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Giants’ Joe Judge gives credit to offensive line after zero-sack performance against Saints

Joe Judge hands on hips, blue sweatshirt, at Saints

Joe Judge hands on hips, blue sweatshirt, at Saints

Giants head coach Joe Judge spoke on Monday after the team’s first win of the season, and gave credit to the offensive line after an impressive performance against the New Orleans Saints.

They did a great job protecting Daniel Jones, allowing zero sacks for the first time in a game this year. The Giants had given up a total of eight sacks through their first three games.

“I would say first off, the way those guys are working and the way the coaches are working with those guys to get them prepared, it was really just putting them in position to go out there and be successful,” Judge said. “These guys work really (well) in the meetings in terms of going through the install, reviewing opponent tape, talking continuously throughout it making sure we’re on the same page from a communication standpoint.

“At practice, we get great work against our defensive front – whether it’s simulating the opponents’ rushes or just going competitive good versus good work. So, we go into every game very well prepared from that standpoint there.

The Giants were without Ben Bredeson (hand) and turned to 28-year-old Matt Skura at left guard — the fourth starting left guard in four games. Skura performed well in his first start at the position after playing mostly center and right guard over five seasons in the NFL.

“Specifically about Matt, I saw a guy jump in there and went out there, competed and made a lot of good plays for us. I think all positions on the team, all coaches, there’s a lot of things we’ve got to clean up and fix to keep moving forward, but I was very pleased with how Matt jumped in there.

“I was very pleased with the offensive line jumping in there. I thought they did a good job yesterday and they gave us room for some runs, and they gave Daniel a lot of time to throw. That was a productive day against a very good defense.”

In addition to missing Bredeson on the offensive line, the Giants have already lost Shane Lemieux (torn left patellar tendon) and Nick Gates (fractured lower left leg) to season-ending injuries.

Tackle Andrew Thomas has stepped up this season, having the highest pass-blocking grade among second-year offensive linemen at 79.0, according to PFF. He’s allowed zero sacks on 167 pass-blocking snaps. Thomas, along with the four other linemen allowed Jones to throw for a career-high 402 yards against the Saints. The Giants didn’t sub any linemen in, going with the same five linemen in two consecutive games, and Judge took note of how this group is playing.

“I think we had a mix the last two games that we were good with going into the game. With the flow of the game, we just stuck with who we had. That doesn’t limit what anyone’s doing progression-wise or limit anybody’s opportunity or availability to be in a game. I would still expect to see all of our guys play. I don’t see that (going) any different. However the last two games you’re correct, we’ve gone with the same five guys and I’ve been pleased with how they’ve played overall.”

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