The Giants have begun to master an old-school formula that’s leading to wins: run the ball and stop the run.
The Giants are now a top 10 rushing offense in the NFL.
Couple that with a top 5 rushing defense, and you have an old-school, smash-mouth, gritty, tough-as-nails identity in this league. That identity is courtesy of vast improvement in both the offensive and defensive lines.
Last week’s 190-yard rushing effort by the NY Giants was their 7th consecutive 100-yard rushing effort.
Over the last nine games, the GMen are averaging over 140 rushing yards per game. Consider the Giants ran for only 25, 75, and 66 yards in the first three games of the season.
Center Nick Gates stated this week that he felt the line really came together in Week 4 against the LA Rams. The team’s 136-yard rushing performance that week reinforces his comment. Running the ball successfully can take the will out of the opponent. Last week, the Giants had just 25 yards rushing in the first half. Then came small corrections by the coaching staff at halftime. The team responded with 170 rushing yards in the second half leading to a commanding lead.
With the Giants starting two rookies (LT Andrew Thomas and LG Shane Lemieux) and a first-time Center (Gates) along with veterans Kevin Zeitler and Cam Fleming, fans can look forward to many years of dominant offensive line play. Matt Peart and Will Hernandez rotate in certain alignments as well.
It is no secret that, while the very young, rookie laden offensive line was coming together, the veteran defensive front of the Giants has been keeping the team in nearly every game. The defensive line has held opponents to an average of 96 rushing yards per game, just 88 yards per game over the last nine games. Stopping the run and grabbing a lead puts the opponent into a one-dimensional offense.
The Giants’ defensive front doesn’t just stop the run – They can sack and pressure the quarterback with the best of the NFL.
The Giants are in the top 10 of NFL teams in sacks and QB pressures. They lead the league in QB knockdowns on opponent pass plays.
Giants Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, Nose Tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, has been the unsung hero of the defensive line. He gets credit from his teammates for taking on continuous double teams each week which allows the other linemen to control the line of scrimmage and wreak havoc on QBs.
Defensive Tackle Leonard Williams and Defensive End Dexter Lawrence have been clogging up the middle and applying pressure all season. BJ Hill, Jabaal Sheard, and Austin Johnson have all contributed as part of the defensive line rotation.
It’s a pleasure to watch this team come together in all phases of the game, but it is even more fun to watch both lines move the line of scrimmage at will…even when the opponent knows what is coming. That’s exciting.
Featured Image: syracuse.com