Why the 2014 New York Giants Offense Won't Be as Bad as Expected

Matt Schneidman@@matt_schneidmanContributor IIIApril 3, 2014

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is sacked by Washington Redskins' Perry Riley (56) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun

Last season was one to forget for the New York Giants, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But worry not Big Blue Nation, this year will be much better. 

Many of the Giants' struggles came from deficiencies in the running game and the inability of Eli Manning to throw it to his own teammates. Manning ran away with the league lead in interceptions, throwing 27 picks for the Giants' 19th-ranked passing offense.

The running game was even worse, as no Giant finished in the top 44 players for total rushing yards. Andre Brown finished 45th, combining with Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jacobs and David Wilson to constitute the league's second-worst ground attack.

But three offseason acquisitions have the offense looking primed to do some damage in an NFC East that is already looking extremely potent.

First, the Giants acquired kick returner Trindon Holliday from the Denver Broncos. Yes, he is not lining up at the ball when Manning is under center, but his presence in the special teams game is unmistakable.

Last year, Holliday ranked ninth in the league in kickoff return yards and 12th in punt return yards. He had a return touchdown in both areas, and a huge problem for the offense last year was lack of quality starting field position.

Holliday will certainly come in handy for a return unit that ranked 17th and 22nd in kickoff and punt return yards, respectively.

The Giants also acquired running back Rashad Jennings from the Oakland Raiders. Literally any pickup would've benefited the Giants in this area, but Jennings is an extra boost.

He ranked 15th in yards per attempt and had six touchdowns, only four less than the the four aforementioned running backs combined. Yes, Jennings' total yards, yards per game and first downs were down, but he only received the 31st-most carries in the league.

Similar to what they had with Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, this could be another "earth, wind and fire" Giants ground game, as pointed out by this fan:

Now that he'll be seeing more touches, this spark plug will re-energize a previously lethargic Giants run game.

The third key pickup for the Giants offense was wide receiver Mario Manningham. Most members of Big Blue Nation remember Manningham for his acrobatic catch in Super Bowl XLVI, so they will welcome him back with open arms.

Manningham had a down year last year with the 49ers, but that was in part because he was playing with one of the best receiving corps in the game. It's extremely hard to get touches when you're behind Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree for receiving targets.

Especially for a team that just lost Hakeem Nicks, Manningham will be a solid addition to shore up the bottom line of a unit that also features up-and-comers Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan in addition to Victor Cruz.

Although it may not be up to par with the offense behind the other Manning brother, the New York Giants took a step in the right direction this offseason.

With a key offensive addition or two in the upcoming draft, the potential for a much improved offense is imminent in New York.

After all, Eli Manning can't be that bad again, can he?