Sunday, September 22, 2013

N.Y. Giants: Black, Blue And Blindsided

From the desk of:   DO IT FOR THE DUKE

NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS: Look Left, Look Right, Then Left Again.  If There Is Still No Where To Go, Call Jerry Reese.

Six of Carolina's seven quarterback sacks came in the first half.  Five came from their defensive front. The other two came from linebackers.  Of the Panthers five defensive front sacks, three came from Defensive End Greg Hardy.  He was Left Guard Will Beatty's man.  The other two defensive front sacks belonged to Carolina's Tackle positions (one by a rookie), meaning they came straight up the gut, with a lean towards the Giants left.  That means Guard Kevin Boothe, but namely Center David Baas.  One of Carolina's linebacker sacks came from their weak side, meaning once again, the Giants left.  That means six of the overall seven recorded sacks by the Panthers originated from a man on Eli Manning's blind side.

Sunday, Will Beatty had as bad a game as any offensive lineman would care to ponder.  Sunday is also why numerous times before I have expressed wavering confidence in him.  He is a brains over brawn kind of guy - a tactician; he relies on quickness and technique.  Sometimes that doesn't work, and Sunday he simply got manhandled.  Boothe and Baas teamed up to get beat twice as well.  If I said this a thousand times, here I go again.  David Baas is an undersized Center.  Kevin Boothe is currently book-ended by this dilemma, and between the three of them, Eli's blind side has been an unforgiving bad land.

David Baas additionally isn't up to the GIANT task of opening running holes either.  Beatty is another who's style doesn't lend itself well to run blocking and crating holes.  There is no surge in either of their blocking.  So, running left is a precarious option.  On the other side, the rookie Justin Pugh occupies Right Tackle.  His man ironically didn't record a sack, only because others got to Eli first, but the linebacker who came from his side did.   He's been increasingly struggling through three weeks, and like the rest of the line, is not creating running room.  In fact, the offensive line is surrendering yardage now and becoming a huge liability.  Will Beatty even took points off the board when called for a holding penalty in the second quarter.

I know the Giants wanted to give the offensive line a second week of continuity with the same starting five, as David Baas missed the opener.  Truth is however, they played worse than last week.  The question now is how much longer can they afford before drastic changes are warranted?  Even then, while they await the return of David Diehl, Jim Brewer and Jim Cordle are the only viable in-house options they have.

With respect to Jerry Reese, an argument can be made that perhaps he waited one or two years too long to start rebuilding the offensive line in earnest.  But I also feel had Prince Amukamara, Terrell Thomas and Kenny Phillips not been hurt so often, Mr. Reese wouldn't have had to exhaust so many picks over the years refitting the secondary - that maybe at least one more high draft pick over the last four years could have been used selecting a stud lineman.

In the mean time, Jerry Reese must scour the waiver wires and living rooms of America for someone who can help bolster this offensive line.  Maybe Chase Blackburn has a 325 pound friend who isn't busy?


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