Oh, boy. For the third straight preseason game, the New York Giants‘ new-look offense struggled mightily, failing to conjure up any sign of positive progress.
Struggles and a certain degree of rust were certainly expected from the Giants’ offense this preseason, as the unit continues to adjust to new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo‘s system. To the dismay of Giants fans, these expectations have been met and greatly surpassed.
Through three games, the first-string offense has looked uncomfortable, out-of-sync and repeatedly frustrated. On Saturday against the Colts, Eli Manning and the starters collected a measly 45 total yards on 23 snaps.
Manning is a combined 7-for-16 for 49 yards this preseason. In the last two games, he is 1-for-9 for 2 yards.
Also, Victor Cruz, New York’s best and most polished wide receiver, is yet to catch a single pass this preseason. Manning connected with Cruz on a long fly route on Saturday but Cruz was not able to secure the on-the-money throw and the pass fell incomplete.
Yes, it has truly been as ugly as it sounds.
As a whole, the offense’s timing is just a bit off. Manning has been getting rid of the football a little early or a little late and the receivers haven’t been ready. The offensive line has definitely contributed to the timing problem, keeping Manning in a backpedal and forcing him into throws off his back foot.
It really all starts up front and the Giants’ offense is going to struggle as long as o-line is having difficulties. It is impossible to achieve a rhythm on offense when your quarterback cannot survey the field. Like last season, the offense will come and go with the success of the offensive line.
The running game looked very solid over the first two games but fizzled on Saturday. Both Rashad Jennings and rookie Andre Williams look like they could create an explosive backfield, but again, it is really up to the play of the offensive line. (Is there a pattern forming here?)
Meanwhile, Giants players and coaches continue to keep a positive attitude and claim progress is being made. Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. even said that the offense has the chance to be the best in the NFL. This is the same receiver who has yet to play in a preseason game.
New York has won all three of their preseason games but concerns about the offense continue to mount. The players can say anything they want but so far the evidence on the field has been worrisome. It’s time to see progress and actually prove that the offense is coming along. As head coach Tom Coughlin likes to say “talk is cheap”. Play the game.