The New York Giants lean an awful lot on Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game. The former LSU Tiger has caught 78 receptions. Next on the Giants list are Rueben Randle and Shane Vereen who have both hauled in 42 passes from quarterback, Eli Manning. Next is Larry Donnell, who is on IR and he’s been sidelined for weeks.
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The Giants average the 7th most passing yards per game in the NFL. Saying that makes it hard to critique the passing game. That stat however cannot be taken on face value. The truth is the numbers are inflated because the Giants throw the football on such a high percentage of their plays. The Giants have had the tenth most passing attempts in football this season.
Very few teams on that top 10 list are doing well. The New England Patriots have the most pass attempts and they are the outlier of the group. The list also includes the Chargers, Texans, Saints, Ravens, and Lions. If you take out the Patriots the most wins one of these pass happy teams has is 6. That is the company the Giants find themselves in right now.
Nov 29, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) catches a touchdown pass as Washington Redskins cornerback Will Blackmon (41) defends in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 20-14. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
You could argue that what the Giants need is a dominant running back, which is why many fans were clamoring for DeMarco Murray in the offseason. The Giants have four running backs. While all but one of them help out in the passing game, the ground element isn’t that reliable for the Giants. The Giants run it just enough so teams don’t send an all out rush on Manning every play.
That feeds into the Giants needing more weapons argument. Without Victor Cruz, we learned that we cannot lean on Randle. Randle is a decent number two receiver but he isn’t a consistent playmaker. The Giants were hoping for more production from the tight end group as well.
The biggest problem that the Giants have is that they are predictable. This is a problem that is hard to avoid when your best player is your only consistent option in the passing game. The Giants are either going to throw it to Beckham or dump it down to Vereen in the passing game. Randle will have up to 5 catches a game and we repeat the mundane cycle.
The Giants have problems far greater than their lack of offensive fire power. They put up big time yards and they score points. In the critical moments of their season this problem has come back to snap at them. In the first three quarters against the Redskins the Giants couldn’t do anything offensively but turn it over. The Eagles game was absent of offensive execution if you take out the first drive.
The Giants biggest issue is their defense. This is something I preached all offseason. I knew that if this team didn’t fix the defense that they would just waste another solid season from Eli Manning. Manning and Beckham Jr. are amazing but they need some help.
The NFC East is still up for grabs and a win streak could salvage the Giants season.