Justin Pugh returned to action for the Giants during their 23-20 loss to the New York Jets. Pugh started at left tackle for the G-Men, the position he was initially drafted, and played well after missing the previous three weeks with a concussion. Justin Pugh spoke with the Giants bee about how he thought himself and the offensive line performed.
“Felt great, felt great the whole time,” Pugh stated. “Just trying to get back to being out there. I didn’t care where I was at. It was kind of a curve ball being there at left tackle, but I’ve done it before. Felt very comfortable.”
The o-line surrendered three sacks and an additional tackle for the loss in the outing, performing up to par against one of the league’s most revered defensive lines. Pugh himself admitted he had a few flaws in his return to the lineup.
“There were a couple times I got some penalties that’s uncharacteristic that I wish would have done better with those. That’s something that hurts our offense. I’ll lock it in, I’ll be ready to go.”
If Pugh is able to trim down his penalties, which is likely as he reacclimatizes to starting, the Giants can stop committing the small mistakes and shooting themselves in the foot. The Giants also only averaged 3.1 yards a carry, but according to Pugh, just a few long runs is all the offense needs in the run game.
“I don’t know what our average yard per carry was, but I feel like we were getting some pretty good chunk yardage running the ball,” Pugh commented. “Obviously, there were a few where we’ve got to do better, we’ve got to eliminate those negative impact or negative yardage runs. There’s a lot of things we need to get better, it’s not just one thing.”
The Giants’ offensive line will need to improve next game against the Miami Dolphins, as it looks more and more likely that the Giants will have to win out to taste the postseason in 2015.
"Definitely disheartening," said Pugh of the loss to the Jets. "There hasn’t really been a game, I guess besides the Philly game and last week, that we haven’t had a legit shot to win at the end of the game. To become the team that we want to become and to go where we want to go, we have to win these games and that’s just the matter of fact. Like I said before, I keep saying, we’ve got to learn from it, we’ve got to learn from it. We’ve learned from it, we’ve got to go out there and do it now. There’s no more time to sit around and say, ‘Oh, it’s going to get better.’ It hasn’t, so something has got to change right now."