Saquon Barkley and Nate Solder run into each other on failed third-and-4


The picture above shows Giants offensive tackle Nate Solder and running back Saquon Barkley in happier times, after Barkley scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers in 2018. Solder and Barkley were close once again in Big Blue’s 27-13 loss to the Broncos on Sunday, but the results were not nearly as fortuitous.

With 10:17 left in the game and the Broncos up 20-7, quarterback Daniel Jones wanted to throw the ball, which meant that Solder, playing right tackle, had to block Denver edge-monster Von Miller, and Barkley stayed in to provide additional protection.

At least, that was the idea. What actually happened was this.

No, it was not. Checking the play showed that yes, Solder turned to mirror Miller through the arc, and slammed right into Barkley, who was waiting to block blitzing linebacker Alexander Johnson. Neither of those things happened. Instead, Miller got around Solder and into the pocket to pressure quarterback Daniel Jones, Johnson stopped to watch the carnage, and the pressure forced an incomplete pass to receiver Darius Slayton.


Jones managed to run eight yards for a first down on fourth-and-four, but the Giants were unable to get any points out of this, in part because Jones threw five straight incompletions to end it.

Still, there’s no doubt as to the worst play of this drive, of this game, and perhaps of the 2021 season so far. It was reminiscent of the Florida Gators, and their frequent tactic of having two of their offensive linemen blocking each other.

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