EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Quarterback Eli Manning better have his head on a swivel. Life is about to really get difficult for the New York Giants' offensive tackles. Dangerous pass-rushers could be coming on either side this week against the Los Angeles Chargers and in the near future.
Ingram has 5.5 sacks and is tied for second in the NFL with 10 quarterback hits. Bosa has 2.5 sacks after totaling 10.5 in 12 games last year as a rookie. The Giants' tackles will have their hands full.
There's a good chance Ingram will be matched primarily against left tackle Ereck Flowers and Bosa against right tackle Bobby Hart, who is healthy this week after dealing with an ankle injury. These aren't exactly ideal matchups for the Giants' tackles, but they should be getting some help.
"Yeah, the tackles have a huge challenge this week, but it's not just the tackles," coach Ben McAdoo said. "Whether it's the tight ends who are helping or the backs who are helping, the guard sliding to them. The quarterback in the pass game has to be tied to it. Everybody has to be on the same page. The tackles do have to play well this week."
It's more than just this week. The Giants are scheduled to face eight of the top 12 sack leaders over the final 12 weeks. And they're all edge rushers. That will put even more pressure on Flowers, Hart or Justin Pugh (who played the better part of the past three weeks at right tackle).
The brutal stretch includes perhaps the league's best pass-rusher, Von Miller, at Denver on Oct. 15. The Giants will also face Washington's Preston Smith (4.0 sacks) twice, while Kansas City's Justin Houston, Oakland's Khalil Mack and Dallas' DeMarcus Lawrence -- the league leader with 7.5 sacks -- lurk in the distance.
The Giants will have to find innovative ways to hold up on the edges. Flowers and Hart have struggled this season, after giving reason for doubt after their performance last year. Lawrence (1.5 sacks in Week 1) and Detroit's Ezekiel Ansah (3.0 sacks in Week 2) have already given the Giants fits.
The Giants did not allow a sack the past two weeks.
McAdoo said there are ways to help both sides, sometimes even at the same time. But there are also times when the Giants' tackles need to win a one-on-one matchup on the edge. Manning might need to hold his breath with what the schedule holds.
Pugh held his own at right tackle while Hart struggled with his injury. But there is a chance Pugh will shift back to left guard, where he started this season, as early as Sunday against the Chargers.
That would leave Ingram and Bosa vs. Flowers and Hart. Advantage: Chargers.
"They both get after it. They're multiple. They do different things," Pugh said of the Chargers' dominant duo. "They have a variety of rushes that they're very good at. It's probably good for us. We've gone against Olivier Vernon and [Jason Pierre-Paul] during camp, so our tackles should be ready. Then, go out there and put a score on the board early is our goal."
The Giants have yet to score a point in the first quarter this season. It has been a problem, and it will be hard to accomplish against the Chargers if their defensive ends are constantly in the backfield. Their best bet may be to run the ball effectively against Los Angeles' 31st-ranked run defense which is allowing 163.5 yards per game. If the Giants can't, they may be in trouble trying to slow Bosa and Ingram.
Manning will be watching closely.
"They're two good players. They do a good job getting a pass rush," Manning said. "They're a very talented front four and rotate in a couple guys, but they do a good job getting to the quarterback a lot of times with just a four-man rush. So, big challenge on our offensive line doing their job, receivers getting open in a timely fashion and just knowing where everybody is, have great communication."
With the upcoming schedule and the current state of the offensive line, this may be the mantra for the remainder of the Giants' 2017 season.