Most people believed it would be ugly. But maybe not quite this ugly.
The New York Giants were slapped around by the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, losing by a final score of 23-0. If there is one thing the Giants can take from the loss, it is that fixing the offensive line must be the team’s biggest concern over the offseason.
New York’s offense might as well have been playing with pianos strapped to their backs. Seattle’s swarming defense kept the Giants bottled up all afternoon, making first downs seem like moral victories for the Big Blue offense. The Seahawks never allowed the Giants to find a rhythm, as they kept Eli Manning under constant pressure, forcing him out of the pocket and out of his comfort zone.
Manning threw a career-high five interceptions and Seattle finished with four sacks, but that doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. It seemed like Manning had a defender in his face every time he dropped back. The offensive line has been one of New York’s biggest weaknesses this season and this latest loss beat that point into the ground.
The Giants have lost a few starters along the offensive line to injuries, like Chris Snee and David Baas. However, the line was struggling even when everyone was healthy. Rookie right tackle Justin Pugh has had his share of ups and downs, but he seems like he could be an important building block for the future. New York has also sank a lot of cash into left tackle Will Beatty, so it is unlikely that he is going anywhere after the season.
However, beyond that there are a lot of question marks. Jerry Reese and the front office cannot be afraid to make some moves in an effort to seriously bolster the offensive line. Just targeting o-linemen in the draft will not be enough. The Giants will simply not be able to compete with the best teams in the league (or even mid-level teams for that matter) without addressing the glaring problems that have become evident along the offensive line.