By Spiro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi
Nate Solder is struggling yet again. Giants fans had to endure a bad first half to Solder’s Giant tenure last year, but he managed to bounce back to have a solid second half. There was hope that his good play would carry over into year two with more experience in the system, better health, and more time next to Wil Hernandez. That has yet to materialize so far in 2019.
Solder struggled big-time last Sunday against Minnesota’s elite defensive ends. Being one of the highest-paid players on the team (and in the NFL at his position), Giant fans want to see more out of Solder. If he keeps stacking up performances like last Sunday, the Giants will be looking for a replacement soon. By Solder’s own admission, he hasn’t played well:
“You know what? I haven’t been playing this whole season very well.”– Nate Solder
Solder added 2 more sacks to his team-high five sacks allowed on Sunday. He also allowed several other pressures to his incredible 17 pressures allowed this season through five games. Add in a pair of holding penalties (now up to 5 on the season), and you have what ended up being a miserable game for Daniel Jones’ Left Tackle.
Solder’s troubles started on the first drive, where he allowed a sack to Everson Griffen, which was negated by an Illegal Contact penalty. He also incurred a Holding penalty that was declined due to an incomplete pass to end the team’s first drive.
On the Giants penultimate drive of the game, down 25-10, the Giants were driving deep into Vikings territory. On 3rd & 8 from the Vikings 23-yard line Solder allowed his second sack of the game to Everson Griffen to force a 4th & 12 desperation pass to Shepard (that should have been caught) that essentially ended any hope of a comeback.
Things do not get any easier for Solder and Co. on Thursday, where they face one of the best defenses in the league in the New England Patriots. The Patriots are tied for the league lead in defensive sacks with 24 through five games. Solder needs to start turning his season around quickly, much like he did in 2018, to give Daniel Jones some sort of stability protecting his blindside.
The Giants can cut Nate Solder to save $6.5 million dollars in 2020 and $14 million in 2021. If Solder continues down this path, that will become a real possibility, along with having to find a new Left Tackle in the 2020 draft. Giants fans are hoping it does not come down to this, as that would mean there would be one more hole to fill in 2020.