O-line health could spark Giants' offense

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Why haven't the New York Giants and their new offense thrown the ball more in the first two games of the preseason? Maybe because it's too dangerous.

With starting left tackle Will Beatty sitting out those two games as part of his rehab from a broken leg, and Brandon Mosley still learning with the first-teamers at right guard, the Giants' pass protection in the early part of the preseason hasn't been overly reliable. Beatty's replacement, Charles Brown, has been a major problem when he's been out there. And with sacks and penalties backing the Giants up against their own end zone in the first and second quarter Saturday night against the Steelers, it's easy to understand why they might not want to take unnecessary chances with franchise quarterback Eli Manning on the field.

That said, Manning, coach Tom Coughlin and the rest of the Giants are eager to see some success by the first-team offense, even in a meaningless preseason game. So if Beatty returns to the starting lineup as expected Saturday, it's possible that could help. Beatty will surely be better than what Brown has shown, even if he's not all the way back to full strength. He's been practicing and performing well against tough tests from Giants defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Mathias Kiwanuka, and he seems motivated to put his poor 2013 (and his gruesome Week 17 leg injury) behind him.

As for Mosley, he played better against the Steelers than he did against the Bills in the preseason opener, throwing the key block on Rashad Jennings' long touchdown run and holding up more reliably in pass protection. The Giants have had Mosley take all of the first-team snaps at right guard since Chris Snee announced his retirement the day before camp started. And while veteran John Jerry was signed as Snee insurance and may eventually end up with the job, the Giants want to give Mosley every chance to claim it.

"He's had a pretty good week, I think," Coughlin said. "It's just being in the game and being as productive as you'd like and eliminating errors and just overall production, improving from that standpoint. He's a big, strong guy that has had lots of time in the classroom and some work on the field as a backup. We certainly would like to see him just kind of take off and be the player we hope he's going to be."