• A struggling offensive line: Through three games, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has been under pressure on 46.7% of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the league. The league average last season was 34%.
• Pressure coming quickly: The Giants have allowed 27 pressures in under two seconds, nearly twice as many as the second-worst team.
• Dig into the numbers for yourself: PFF's Premium Stats is the most in-depth collection of NFL and NCAA player performance data. Subscribe today to get full access!
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
After three weeks of the NFL season and almost 10 quarters of extremely troublesome offensive play, it looks like everything is wrong with the New York Giants offense.
The first and most glaring issue is the offensive line, which is performing at a historically bad rate. Through three games, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has been under pressure on 46.7% of his dropbacks, the highest rate in the league. The league average last season was 34%.
And it isn’t just that he’s constantly under pressure. It’s about how fast that pressure is coming. After three games, the Giants have allowed 27 pressures in under two seconds, nearly twice as many as the second-worst team.
Just two Giants offensive linemen have played 50 or more snaps and earned a 50.0-plus pass-block grade this season. However, those two players are Andrew Thomas and Ben Bredeson, who have missed time with injury.
The current starting lineup has combined to allow five sacks, four hits and 26 hurries through three weeks, with 20 additional losses that didn't result in quarterback pressure. Not a single player has managed to crack the top 30 at their position in PFF pass-blocking grade, with three players sinking to bottom-five status.
|PFF Pass-blocking grade
|67 of 73
|75 of 75
|John Michael Schmitz Jr.
|31 of 37
|70 of 75
|71 of 73
Some offenses counteract a poor offensive line play by including more players to help block. And that's exactly what the Giants have done, using six or more pass-blockers at by far the highest rate in the NFL.
But even when using added help, they have still given up pressure on 53.7% of those plays, the third-highest rate in the league. The league average is 33.5%. If you still can’t block with six or more players, you have a serious problem.
The #Giants used 7 & 8 man protection often for obvious reasons
Here we see three Giants tasked to block Nick Bosa on third-and-nine pic.twitter.com/2rmiP6IG3i
— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) September 22, 2023
The offensive line doesn't just have issues in the passing game, though. They're also struggling in the running game. Through three games, the Giants average just 0.7 yards before contact per attempt, tied for the seventh-worst in the NFL. Small rushing lanes make it more difficult for even the best running backs like Saquon Barkley.
It all starts up front in the NFL, and the Giants offensive line currently isn’t giving the offense — and Daniel Jones, specifically — a consistent chance. Jones has earned a 44.0 passing grade under pressure, 22nd among 34 qualifying quarterbacks. However, that grade jumps to 75.7 from a clean pocket, 16th at the position.
This isn’t to take all of the blame away from the Giants signal-caller. There are still plays available for him to make, and he has to play with a higher level of anticipation due to how the offensive line is playing.
The play below is a great example of how being able to anticipate his receivers can lead to big plays on offense despite quick pressure. At the top of his drop, Jalin Hyatt has a leverage advantage on the two defensive backs. The ball has to be released at that point. But Jones hesitates, the pressure gets there and he’s forced to throw it away.
Phenomenal bull rush by Javon Kinlaw
Runs right down the middle of the LG and compresses the pocket leaving nowhere for Daniel Jones to step up pic.twitter.com/VBXL63yfha
— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) September 22, 2023
These are the types of throws and plays a quarterback making the money Jones makes has to deliver.
So, how do the Giants fix it? First, they need to get healthy. The biggest piece missing right now is their stud left tackle, Andrew Thomas, who has missed the last two games. Thomas was the third-highest-graded tackle in the NFL last season, and getting him back instantly helps a depleted offensive line.
They must also get creative to get the ball out of Daniel Jones’ hands quicker. After three weeks, Jones is tied for 15th in average time to throw at 2.62 seconds. That can’t afford to be league-average when you have a bottom-tier offensive line.
The offensive line has to get better. It’s almost impossible to keep performing at this rate and expect any sort of success. Along with that, Jones has to start making quicker decisions and living up to the contract he was given this past offseason. Otherwise, it might be a long season for the Giants.