The Run Game: YIKES was that bad, like, historically bad. From top to bottom, left to right, there was absolutely zero positive outcomes from last night’s run game
For starters, yes, an offensive line with three new faces and even less time than a normal off-season to practice as a unit got to open up the season with the best run defense in the NFL. Not a great mix obviously, but the opponent wasn’t a surprise.
Why a better game plan wasn’t put in place for this matchup is beyond me. There was absolutely zero creativity in the run game. Toss left, stretch right, run between the tackles. Basic play designs that let Pittsburgh pin their ears back and bully the offensive line with their speed, giving Saquon Barkley absolutely no chance all night long.
The Steelers had eleven and a half, yes – 11.5 – tackles for loss. Just making it to the line of scrimmage was considered a win. It was brutal to watch and even worse that we kept sticking to the same run plays and putting the offense in awful positions to start drives.
Some sort of misdirection, reverses, read options – anything to force Pittsburgh to have to slow down and not be so aggressive would have been better than running straight into a brick wall for four quarters.
At halftime, the G-Men had -3 rushing yards and finished with 29 rushing yards on 20 rushing attempts. Saquon notched 15 of those carries for a total of 6 yards, the second-lowest output by any player in the NFL during the Super Bowl era to have at least 15 carries.
The only glimmer of hope from last night is understanding that the offensive line is a work in progress (as usual) and that is arguably going to be the hardest defense the NY Giants play all season.
Still, it was a completely one-sided affair in the trenches that was embarrassing to watch. Not much should be expected to change in the win column if the run game doesn’t improve drastically.
Big Ben’s 11-yard Scramble: If that run was calculated into a 40-yard dash it might have legitimately been 8 seconds. He made Eli Manning look like Barry Sanders.