When a team starts a season 1-6 as the New York Giants have this year, there’s plenty of blame to go around. With that said, NBC Sports’ Peter King has done his best to pinpoint the majority of Big Blue’s blame on four specific culprits, three of whom are former first-round picks and perceived franchise cornerstones. The other in question? Well, one of the men in charge, of course. This is a somewhat common occurrence for King of late, who spent this past offseason berating the team’s general manager, Dave Gettleman.
King Takes Aim at Judge & Jones, Calls for Engram Trade
“For a team that’s supposed to be so disciplined under Joe Judge, the Giants make way too many mistakes and penalties,” King said of the first-year head coach’s team during his Week 7 FMIA column.
While the fact that New York currently averages the 12th-fewest penalties per game in the NFL would appear to disprove King’s theory, unfortunately for Giants fans, there’s more to the story. Over their past three games, the Giants have seen those numbers skyrocket, averaging 7.0 penalties per game, the fifth-most in football over that span.
Speaking of mistakes, King took aim at Daniel Jones. While admittedly a fan of the quarterback as a prospect, Jones has simply turned the football over too much for King’s liking, or anyone’s liking for that matter.
“I like Daniel Jones, but in every one of his 19 starts, he has thrown an interception or fumbled or both. Totals: 18 interceptions, 21 fumbles (13 lost). Get a handle on it, please,” King begged of the second-year signal-caller.
King moved on from Jones to one of his top receiving targets, zeroing in on tight end Evan Engram, a player currently engulfed in trade rumors. From the sound of it, King is a fan of the trade chatter, noting he’d “diligently” get whatever he could to move off of the underperforming pass-catcher.
“As he has been since being the 23rd pick in the 2017 draft, tight end Evan Engram continues to be the ultimate tease, and I would not sign him to a second contract,” King said. “If I were Dave Gettleman, I’d try diligently to get whatever I could for Engram at the trade deadline.”
Numerous reports out of New York have claimed that the Giants have no intention to trade Engram at this time.
King Tears into Andrew Thomas
As you would likely expect, a good Giants ribbing wouldn’t be complete without a few jabs thrown left tackle Andrew Thomas’ way.
Here’s what King had to say about the 21-year-old rookie, who he pegged as “the leakiest tackle in football”:
It’s certainly possible that the fourth pick in the 2020 draft, left tackle Andrew Thomas, will recover from the rocky start in the first seven games to have a good career. But he is floundering in the deep end of the pool right now. Is it possible that he is both not strong and has poor lateral quickness? He was awful Thursday night against Philadelphia, not adjusting to blitzing wide rushers that were his responsibility, and getting pushed around too much by the kind of physical front NFC East teams produce.
Pro Football Focus numbers make it sound even worse. Entering Sunday, there were 101 tackles in the league who have played at least 10 snaps in 2020. Of those 101, one player has allowed more than 25 pressures—which is PFF’s combination of sacks, hits and hurries. Andrew Thomas is that player, and he has allowed an astounding 37: six sacks, four hits, 27 hurries. (To be fair, that encompasses seven games, and most other tackles had no more than six.)
But however you look at it—totals or average per game, Thomas has been the leakiest tackle in football as we approach midseason, and it’s not close for second place.
Despite his struggles, the Giants continue to back their first-round pick, not that they have much of a choice at the moment.
“It’s your job as the left tackle to block a defensive end in the NFL one-on-one,’’ offensive line coach Marc Colombo told the media of Thomas this week. “That’s why he’s here, that’s why he’s gonna hang around for a long time.”
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