Watching the New York Giants‘ offense on Sunday was simply sheer and utter torture. The team looked like they had the chemistry of complete strangers, and the coaching staff seemed to be deathly allergic to making any type of in-game adjustment.
Rarely do teams in the NFL get shut out anymore. This past week, the Seattle Seahawks played the Jacksonville Jaguars, which could’ve easily be called a matchup featuring the best team in the NFL versus the worst team in the NFL (that is, if you’re not counting the Giants as the worst team in the NFL). Even the Jaguars were able to put up 17 points on Sunday.
A 38-0 loss to an 0-2 Carolina Panthers team is inexcusable. Sure, New York’s offensive line made everyone on Carolina’s defensive front look like first-ballot Hall-of-Famers; however, the coaching staff has to recognize these struggles and shift their game plan accordingly.
If the offensive line continues to play as badly as they did on Sunday, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride needs to call short passes to ease the ball down the field and bring up some third-and-threes instead of third-and-10s. On Sunday, New York converted on just three of 12 third-down attempts because most of the third downs they faced were long-yardage situations. Failure to execute on third down will plague any offense.
The offense should run slants and screen passes to force the defense into press coverages, and then try and take some shots down the field. New York has never been very successful running screens, but when Manning barely has time to even drop back, what choice do you really have? The Giants’ wide receivers are more than capable of creating space off the line of scrimmage.
In 2011, the Giants constantly ran quick screens to Hakeem Nicks. It was a staple of their offensive repertoire. Nicks has the ability to make at least one defender miss, and it’s an easy way to pick up five or seven yards. The running game is also struggling tremendously. The Giants must use the passing game to open up the run, and not vice versa. The o-line isn’t good enough to create running lanes by themselves.
On Sunday, Gilbride should be coaching for his job. Prior to the season, GM Jerry Reese talked about how making the playoffs just once in the last four years was unacceptable. With the personnel the Giants have, there is no reason they should be struggling the way they have been. Changes have to be made if struggle continue.