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Giants Must Find Solution for Offensive Woes in Matchup against Cowboys

Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

 

With the newly appointed offensive minded head coach, Ben McAdoo, there was a lot of excitement about the new potential of the Giants’ offense. With Odell Beckham always a being a focal point of the offense, the return of Victor Cruz from knee and calf surgeries, and the addition of rookie receiver Sterling Shepard from University of Oklahoma, the Giants offense looked to be even better on paper.

However, that’s where the potential laid, on paper.

This season, the Giants offense has been lackluster. The league rankings prove that.

Points per Game: 20.4 pts (24th)
Total Yards per Game: 327.4 (26th)
Pass Yards per Game: 249.9 (16th)
Rush Yards per Game: 77.5 (31st)

The fact the Giants have an 8-4 record is impressive with these offensive statistics. The fact of the matter is that the Giants’ defense has kept them in the game. With weeks of saying that the offense will finally click, the fan base is getting frustrated. When is the offense finally going to click?

“It’s been disappointing,” said Giants Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan. “…if we had to look at one thing that jumps out, its ball security. Right now, we’re 28th in the league, we’ve got 21 turnovers and it’s hard to get consistency and get those snaps and score points.”

“If the offense was the only part of a football team, I would still feel that we need to score as many points as possible,” said Beckham. “We need to score more points and be more productive. Just have to overall execute better.”

With McAdoo being billed as the “offensive guru,” the Giants’ fans had high expectations. With no results being shown, Giants’ fans look at their televisions in frustration and one thing sticks out.

McAdoo’s play sheet. It looks to be the size of a New Jersey diner menu. With all of those plays on those gigantic sheets of paper, why is the offense so lackluster?

“It’s just the way it’s split up,” said Giants quarterback Eli Manning. “Some of it is repeated so that you don’t have to keep flipping cards to get to your plays. It might be third down plays that are on different sides and different pages so you can get to it all. It’s just more systematic.”

“It is a map of the field,” said McAdoo. “It is more of a thought process than it is a play sheet.”

If we look in particular at one of the weak points of the offense, it’s the running game. Like in the stat ranked above, the Giants have the second worst running game in football, only ahead of the Minnesota Vikings (72.4 rush yards per game). The Giants had a total of five running backs on the team and with the injuries to Rashad Jennings early in the season, losing Shane Vereen to a torn biceps after Week 3 of the season, there has been no consistency in the backfield. With the return of running back Shane Vereen this week, it is unknown what role he will play, but it is a welcome site to the running back depth chart.

“Obviously the things he did before he got injured helped our offense a great deal from a pass game perspective,” said Sullivan. “He also was running the ball quite well. Obviously we have to wait and see where he’s going to be at physically. Hopefully he’s going to be there for us and certainly he could be a weapon that can help us get back to where we need to be.”

When looking at the Giants’ opponents on Sunday Night Football, the Dallas Cowboys, their offense is the total opposite.

Points per Game: 27.8 (4th)
Total Yards per Game: 395.7 (4th)
Pass Yards per Game: 239.8 (19th)
Rush Yards per Game: 155.8 (2nd)

After defeating the Cowboys in Week 1, it seems as though the Giants have awoken a monster. The Cowboys are coming in on an 11 game winning streak. 11 games. Rookie QB Dak Prescott has emerged as a steal in the 2016 NFL Draft, posting 2,974 pass yards, 19 TDs, 2 INTs, and 108.6 QBR. Exceeding expectations after replacing Tony Romo, Prescott’s play has kept him in the conversation for not only Rookie of the Year, but NFL MVP.

“The first thing I really notice about him is that it’s not too big for him,” said McAdoo. “He’s been a winner. That’s one thing that we noticed when we first played him early in the season…He plays with pretty good poise.”

“He’s done a fabulous job,” said Manning. “Just learning the offense, protecting the football. It doesn’t seem too fast for him He does a good job finding completions, running around making plays, extending plays and playing smart football. You have to give credit to him and the coaches for preparing him.”

Not only has the rookie QB been impressive, but also the rookie running back, Ezekiel Elliott.

Wathcing Elliott play at Ohio State University, football fans knew that he was a one of a kind running back that can find success in the NFL. Now, Elliott was drafted to the Cowboys, who boast one of the best offensive lines of all time. It was a match made in heaven for Elliott, who has 263 carries for 1,285 yards, 12 TDs, and 4.9 rush yards per carry.

“He’s a complete player,” said McAdoo. “He has good hands…He’s good in the screen game. He has a nice feel for the seams and staying in phase there. We have to be ready for that…He’s a big young man and runs with a lot of energy.”

Giants-Cowboys Part II in 2016 is a story of polar opposites on the offensive side of the ball. The Giants have the defense to contain the Cowboys, it’s just a matter of the offense coming back to life and continue to put points on the board. With all the talk about the Cowboys already clinching a playoff spot and the Giants’ offense not living up to their hype, the Giants have to let all of the outside noise out.

Who’s complaining about officiating, who’s complaining on not getting the ball enough. This needs to be a team effort for the Giants. As the old cliché goes, there’s no I in team. The Giants’ offense has to work together in order to come up with the season sweep of the Cowboys. The Giants have to show what their about on the field and don’t worry about the distractions.

“Put our head down and keep on working,” said McAdoo. “We can talk all we want, talking isn’t going to get anything done.”

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