New York Giants Offense: Opening Night Pro Football Focus Grades


Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In a seamless perpetuation of the 2013 season, the New York Giants looked like a football team short on talent and an identity in their 35-14 loss at Detroit. The offense looked flat out dysfunctional as per usual, and the defense couldn’t avoid game wrecking errors despite a mostly stout effort. Let’s begin with the much maligned offensive unit. What did the busy folks at Pro Football Focus have to say about the Giants’ individual player performances…


Eli Manning earned a (wildly unanticipated) respectable grade of +1.2 on Monday night. When afforded a clean pocket to throw from, Manning completed 16/24 passes for 143 yards, a touchdown and an interception (+2.6). When facing “pressure”, Manning connected on just 2/9 throws, was sacked twice and intercepted (-1.4). Grade aside, the two-time Super Bowl MVP continues to look extremely uncomfortable, lacking trust in both his line and receiving corps.

Running Back

Rashad Jennings carried the ball 16 times for 46 yards, averaging a less than stellar 1.7 yards after contact per attempt. Jennings finished second on the team in receiving yards with 50 and had the Giants longest play of the evening (21 yards). He graded out at +0.4 in pass blocking.

Wide Receiver

The effort from veteran Victor Cruz was reprehensible. Of his six targets, two were dropped and one resulted in an interception. He was invisible for the better part of three quarters and finished with a -1.9 overall rating.

Rueben Randle… what can you say — three targets, one yard receiving, and three yards after the catch. Can’t make it up. Randle’s supposed new and improved concentration level took the opening night off.

Slot receiver Jerrel Jernigan was targeted seven times, and he continues to be misused. For whatever reason he’s the only Giants WR who gets vertical shots drawn up for him… at 5’8 with a calling card strength of quickness in open space.

Tight End

More from NY Giants News

25-year old Larry Donnell was targeted a team-high eight times and topped the receiving charts with 56 yards. His +1.3 PFF grade led the O. Are the Giants grooming him to be a jump ball specialist a la Jeremy Shockey? Donnell doesn’t offer much after the catch, but he’s a red zone target and found openings in the intermediate seam routes. At 6’6 265 with decent agility, Donnell can provide the occasional matchup problem in the secondary.

Offensive Line

Will Beatty 2 quarterback hits (-1.2); Weston Richburg -2.2 run blocking; J.D. Walton -0.8 overall; John Jerry -2.8 run blocking; Justin Pugh 3 QB hurries (-0.7 overall). While Pugh somehow graded out positively in pass blocking, from my couch lens he was used and abused all night off the edge.

The Skinny

So, there we have it. Only two members of the Giants offense — Eli Manning and Larry Donnell — finished up with positive Pro Football Focus ratings. The offensive line was a composite -8.4 in the run block game. In what’s developing into a consistent theme, the receivers never get open. Every throw by Eli Manning is contested in a congested area, even against a severely depleted safety group.

Check back tomorrow evening for New York Giants individual defensive grades from PFF