For an offensive line that did little to instill confidence heading into the 2021 season — partly because the last handful of seasons have featured shambolic protection — the Giants’ unit took a big step toward bucking that trend on Sunday.
In their upset, overtime victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Giants’ offensive line did not yield a single sack while giving Daniel Jones ample time to put up one of the finest afternoons of his professional career with 402 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“They did a great job of communication, pre-snap and post-snap,” Jones said of the Giants’ offensive line. “They played huge against a great defensive front. I think it has to do a lot with our preparation this week and understanding what the environment was going to be and practicing in it and having a plan for it.
“We did a good job of that. The coaches prepared us well for it. Those guys did a great job executing.”
The star of the show was second-year tackle Andrew Thomas, who posted a Pro Football Focus overall rating of 79.9 to go with an even more impressive 86.0 pass block grade.
After a disappointing rookie campaign for the Georgia product taken No. 4 overall in 2020, Thomas has eased an abundance of anxieties to start proving that he can be a foundational fixture within the Giants’ offensive line.
Through four weeks, Thomas hasn’t allowed a single sack, just one hit, and just six pressures. It’s helped build a 79.0 pass block grade that ranks ninth-highest among all offensive tackles in the NFL.
“I think this year I’m doing a little bit better with my sets, getting to the spot a little bit better with hand placement,’’ the 22-year-old said last week. “The thing I want to improve on is double teams in the run game. I think my base blocks on the D-ends have been pretty good but I got to get better on my double teams, getting up to the ’backers and second-level blocks.’’