New York Giants: Players Who Need To Step Up Against Detroit Lions
5. Justin Pugh
To say the New York Giants have been missing starting guard Justin Pugh would be a severe understatement. Easily the best offensive lineman on the Giants’ roster, Pugh has missed the past five games with a knee injury.
Thankfully for quarterback Eli Manning, the running game, and the Giants’ postseason aspirations, Pugh has been cleared to play.
The return of Pugh should help stabilize what’s been a mostly unreliable offensive line in his absence. Manning has been under constant pressure and an already underwhelming rushing attack has been unable to find holes to attack and break through.
Adding Pugh, who’s as competitive and hungry to win as any player in the NFL, should help the entire offense improve.
Pugh is the No. 4 ranked guard on Pro Football Focus, trailing just Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele, and Zack Martin. John Jerry has done a solid job and Marshall Newhouse has been respectable in creating running lanes, but Pugh is the star of New York’s interior.
The Detroit Lions don’t have an especially dominant defensive line, but Pugh’s performance will go a long way towards setting the tone for the Giants as a whole.