Evan Neal was robbed of his first likelihood at redemption, however he’s anticipating a second and probably a 3rd.
The rookie proper deal with’s three worst pass-blocking video games for the Giants have been towards the Cowboys, Eagles and Vikings. Effectively, he didn’t get an opportunity to indicate progress towards the Cowboys as a result of he missed the Thanksgiving rematch with a knee damage, however the subsequent two weeks — the regular-season finale towards the Eagles on Sunday and a possible first-round playoff matchup recreation towards the Vikings the next weekend — ought to present measuring sticks for Neal.
“I’m going to play the most effective that I can play and see what occurs,” Neal informed The Submit. “I’m excited that I get to see these guys once more and get that matchup once more. It’s not about exhibiting anyone something. I’m going to play my recreation and actually present myself one thing.”
Neal allowed a season-high eight pressures Dec. 11 towards the Eagles, together with a sack on which his higher physique was overextended and utterly circled by Haason Reddick’s cutback to the within. Brandon Graham additionally proved to be a handful when the 2 Philadelphia pass-rushers switched sides.
Evan Neal blocks through the Giants’ loss to the Eagles on Dec. 11. AP
“I don’t name it a ‘bounce-back,’ ” Neal stated. “The primary recreation didn’t go the best way I needed it to, however it wasn’t all unhealthy. I obtained beat on some reps, and I simply wish to play higher than I did — put some good issues on tape and prepare for the week after.”
Neal and proper guard Mark Glowinski are the probably beginning offensive linemen to hold a heavy workload in a recreation with nothing to realize or lose for the Giants, who’re locked into the NFC’s No. 6 seed. Left deal with Andrew Thomas might use a breather after enjoying a team-high 1,050 offensive snaps out of a doable 1,072, heart Jon Feliciano (again) is listed as questionable, and Ben Bredeson and Nick Gates already rotate at left guard.
“I really feel nice about getting one other alternative to go do it,” Neal stated about probably resting starters. “I’m the beginning proper deal with for the New York Giants, so I’m excited to do my job. This was a studying 12 months, for certain. I really feel like I obtained higher because the common season went on.”
The final two video games are proof of the roller-coaster the first-round draft choose has been using, particularly since coming back from his four-game absence.
Neal allowed seven pressures, together with a season-high three quarterback hits and a sack, towards the Vikings earlier than incomes his highest pass-blocking grade of the season from Professional Soccer Focus final week towards the Colts. If the Giants’ playoff opponent switches from the Vikings to the 49ers, Neal might draw seemingly NFL Defensive Participant of the Yr Nick Bosa, who traces up towards the opposing proper deal with on about 60 % of his snaps and has 17.5 sacks.
“After enjoying on the left facet of the ball final 12 months and shifting to the precise facet, I knew there have been going to be some rising pains,” Neal stated. “I hate enjoying poorly and I hate dropping — none of that’s ever comfy — however I really feel like I did numerous good issues, as effectively. The unhealthy issues are going to overcast the great issues, however, hey, that’s the lifetime of an offensive lineman. I attempt to drown all that stuff out and assist the staff win.”
The playoffs will be too huge a second for rookies, however the Giants aren’t involved about that with Neal. He allowed one sack and 5 pressures mixed in 5 profession bowl video games (4 with nationwide championship implications) at Alabama.
“Enjoying in huge video games with the entire world watching you undoubtedly helps,” Neal stated. “From my school expertise, within the playoffs it undoubtedly ramped up as a result of when you lose you go house. I think about it’s the identical within the NFL, so guys are going to deliver their ‘A’ recreation each snap.
Evan Neal speaks to reporters after observe on Friday. Corey Sipkin for the NY POST
“No recreation is ideal, however for my part when you return and have a look at these video games I put numerous good things on tape and performed ok to win aside from the loss versus Georgia. Not going to lie: I’m by no means going to provide it up [thinking about that one].”
Alabama has been assured of being in championship rivalry almost each season. Making the playoffs is a shock for the Giants, although the rookies didn’t need to take care of any of the affected by the 22-59 report over the earlier 5 seasons.
“There are some guys on this league who’ve performed longer than eight years and by no means obtained an opportunity to see it,” Neal stated. “To have the ability to get there my rookie 12 months is particular, and I’m not taking it as a right in any respect.”