New York Giants building an offense that can close out games
By Henry Buggy
It’s no secret the New York Giants have struggled to close out games in recent years.
A poor offensive line and weak rushing attack have resulted in too many three-and-outs in fourth quarters. New York’s inability to run a successful four-minute offense has been one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.
Big Blue’s new front office and coaching staff have looked to fix those issues this offseason.
Dave Gettleman’s top two acquisitions are a left tackle, Nate Solder, and a running back, Saquon Barkley. The Giants first-year general manager also added two Hog Mollies to the offensive line in Will Hernandez and Patrick Omameh.
All four players are expected to take over starting roles in their first season with the franchise. The personnel moves made by Gettleman has many Giants fans excited for the upcoming season as well as some former players.
Bringing Back Big Blue’s Physicality
Former Giants offensive linemen Shaun O’Hara and David Diehl spoke about the team’s new additions this past week, via New York’s team website.
O’Hara, a three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, noted that the new additions will bring a physical presence back to New York’s offense.
New York Giants
"“I think this offense will look totally different. I think the run game will be more assertive, more aggressive and more consistent. That will help any quarterback out. But I really think the mindset that you can see from the signings and the draft, they’re going to be more physical. If you want to win this division, you have to be physical.”"
The Giants are clearly putting an emphasis on their ground game. Pat Shurmur led Minnesota to the league’s seventh best rushing attack last season despite losing Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL in Week 4.
The Giants new head coach will look to establish a dominant ground game in the Big Apple centered around Barkley. The ability to move the chains in the fourth quarter with a lead will be a huge asset for Big Blue. O’Hara believes it’s something the Giants will need if they want to win the NFC East.
"“The Eagles had more 10-yard runs than any other team in the league last year. All the focus was on the quarterback, but they ran the ball well. You have to run the ball if you want to win this division. If you want to close out games in the fourth quarter with the lead, you have to be able to run it and I think this group can do it.”"
Diehl, a second-team All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion, thinks New York’s offensive line and health will be the determining factor in the team’s offensive success.
"“The offense only goes as well as the offensive line goes. You think about this group and if they continue to work together and stay healthy and build a solid foundation with a Saquon Barkley, a veteran quarterback that has seen everything in Eli Manning and threats on the outside like Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham Jr coming back healthy, it’s an unbelievable look for an offense.”"
The G-Men were decimated by injuries in 2017. They finished the year with a league-high 21 players on injured reserve. The Giants cannot afford to lose key players to injury again this upcoming season. But that’s not necessarily within the team’s control.
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What New York’s front office and coaching staff can control is the focus of the team’s offense. In recent years, the Giants have relied too heavily on their passing attack and Beckham.
That no longer will be the case. The Giants are building an offense that can win through the air and on the ground. An offense that can win in the trenches with physical play. And an offense that can close out games late in the fourth quarter.