The New York Giants have struggled in the past four weeks leading up to their bye. They managed to win two of those games, both against division rivals. One of their problems has been time of possession. The Giants have not controlled the ball for more than 30 minutes in the last four weeks.
Against the Washington Redskins in Week 7, a game they won 27-23, the Giants controlled the ball for 27:17 and managed only 64 yards rushing on 19 attempts. The next week, against the Dallas Cowboys, the Giants controlled the ball for 27:42 but did have 103 yards on the ground on 28 attempts. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Giants controlled the ball for only 24:45 and managed only 68 yards on the ground in 22 attempts. Last week, against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Giants had the ball for 29:45 but did have 129 yards rushing on 20 attempts.
This is the first time the Giants’ time of possession has been under 30 minutes for four straight games since 2004-05 when they went 7 games without controlling the ball.
Time of possession is important in football and the Giants defense, which has been dealing with injuries and suspensions all year long, is getting gassed on the field.
If the Giants hope to turn things around they are going to have to start controlling the football. That means the Giants are going to have to start winning battles in the trenches which is something the Giants have had troubles with on both sides of the football in recent weeks.
Teams have had little trouble running the football against the Giants all season long. There have been a couple games where the Giants did dominate their opponents run game, case in point the 19 yards Dallas managed against them in Week 8. However, the very next week against the Steelers, the Giants allowed 158 yards on the ground to third string running backs.
The Giants need to become consistent in the trenches if they hope to prevent a second half swoon that has plagued this team in recent years.