Giants letdown? Is there cause for concern after offensive struggles in joint work vs Lions?

Quarterbacks team lessons to Jets and Giants
Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) passes under pressure from New York Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (97) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photos

For the first time in training camp this season, the New York Giants offense struggled through a practice when they took on Detroit in joint practices Tuesday. 

The good news? Because it’s been over three weeks of incredible work from Daniel Jones and the offense, one poor practice shouldn’t change the level of excitement they’ve brought to the team so far. The bad news? The work done in joint practices is seen as incredibly valuable and if the team struggles against Detroit, what will happen against the other top teams in the NFC? 

Of course, it’s always important to remember that training camp and joint practices have rarely been found to be an indication of future regular season success. 

When you include the fact that Daniel Jones struggled mightily in camp last season, but put up career highs in most efficiency categories, the concern should decrease exponentially. However, that doesn’t mean that fans of the Giants should walk around with a false sense of security. 

Over the last few weeks of practice, New York’s offensive line has become a bigger issue than when camp started. Evan Neal’s concussion has forced the depth of the group to play more, and the interior of the offensive line has been beaten consistently by their first-team defensive line. 

It all came to ahead in Detroit when the likes of Aidan Hutchinson, Alim McNeill, and Charles Harris consistently got pressure against Jones during Tuesday’s practice. The consistent pressure aided in Jones being inaccurate with the football as well as indecisive. It’s an important step in the learning process as New York tries to grow into being a true contender in the NFC. 

The interior of the offensive and defensive line can make or break a season. If Jones is harassed early in the season, it could lead to the team struggling throughout the year. If the Giants can protect their new high-paid quarterback, it’ll allow him to be comfortable and confident in the pocket. New York saw the difference in their quarterback when he had time in the playoffs against Minnesota, and in Philadelphia when he did not. 

To be conference title contenders though, the Giants will have to get tougher. Detroit was an excellent test for the group to show how far they need to go, but if the Giants are bullied around by Dan Campbell’s group, what will happen when the Eagles, 49ers, or Cowboys come to town? 

New York’s chance to build a winning organization is right in front of them. And while Tuesday’s struggles may not be all that concerning in the present, they could be something that harms the team in the long term. 

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