Nate Solder is not exactly riding high as he returns to Foxborough.
The Super Bowl-winner with the Patriots and left tackle for the Giants since he signed with them last season will play his first regular-season game against his former team. But Solder admitted after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings that he has been struggling.
“Well, none of it has been good enough,” he said. “It all falls on each individual’s shoulders, and I’m the first on that list. I have to run block better. I have to pass block better. I have to communicate better. I have to do all of the things that I need to do to be the best player that I can be.”
Solder said he didn’t know why he has been having a difficult season. He said it is not injury related.
“I think the most important thing is to continue to improve as we go forward,” he said. “It’s the teams that get better throughout the season, those are the teams that are really stellar toward the end of the season… You never want to play bad, but to play your best at the end of the season is the goal.”
The Giants’ entire offensive line did seem to be playing better until they were overmatched by the Vikings on Sunday. Without a legitimate running threat – the Giants were down to just rookie Jon Hilliman and fullback Eli Penny as ballcarriers – the Vikings’ edge rushers were able to rush with impunity.
The Giants allowed four sacks and managed just 64 rushing yards.
“I thought they battled hard against a really good front,” Pat Shurmur said of his group up front.
They’ll face another really good front on Thursday against the Patriots. For Solder, it will be a chance to face his old team for the first time in a meaningful game. He probably wishes he could go into it with a bit more to show them on his film.
“You know what? I haven’t been playing this whole season very well,” Solder said. “I felt like myself [Sunday] at times, which I was happy about. So, I think that we have to build off of that and continue to improve.”