The New York Giants are a bad football team, and they continue to demand national game coverage. This needs to stop.
Regardless of how today’s New York Giants – Philadelphia Eagles game concludes, one observation is abundantly clear. According to the New York Post, this Giants team is bad, and no matter the defensive or offensive deficiencies, the malaise and general ineptitude that extends back nearly five years, will continue to plague this team.
Much like last season, the defense often keeps the Giants in games. And as today has shown, a methodical, competent offense with a semblance of a running game will be able to render the entire strategy of the Giants useless.
This strategy appears to be based on a series of in routes and predictable running plays, and a bend but don’t break defense. Today’s game shows how this strategy can be quickly undone. Unless the offense can hit a big play to Odell Beckham, often on a slant no more than five yards down the field, there is absolutely no hint at an offensive identity. No deep crossing routes, no combination routes, no effective play action and no competent rushing attack.
New York Giants
The missed opportunity at the end of the first half illustrates that absolute inadequacy of the New York Giants’ offense. On third-down, Ben McAdoo (presumably) allows his offense to line up in the shotgun on the inch-yard line. Wideout Sterling Shepard subsequently dropped Eli Manning’s pass in the corner of the end zone as he fell to the ground.
The next play, fourth and nothing from the inch line, Orleans Darkwa lined up no more than four yards behind Manning in a traditional single-back set. Except the Giants rarely run this formation, and to make the play call even more predictable, the formation calls for Darkwa to line up tight behind the quarterback. As expected, the Eagles easily diagnosed the run up the middle and hit Darkwa two yards behind the line of scrimmage.
This offense has no confidence in its line to run protect, and by default, no confidence in its ability to establish any type of offensive rhythm. The screens, slants, and quick passes that allow for appealing completion percentages hinder the entire development of the offense. The Eagles had an impressive 18 play drive for a touchdown during the first half; incorporating play action, power running and decisive decision making by Carson Wentz.
Even if the New York Giants wanted to slow the offensive tempo down, and dictate the pace of play, they cannot. Speeding up the game and finding quick hits on predictable in-cut routes is the only way the Giants can move the ball. A win would not alleviate any of the deep seeded issues this team has. After being pegged a potential Super Bowl contender in the off season, the disparity between the Giants and the elite teams in the NFC, namely the Falcons and Packers, could not be more evident.
It is entertaining to speculate on the potential of Brandon Marshall, Evan Engram and Odell Beckham running around the field making plays, but this team is not good. During the course of writing this, Manning has thrown another interception, following a quick screen to Brandon Marshall for four yards. Predictable play call followed by a tipped pass by a defense that is tasked with covering the seven yards directly in front of them. The constant hitches, slants, and in breaking routes require very little defensive ingenuity.
A constant refrain, or excuse, during the course of last season was that defenses were running cover-2, a base defense that has been around for decades, and that was simply a superior defense to what the Giants were trying to do on offense. This is a convenient excuse before realizing that every defense in the NFL runs the cover 2, and every offense must attack it. This offense is bad, this team is bad, but Landon Collins is pretty good.