With Longtime Anchor Snee in Decline, Giants Offensive Line Is in Big Trouble
It's easy to overreact when the excrement hits the fan as dramatically as it did when the New York Giants gave up six sacks in the first half of their Week 3 blowout loss to the Carolina Panthers. But we're going to do it anyway, because, quite honestly, it feels as though things might actually go from really bad to worse for New York's offensive line.
Not only have the G-Men surrendered more sacks than any team in the NFC (tied with the Eagles at 11), and not only have they failed to pave the way for a running game that has produced a league-low 133 yards on an abysmal 2.7 yards per attempt, but that line is also being torn apart by injuries.
The latest is to their most steady cog, Chris Snee. The right guard was sidelined throughout the week due a new hip injury (opposite the joint he had surgically surgically repaired in the offseason), and he won't play Sunday in Kansas City, stretching an already-weak secondary even thinner. Veteran David Diehl is only doubtful as he eases back from a thumb injury, and center David Baas is also out with a neck injury.
But going forward, they'll likely be in trouble with or without Snee. See, his play has fallen off a cliff this season, and that's been the major difference when you look at that line.
Left tackle Will Beatty really struggled against the Panthers, but he hadn't given up any sacks in the first two weeks. Right tackle Justin Pugh will endure growing pains and does require help, but that right tackle spot was just as problematic when Diehl and Sean Locklear were standing guard in 2012. Baas missed a large chunk of the 2011 season and wasn't a good pass-blocker last year anyway.
Left guard Kevin Boothe has been steady—he hasn't been the solution, but he certainly hasn't been the problem.
But then there's Snee. The 31-year-old made the Pro Bowl last year, but three weeks into the 2013 campaign, he's been graded by Pro Football Focus (subscription required) as the worst offensive player on this team.
|Pass blocking||Run blocking||Overall|
|2013||-7.0 (69th)||-0.2 (33rd)||-6.4 (62nd)|
|2012||0.9 (37th)||10.0 (8th)||12.8 (13th)|
Rankings out of 71 guards in 2013, 81 in 2012
|Adjusted line yards (FO)||1.88||32nd||3.80|
|Pass blocking efficiency (PFF)||73.1||32nd||80.0|
Pro Football Focus/Football Outsiders
|Direction||Left end||Left tackle||Middle||Right tackle||Right end|
|Sacks allowed||Pressures allowed||Efficiency rating (rank)|
* On pace for
"He’s battling through," said former Giants center Shaun O'Hara this week, per the New York Post, "a lot of guys probably would have tapped out by now and say I need some time off."
He might not be a future Hall of Famer, but until now, Snee had always been there. He's missed just one star since 2005.
The bigger problem, of course, is that it's not as though the Giants are loaded with depth on that line.
Boothe can play guard and center, and Diehl can play guard or tackle. That versatility helps, but with Snee needing time off and Baas hurt and injury-prone to begin with, they'll probably have to rely on Jim Cordle, James Brewer and Brandon Mosley. Brewer has just one career start, and Mosley has zero career snaps. There are no other offensive linemen on the 53-man roster.
Is Chris Snee washed up?
Snee was struggling so much that they might not be significantly worse without him, but if the Giants are going to dig themselves out of an 0-3 hole, this line actually has to be significantly better.
Their Sunday opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs, lead the league with 15 sacks and a sack percentage of 11.7, per Pro Football Reference. Recent draft picks Dontari Poe and Justin Houston have blossomed alongside veteran pass-rushing stud Tamba Hali in that front seven.
And in two weeks, they have to go on the road again to deal with a stout Chicago Bears defense. It eases up a bit after that, but it might be too late by the time that happens.
Just another reason why the Giants might soon have to think about rebuilding this thing from scratch.
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