NY Giants need more out of Andrew Thomas, or 2021 could be disastrous
NY Giants offensive tackle Andrew Thomas’ disastrous performance in the preseason finale casts a dark cloud over the offense’s potential in 2021
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Despite all of the resources the NY Giants invested in the skill positions this offseason; signing wide receiver Kenny Golladay, drafting Kadarius Toney in Round 1, and adding veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, an organizational blindspot could undo any optimism surrounding quarterback Daniel Jones and the offense.
One area the Giants failed to address this offseason, and has failed to get right for more than a decade, is the offensive line, betting big in its inaction that 2020 first-round choice and former No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas could improve by leaps and bounds and anchor the offensive line for years to come.
Thomas simply cannot play the way he did Sunday and continue to play this season.
If Thomas’ performance in Sunday night’s preseason finale, a 22-20 loss to the Patriots, is any indication, the NY Giants could be in deep, deep trouble.
To Thomas’ credit, he accepted accountability for his performance.
"“I started off a little slow,” Thomas admitted after the game. “There are some things I’ve got to improve on; my hand placement, staying wide on my set and keeping the depth with the pocket.”"
While Thomas wins points for owning up to his mistakes, allowing a first quarter sack when he was bull-rushed into Jones by Patriots defensive end Josh Uche was a frightening reminder of how much more the Georgia alum needs to develop in order to stabilize the line. Thomas was also flagged for holding. The molted cherry on top of Sunday night’s performance from the second-year tackle was the fact that he was responsible for at least two more quarterback hits.
Thomas’ struggles come on the heels of a rookie season in which he surrendered 10 sacks and 57 pressures in 2020.
"“I think I made improvements [from my rookie season],” Thomas said. “But there are a lot of things that I still need to work on. I’m trying to fix those things in camp, just hand placement and just being very consistent in my set. Sometimes I do it the right way, sometimes it might not be to my liking. I’m just trying to be as consistent as possible.”"
Two weeks from Sunday, the NY Giants will host the Denver Broncos with Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Josey Jewell and Malik Reed licking their chops to pin their ears back against Thomas and get after Jones.
That’s only two weeks to correct the shoddy fundamentals and play like the kind of player the NY Giants drafted him to play like, that they need him to play like to give Jones a puncher’s chance at proving that he can be the franchise’s long-term answer at quarterback, and give the offense any chance at competing.
Thomas believes that he has the chance to do exactly that.
“Definitely,” Thomas said. “There’s a lot of time to practice, a lot of time to watch film and to get my corrections from the coaches. I think there’s enough time.”
There better be, or else the NY Giants’ chances of competing this season compete might end quickly.
Matt Lombardo is FanSided’s National NFL Insider and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday. Email Matt: Matt.Lombardo@FanSided.com.