It was evident way back in the preseason that the New York Giants offense struggles once it hits the red zone, or the “green zone” as Tom Coughlin likes to call it.
Week Eight can be labeled as Exhibit A. Against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants settled for five field goals and ended up winning 15-7. If New York had been up against a quarterback more capable than rookie Matt Barkley, their lack of production in the red zone could have easily cost them the game.
On Sunday, when the Giants host Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys, they will need to finish drives with touchdowns and not fall into the habit of scoring just three points at a time.
The Giants have been better recently and credit should go to Andre Brown for breathing life into New York’s rushing attack. In just two games, Brown has become the Giants’ leading rusher for the season, compiling 181 yards on the ground. Just the threat of a viable running game will make defenses respect the option and will force them to bring more defenders into the box, which should open up the field for Eli Manning.
Another reason for the red zone struggles is the generic play-calling used by offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. It seems like it’s always a corner-of-the-end-zone shot to Hakeem Nicks, followed by a run and then topped off with a little under route to Victor Cruz that is three yards shy of the end zone. A little creativity once in a while wouldn’t hurt.
This Dallas team can put up points with Dez Bryant and Miles Austin on the outside. The Giants will need to keep pace with the Cowboys and will be doing themselves no favors by settling for field goals on Sunday.