After three straight wins over Washington, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, the NY Giants have surged to 4-7 and a tie atop of the NFC East. But one area that could hold Daniel Jones and company back as they try to tee up a playoff run is the Giants passing offense.
Through 11 games, the NY Giants rank 28th in both passing yards per game (200.5) and per play (5.9). To put that into perspective, the league leading Chiefs are averaging more than 8 yards per play and nearly 315 per game. The league worst Jets aren’t too far behind at 5.3 yards per play and 170 per game.
Jones also turned the football over far too often through the first half of the season, as New York has the 20th worst interception rate in the league at 2.41%. That’s not doing the Giants passing offense any favors either.
There hasn’t been a ton of improvement of late.
The Giants have netted 212, 244 and 244 passing yards in their three recent wins, including getting knocked from Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury that could force him to miss at least one week. That’s better than their season average, but it’s still not setting the world on fire. The silver lining is that their yards per attempt are up to 7.0 in that stretch.
A little improvement there could justify leaning more heavily on the run later on, but one adjustment Joe Judge and the coaching staff might want to make is looking to run the ball more on early downs for now. That’s especially going to be the case with Colt McCoy potentially being forced into action due to Jones’ injury.
The Giants are running the ball 51% of the time on first-and-10, and passing 49% of the time. While there’s a lot to be sad for balance, the rushing game has been stronger, and setting Jones up for third-and-manageable situations could be beneficial. That same logic applies to second-and-10 as well, when the Giants are passing 57% of the time and rushing 43%.
The counter argument is an obvious one: why focus on the run without Saquon Barkley? Well, because it’s been more productive relative to the rest of the league than the passing game has.
Looking beyond this week, you could make a case for getting Daniel Jones more dropbacks to continue his development, but somehow, someway, the Giants have a shot in the division. Getting the youngster to the postseason is far more valuable for his development than a handful of extra passes each week down the stretch.