It’s hard to believe that it’s only Week 4 and the New York Giants are already in a state of emergency. Out of the handful of problems the Giants are facing, the offensive line has proved to be New York’s most glaring weakness.
Last season, Eli Manning was sacked a total of 19 times, making him the least-sacked quarterback with at least 300 pass attempts. So far in the 2013 season, Manning has already been sacked 11 times. The Miami Dolphins‘ Ryan Tannehill is the only quarterback who has been sacked more.
The scary part is that all signs point to this problem becoming worse.
Starting center David Baas and starting right guard (and captain) Chris Snee have missed the last two practices, and their status for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs is uncertain. If Baas and Snee cannot go on Sunday, the Giants will have to toy with a number of different combinations.
Guard Kevin Boothe may be moved back to center or the Giants could try out Jim Cordle, who saw action at center against the New York Jets in the preseason. James Brewer and Brandon Mosley will also likely see time in the guard spots.
On a positive note, David Diehl may be close to returning. Diehl practiced each of the past two days after having thumb surgery five weeks ago. He could provide some much-needed relief if he is capable of playing at all on Sunday.
To make matters worse, the Chiefs’ defense excels at pressuring opposing quarterbacks. They are not the team you want to see across from you when your o-line is in flux. Kansas City has 15 sacks as team this year and is led by linebacker Justin Houston, who has an NFL-leading 7.5 sacks.
If the Giants cannot protect Manning, the offense will once again struggle. Having a two-time Super Bowl MVP under center means exactly nothing if the offensive line can’t give him time to operate.