The New York Giants really only have themselves to blame for their eight percent chance of making the playoffs. With everything in front of them, they played probably their two worst games of the season. Let’s take a look at some reasons on the offensive side of the ball that the Giants went from Super Bowl Champs to probably going home after Sunday’s game.
As my friend who is a Philadelphia Eagles fan puts it, you stop Victor Cruz, you stop the entire Giants offense. Well, let’s delve into that a little deeper. In wins, Cruz has 48 catches for 640 yards and eight touchdowns. In losses, 34 catches for 300 yards and only one touchdown.
Aberration you say?
Let’s go even further.
In the first eight games of the season, Cruz had 52 catches for 650 yards and seven touchdowns. In the past seven games, only 30 catches, for 390 yards and two touchdowns. It is true. If you stop Cruz, you stop the Giants. Part of Cruz’ ineffectiveness may deal with our next reason.
The loss of Mario Manningham in free agency left a hole a the third wide receiver spot. The torn acl and subsequent waiving of Jake Ballard hurt as well. Manningham only played in 12 games last year for the Giants but the year before that in a full season had 60 catches for 944 yards. In his 12 last year he had 39 catches. Ballard in 14 games played had only 38 catches, but 604 yards and four touchdowns.
This year, Martellus Bennett in 15 games has 54 catches, for 511 yards and five touchdowns. Manningham had four touchdowns last year. Dominik Hixon, Ramses Barden and Rueben Randle, who were supposed to be the replacements, have three combined touchdowns. It’s not the same production from the supporting cast that they had last year.
Eli Manning is not the same player he was last year either. If he only throws 21 touchdowns, it will be his fewest since 2008. His 83.6 QB rating is his lowest since 2007. His 59.8 completion percentage is his lowest since 2007. Those numbers are not “elite.”
Could the reasons listed above have something to do with it?
Maybe, however, if the Giants are going to fix this, they are going to need more health, continuity and development amongst their younger players.