When analyzing the New York Giants‘ offense over the last few weeks, one can point many fingers to determine the issues. Whether it is the offensive line struggling to mesh with David Diehl returning, wide receivers failing to get open or dropping passes (Victor Cruz!), Eli Manning making foolish decisions leading to turnovers or Kevin Gilbride‘s predictable play-calling, you can pin-point something tangible on the field that is not working.
What should not be used as an excuse is Manning’s arm getting tired. This is a cop out. If it were true, I would be royally embarrassed to be Manning, which is why I don’t think that has anything to do with the offense’s ability to put up points. It’s not like Manning is throwing it 50 times a game or throwing it at an alarming rate above the other quarterbacks in the league. He throws it more than average, but not more than Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, etc.
If their arms aren’t getting tired, and they’ve all be around as long or longer than Manning, then it shouldn’t be an issue for him. Not surprisingly, Cruz came to the defense of his quarterback.
“I haven’t seen any tired arm. Any ball that was delivered to me I got it on time,” said the Giants leading receiver. He makes a good point. The whole tired arm thing is a convenient excuse, but I don’t see any difference in his throws. Receivers aren’t getting open, the offensive line is not giving him time and—most importantly—the deep plays are being taken away.
It is obvious opposing defenses have come up with a game plan to stop Gilbride’s offense. Even the Cincinnati Bengals slowed down the offense, and their defense has struggled this season defending the pass. There is no excuse for how anemic the Giants were last Sunday.
The bottom line here is the fault is not all Manning’s; the entire offense is struggling and something has to change. Hakeem Nicks returning to 100 percent will help. He is the only Giants receiver capable of beating the press coverage teams are using to take away Cruz.
Maybe getting rookie David Wilson more touches will help. He has been in Tom Coughlin‘s doghouse with his early fumbling issues, but Ahmad Bradshaw has laid the ball on the ground a couple of times so maybe the rook deserves a second chance. Coughlin indicated to the media today they “want to get [Wilson] more involved.”
The Dallas Cowboys are just one game back in the division and have a favorable schedule down the stretch. The Giants cannot afford to lose many more games. Unless the offense improves, they will be on the outside looking in come January.