to the offensive line.

Despite facing the 29th-ranked pass defense in Seattle, Jones threw for just 203 yards, a stark contrast to the performances of other quarterbacks against the Seahawks this season. Jones has been under immense pressure, leading the NFL in pressures (68), hurries (49), and scrambles (13). He is also the second-most sacked quarterback in the league, behind only Sam Howell.

While Jones must share some blame for his struggles, the offensive line's inability to provide adequate protection has taken a toll on his mentality. The constant pressure has led to Jones prematurely fleeing the pocket, often overlooking open downfield targets.

Despite the offensive line's deficiencies, Jones has managed to evade sacks on 27.8 percent of the pressures he's faced, ranking seventh worst in the NFL.

The Giants' offensive woes extend beyond their offensive line struggles, as they have scored the fewest points in the NFL with just 46 through four games. Their meager three points at home (1.5 points per game) is the lowest in the past 40 years through two home games. The 2013 Jaguars (five points) and 1999 Browns (seven points), the only teams in proximity to the Giants in this concerning statistic, combined for a dismal 6-26 record.

The Giants face a daunting task ahead as they prepare to take on two of the NFL's top teams, the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills, in the next three weeks. Both teams boast formidable pass rushers, making offensive line improvement crucial.

Fortunately, reinforcements could be on the horizon. The Giants recently signed former Giants guard Justin Pugh to the practice squad, and there is hope that Thomas and Schmitz may recover in time for the upcoming games. These three players may hold the key to salvaging the Giants' 2023 season.