They are 2nd in pass blocking, 4th in run blocking and 3rd in penalties drawn. This is perhaps the most fascinating development of the Giants' season thus far.
No one saw this coming. Not even the Giants. No way they could have figured they'd get this kind of production from this group.
The lineup of LT Will Beatty, LG Weston Richburg, C JD Walton, RG John Jerry and RT Justin Pugh have started all five games at their respective positions this season and will do so again this Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Of the five, only Pugh was regarded as a lock to play well this season. He started all 16 games last year as a rookie and is got better with every game. LT Will Beatty had an off year in 2013, which ended with him breaking his leg in the season finale. No one expected him to come out this year and turn his career around. But that's what he's doing.
Center JD Walton was considered washed up after missing nearly two years with an ankle injury. He was a gamble for sure. But the Giants rolled the dice and - after a shaky start - seems to be entrenched in the middle for the time being.
Rookie Weston Richburg would probably be playing RG if not for the toe injury to free-agent Geoff Schwartz. And that means Jerry, who, according to several Miami Dolphins beat writers, was just as big a disgrace on the field as he was off of it last year, would be on the bench.
The Giants saw something in Jerry that most didn't. In the right circumstances, they felt he could be a productive player. Again, they rolled the dice and won. Jerry is fighting like hell out there each game. He's fit in well here and has improved as the weeks have gone on.
Here's what PFF had to say about the Giants' OL with my comments in italics...
PFF: Stud: There was a feeling that Will Beatty may have phoned it in after getting his big pay deal. Yeah well that feeling has been vanquished with him our top-ranked left tackle this year. A combination of efficiency in pass protection and ultra activity in the run game.
Fennelly: Beatty played like a bum last year, and we didn't get to see much of him in the preseason or training camp because the team brought him along slowly this summer. I thought they might be close to replacing him, but money talks. He's only in the second year of his five-year, $37.5m deal ($19m guaranteed) and the team apparently had no reservations in plopping him back out at LT. He's responded and he looks like a completely different player out there. Who knew?
PFF: Dud: There isn’t one. The only person you look at feeling sorry for is Geoff Schwartz who may struggle to get into the team given how it’s performed.
Fennelly: I agree. They took to run blocking early on and have done a solid job. It helps to finally have some live legs at RB, something the Giants did not have the luxury of last season. Eli's ability to release the ball more quickly this season has helped the line keep the sacks and QB hits down, but even when Eli hangs onto the ball, he still seems to have more time to throw back there.
PFF: Summary: They looked something of a mess in preseason, but was this just the Giants rope-a-doping us? They’ve been superb and are getting better week on week. The tackles are the strength, but the team must be extremely pleased with the development of Weston Richburg these past three games.
Fennelly: If the Giants are concerned about not having enough talent, you'll know it. Jerry Reese will scour the countryside to find able bodies. His phone would be on fire. In this case, he felt he had enough depth going into the season to suffice. The fact that they are having this kind of success without Schwartz is unfathomable in my book. It will be interesting to see what will happen when he returns. The Giants will need him for his physicality in the Seattle and San Fran games, but - crazy as it sounds - on the other hand it may hard to break this group up right now.