Bill Kostroun/Associated Press
When Ben McAdoo was hired to replace Kevin Gilbride as the Giants’ offensive coordinator, he told reporters on a conference call what he envisioned for the team’s new offensive identity.
“We’re going to be sound, smart and tough. We’re going to be committed to discipline and poise, and at the end of the day, we’re going to hang our hat on the fundamentals.”
So far, however, the starting offense has been anything but fundamentally sound, tough or consistent.
We’ll start with quarterback Eli Manning, who has yet to complete a pass for more than 10 yards.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Manning has taken 57 snaps through three games and has dropped back to pass 19 of those times.
His numbers? He’s completed seven out of 16 attempts for—wait for it—49 yards. He’s been sacked three times, and while he hasn’t thrown an interception yet, he also hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass.
What about his top two receivers, Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle? Good question!
Cruz has yet to record a reception in 55 snaps played, and wasn’t even targeted in a game until this week, when Manning threw at him twice.
Randle, who’s played in 64 snaps so far this preseason, has caught just one of the four balls thrown his way for 12 yards. PFF has also credited him with one dropped pass.
The running game? Glad you asked.
The Giants’ two longest runs thus far have been a 73-yard touchdown rush by Rashad Jennings against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2, and a 21-yard run by rookie Andre Williams.
Deduct the 73-yard run by Jennings, and the Giants are averaging 100 yards rushing per game—not bad, but certainly a figure that should be better considering the upgrades that were made to the offensive line in the offseason.
Numbers aside, the biggest problem for the Giants offense has benefits inability to establish any sort of rhythm to sustain drives.
The sad thing about the offense is that with two weeks to go in the preseason, there is a real possibility that the unit might not click by opening night, a fact that head coach Tom Coughlin has prepared himself for.
“We have had in the last few years unproductive preseasons or unproductive games in the preseason, and we still have been able to come out and play well early on even offensively,” he told reporters on a conference call the day after the Colts game.
“Now in the regular season is that the case here? I don’t know that. We are going to see how that goes, but is there a concern? Sure it is a concern.”
That’s not exactly a reassuring statement from the Giants’ head coach, who admits that time is running out on the preseason and that the offense isn’t a little further along.
“Anytime you set up a schedule with a preseason you expect to be at certain points along the way,” he said. “So it is disappointing not be at least a little more advanced than we are.”
Unfortunately, the only choice everyone seems to have is to ride out this storm and hope that once McAdoo and company begin to game plan to address remaining weaknesses and such, things will get better in a hurry.