The New York Giants offensive line must quickly forget about their terrible performance against the Carolina Panthers and start preparing for the greater task of stopping one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL. With a ton of physical football players, the Giants are going to have a test on their hands when they take on the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.
Coming into this week, it’s fair to say that the Giants offensive line has never looked worse. They are responsible for giving up seven sacks on Eli Manning, including six in the first half. They were also at fault for not creating enough space for running back David Wilson, which lead to the Giants finishing the game with 60 yards of rushing offense. To take this a step further, due to the offensive lines inability to protect anyone, the Giants are currently ranked dead last in the league in rushing offense. However, they can redeem themselves if they find a way hold back the ferocious Chiefs defense. The first person they have to keep an eye on is Justin Houston.
Houston is considered one of the best linebackers in the NFL. He has shown that even under a new coaching system, he can still be a difference maker on defense. Through three weeks of the season, Houston leads the league with 7.5 sacks. He’s ranked second on the Chiefs in total tackles with 17. This seems like the perfect assignment for left guard Kevin Boothe. Like the rest of the offensive line, Boothe had a horrible game against the Panthers but if he could hold back Houston, last weeks mistakes will be forgotten. The reason Boothe might be the best chance in stopping Houston is because he’s the biggest player on the line. If Houston, at 258 pounds, goes up against Boothe who weighs in at 320 pounds, it could be a long day for the leagues leader in sacks.
Similar to Houston, Dontari Poe is another defensive weapon that has proven to be a tough assignment for opposing offensive lines. He already has 3.5 sacks to his name, ranking him eighth in the league. The major difference between Poe and Houston is that Poe is a monster. He’s a 346-pound defensive tackle, which is bigger than all of the Giants offensive linemen. With the possibility of Chris Snee and David Baas being out of this week’s game due to injuries, there is only one player who can be given this assignment. That player is Giant veteran right tackle, David Diehl. While it’s unclear that Diehl will be fully recovered from his right thumb injury in time for the upcoming game, he did practice on Wednesday for the first time since August. This is a player that has been criticized in the past for being too old and not being the same physical player that he used to be. Yet, he is the perfect lineman to take on Poe because of his veteran experience. He’s been through Giants seasons when he’s had to stop enormous players like Poe in order to win a game that could turn the season around. He’s one of the few Giants left that were part of the 2007 season where the Giants started 0-2 but came back to win the Super Bowl. Similar to the linemen who played poorly versus the Panthers, Diehl is in a position where he can prove all of the doubters wrong if he can help the Giants win a big game on the road.