After an off-season and NFL Draft that loaded the NY Giants offense with playmakers, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett needs to deliver results this fall.
After a 2020 season that saw the NY Giants field one of the worst offenses in the NFL, it’s no secret what general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Joe Judge wanted to focus on this off-season
Last season saw a perfect storm of injuries, offensive line growing pains, and bad play-calling consume the offensive side of the ball for the G-Men. At the conclusion of the regular season the NY Giants offense ranked:
- t-32nd in passing touchdowns (12)
- 31st in total yards (4,794)
- 31st in yards/game (299)
- 31st in points scored (280)
- 31st in points/game (17.5)
- 31st in 1st downs gained (297)
- 29th in passing yards (3,026)
- 29th in 3rd down conversions (36.4%)
- 28th in yards/play (5)
- 3rd in sacks allowed (50)
If it weren’t for the Jets and their offense lead by Joe Flacco & Frank Gore, the NY Giants would’ve been dead last in almost every category listed above.
Not exactly ideal.
As previously mentioned, injuries, a young offensive line, and no WR1 while facing an extremely challenging schedule did the Giants no favors. But, at times, neither did offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Often times the offense seemed to lack rhythm and execution. The consistency of play-calling was head-scratching as well. One series would look like the Kansas City Chiefs followed by six straight punts.
We saw this is the first Cowboys matchup where the opening drive of the game for the Giants included a flea-flicker and end-around reverse to Evan Engram that lead to a touchdown. The offense wouldn’t score another touchdown until just under 11 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
On top of all this, the offense seemed predictable and limited Daniel Jones’ strengths of stretching the field vertically. Even though New York had success when throwing the ball downfield, it didn’t seem to be a main focus of the offensive gameplan week-in and week-out.
With all that said, you could still argue that the inexperienced offensive line and overall lack of playmakers would make it hard for any offensive coordinator to have success. And while that argument may hold some water, it doesn’t anymore after Big Blue’s off-season.
It started with the additions of speedy wide receiver John Ross and veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph. Ross is a true x-factor-type player that has the ability to take the top off of a defense with legit 4.3 speed. Rudolph brings to the table almost the opposite skillset of Evan Engram. While not a matchup nightmare or hybrid, fast tight end, he is a reliable blocker and a more traditional in-line tight end that is a great target in the red zone.
Then, of course, the NY Giants nabbed the most sought-after receiver in free agency by signing Kenny Golladay to a four year, $72 million contract. The 6-4 wideout brings a WR1 skillset to East Rutherford for the first time since OBJ and is the first dominant, big-body receiver the Giants have had since Hakeem Nicks.
Lastly, as if these additions weren’t enough, the front office doubled-down on their efforts to add offensive playmakers when they drafted Florida’s “human joystick” in Kadarius Toney. The speedster has almost the exact same size and measurables as OBJ coming out of college and can line up out wide, in the slot, take handoffs, and return kicks. He is a homerun-type player that is exactly what this offense has been lacking.
With a WR corps that now consists of Golladay, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Toney, and Ross, tight ends Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph, the return of Saquon Barkley, and almost the entire offensive line returning, there’s little-to-no-excuse for Jason Garrett to not dramatically improve the offense this fall.
It will ultimately come down to finding ways to gameplan in all of the offensive weapons while not simply forcing a scheme for the sake of it. That means getting creative with Barkley, utilizing Golladay as a true WR1, allowing Shepard to thrive in the slot, and using Toney as the ultimate x-factor.
Quick screens, roll outs and longer developing plays downfield, reverses, pre-snap motion, utilizing mismatches – this offense now has enough weapons to truly cause headaches for any defense they play. And there is no reason to not see it happen in 2021.
Jason Garrett has been given all the playmakers an offensive coordinator could want in the NFL, and now it’s up to him to make it work. If there isn’t noticeable improvement early in the season – especially considering the more normal off-season with in-person meetings and OTAs – I would not be shocked to see him be relieved of his duties.
This offense has too much money, talent, and draft stock invested to not see results. And in such a crucial year three of the Daniel Jones era, this season will have a huge impact on the direction of this franchise in terms of quarterback and GM moving forward.
No pressure, Jason Garrett.