The emergence of the read-option in the NFL has defensive coordinators across the league sifting through screen shots and videotapes to find a way to stop it. For the New York Giants, it is no different, as they’ll have plenty of games where they’ll need to figure out an effective way to stop it.
The Giants will play against the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles twice, so that’s already a good amount of games against college-style offenses. The Redskins employ the read-option with QB Robert Griffin III, as the Redskins were able to ride that offense to a division crown, their first one in over 10 years.
The Eagles, meanwhile, will most likely employ an up-tempo style of play never seen before in the league. They will be led by head coach Chip Kelly who was hired by the Eagles away from the University of Oregon. Kelly led an offense with the Ducks that routinely scored over 40 points in games. That was because of a no-nonsense approach to running plays at incredible speeds.
The Giants also have to face the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks, who have quarterbacks who run the read-option very well. Panthers’ QB Cam Newton didn’t really have any success against the Giants last season with the read-option. Newton is expected to improve, as he is going into his third season.
We’ll see how Newton fares this upcoming season against the Giants’ defense. The Seahawks have dynamic QB Russell Wilson, who is a solid pocket passer in addition to running the read-option effectively. The Giants will certainly have their hands full playing against the Seahawks’ offense, but the Giants should be prepared by then.
The Seahawks play the Giants in December, so the Giants will have already seen the Redskins, Panthers and the Eagles twice. A sleeper game can also be their matchup against the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders plan on starting QB Matt Flynn. However, if he struggles at some point, the Raiders might be inclined to start QB Terrelle Pryor.
Pryor is a scrambling quarterback who didn’t show great passing ability while at Ohio State University. The Raiders will definitely need to tailor their offense around Pryor’s skills if they’re going to start him. We’ll see how it goes for the Giants’ defense. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will have his hands full.