The New York Giants appeared to make upgrading the offensive line a priority during the offseason.
But after the Washington Redskins sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning seven times and recorded 10 quarterback hits in Sunday’s 20-13 win, the Giants’ front five are left scratching their heads on what went wrong.
"It’s obviously unacceptable, the protection," center Spencer Pulley said, via Zach Braziller of the New York Post. "I don’t think they did a whole lot we weren’t expecting. I don’t know if we weren’t playing well together or individually, or both. We have to watch the film and see, we have to take a hard look at it.
"I didn’t know it was that many [sacks]. That’s ridiculous. That’s something we can’t allow."
After Sunday’s game, Manning has now been sacked 31 times on the season, putting him on pace for 62 on the season.
The sacks through eight games already matches Manning’s 2017 total and he is well on the way to eclipse his previous career-high times sacked of 39, which was set in 2013. Manning has also been hit an astounding 59 times this season.
When it comes to the protection of Manning, the loss of center Jon Halapio to a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2 certainly hurt, and his absence has caused some shuffling along the front five.
The problems on the Giants’ offensive line, however, have manifested since the start of the regular season despite the addition of tackle Nate Solder, who signed a four-year, $62 million deal in free agency, and guard Will Hernandez via the draft.
With the struggles of the offensive line come hardship on the entire unit, and both areas fell in the spotlight Sunday as Manning threw two interceptions and rookie running back Saquon Barkley managed just 38 yards rushing on 13 carries.
"I don’t think we’re the high-end or reliable O-line that we’d like to be," Solder said, via the New York Post.
Solder’s point of view is perhaps the understatement of the year, especially when considering Washington entered Week 8 with 14 sacks on the season to rank 24th in the league.
The Giants have an opportunity to catch their breath during a Week 9 bye, but it is clear the offseason moves on the offensive line haven’t worked in the team’s favor given a 1-7 record.
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