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Giants’ LG duo of Nick Gates, Ben Bredeson work as tandem


PHILADELPHIA — It’s nice to share.

It’s also rare to share.

One of the hallmarks of top-tier offensive lines is continuity — five starters on the field, playing every snap together as one unit. The Giants are the exception to that, as they have two healthy left guards and use both of them during games. Nick Gates starts and Ben Bredeson rotates in. That is by design.

“It’s worked for us so far,’’ Bredeson told The Post. “Nick and I, everyone thinks there should be this, or he and I have this — we work really well together. We’re in there to help each other and help the team win. It doesn’t matter if he’s in there or I’m in there, we’re just trying to move the ball and score. When it’s my turn to come in, Nick’s coming out and giving me all the tips and then vice versa when he’s about to come in, tell him what I’m seeing in there. It’s total open lines of communication.’’

What had been an even-split role was altered last week in 31-24 wild-card playoff victory over the Vikings. Gates started and was on the field for a total of 22 offensive snaps. Bredeson ended up with 50 snaps. It remains to be seen what the distribution is Saturday night for the NFC divisional playoff game against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

Nick Gates
Nick Gates
Getty Images

The distribution of snaps last week was somewhat misleading. Gates was in for the first two series on offense and the Giants scored on touchdown drives of five plays and 75 yards and four plays and 81 yards, easily shredding the Vikings’ defense. Bredeson came in for the third series, which turned into a mammoth 20-play, 85-yard drive that chewed 10:52 off the clock and ended with a Graham Gano field goal.

“That one was a lot, a 20-play drive, that was tiring,’’ Bredeson said. “We were joking around, my first one when I came back from my knee was 18 [plays] in Washington but we had some TV timeouts in there and some convenient stoppages. There was none of that, it was 20 straight. We loved to have finished it off with a touchdown but we took off over 10 minutes in game time and ended up with a field goal. Good drive.’’

In the fourth quarter, Bredeson was on the field for a 12-play touchdown drive.

Bredeson said splitting time does keep him fresher, but he also noted it sometimes is a challenge to stay warm on the sideline when Gates is in the game.

Another challenge: Dealing with an Eagles defense that led the NFL with 70 sacks this season.

“Got to be ready for pass protection,’’ Gates said. “They’ve got good players on their defense, that’s no secret. I feel like we have a good game plan and got to be ready to go.’’

The Giants are 0-2 versus the Eagles this season — the second loss came with the Giants playing their backups. Since 1970, 24 teams have gone 0-2 against an opponent and met that team a third time in the playoffs. Those teams are 9-15 in the third game — 6-12 on the road. The Giants were one of the winners. They lost twice to the Cowboys during the 2007 season and beat them in Dallas in the postseason.

Something to watch: In the Eagles’ 42-22 rout of the Giants in Week 14, Philadelphia may have been playing fast and loose with the rules. According to Football Zebras, Eagles holder Arryn Siposs used a small, white object to spot the ball and lift it slightly off the ground on a Jake Elliott extra point attempt.

That is not allowed. Rule 11.4.5 states “No article of any type may be placed on the field, or used in any manner, to assist a player in the execution of a field goal and/or Try attempt.”

An NFL spokesman told The Post teams in the playoffs will be reminded of this: The rule does not permit any article of any type to be placed on the field or used in any manner to assist a player in the execution of a kick. Nothing but the hand or finger to indicate placement of the ball should be used in this process of placing the ball.

The Eagles are the first team in NFL history to earn two No. 1 seeds over a five-year span with different head coach-quarterback combinations. They did it in 2017 with coach Doug Pederson and quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Nick Foles — and won a Super Bowl — and they did it this season with coach Nick Sirianni and quarterback Jalen Hurts.

The fact this is a night game was not lost on Giants players, as far as the reaction from always-hostile Eagles fanatics. The 8:15 p.m. start gives the fans more time to, well, hydrate for the game.

“Yeah, I mean when you think about it, Philly fans on a 1 o’clock kickoff, they’re hype,’’ safety Julian Love said. “They’re fired up. Now you add the 8 p.m. start, they’re tailgating all day. That level of excitement for them is going to be turned up more. They’re a passionate fan base, not just in football, really in all their sports. So, we’ve got to understand that.’’


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