It’s technically not accurate, but you’ve probably been told that the definition of insanity is repeating the same exact actions—committing the same mistakes—and expecting different outcomes. It’s no wonder, therefore, that Giants fans are teetering on the verge of insanity.
The last time the New York Football Giants scored 30 points was Jan. 3, 2016. That’s 34 games ago. That’s two entire seasons, plus two games this season, ago. Tom Coughlin was the head coach. Since the Jan. 3 season finale against the Eagles, the Giants have fired a coach, hired a replacement, fired that replacement and hired a new replacement—and they haven’t topped 30 points once in that time frame.
30 points is not some incredible feat of offensive power. It’s four touchdowns and a field goal. And it’s been 34 games since the Giants last achieved it.
The Giants offense has been broken for a long time. It’s certainly not due to a lack of talent. The receiving corps is one of the best in the league, led by one of the best in the league. The new running back they went out and drafted has already shown that he’s special. Love him or hate him, the quarterback is more than serviceable, and easily capable of leading a high-powered offense.
But what the Giants front office seems to fail to understand is that throwing individually-talented pieces together isn’t going to produce a winning team. I love pizza and chocolate and peanut butter, but if I threw them all in a smoothie and expected it to taste good, I’d be in for a rude surprise.
So what’s the root of the Giants’ struggles? To be honest, I’m not sure. Here’s what I do know: in the past two seasons and the beginning of this one, they’ve been frequently outcoached, whether under McAdoo or Shurmur. Eli Manning, especially this past week against the Cowboys, often holds onto the ball too long in the pocket. The receivers, particularly Evan Engram but Odell and others included, have had repeated problems actually catching the ball.
But most of all, it begins with the offensive line. They can’t run block, they can’t protect the quarterback, they can’t play without drawing penalties, and most of all, they certainly can’t work as a unit. When defenses throw even the slightest complexities and deceptions into their defensive line schemes, the Giants O-line misses more assignments than a University of Carolina athlete.
That’s the most frustrating part of the Giants’ incompetence. Anyone with two eyes and as many brain cells has been able to see for the past two years that the offensive line needs fixing. Nothing has changed.
Sure, they went out and got Nate Solder in the offseason. It’s a start. But all you have to do is turn on the TV screen and see “Flowers” on the back of a Giants jersey to know that the front office ultimately has no idea what they’re doing. For the second-straight season, the organization figured that they’d try the same unit, and hope the personnel magically improved. They repeated the same mistakes and expected better results. It’s insanity.
In the meantime, the offense, time and time again, game after game, looks like it’s fighting against itself on every single drive. Stringing multiple first downs together is enough to make me stand up and cheer. Capping off a long, calculated drive with a touchdown is merely the stuff of legend.
Manning’s lack of mobility certainly doesn’t help, and he could learn to throw the ball away with greater frequency, if only for his own physical wellbeing. But you also can’t blame him: the once-every-17 plays where he actually has time to drop back, survey the field, and pass, I’d want to take my sweet time as well. There will be no Manning left if he continues to take the beating like the one he took on Sunday.
The entire offense suffers, not just Manning. Odell is no turtle, but he can only get about five yards downfield before Manning needs to get the ball out. What good is an elite receiver if he can’t even run routes?
I’m a firm believer that Barkley was the right pick to make. He’s been the only reason that the Giants have been watchable this year. He jukes, spins, stiff arms, jukes again—but consistently needs to do all that just to get back to the line of scrimmage.
The offensive line cannot be blamed for everything, but the “let’s ignore it and hope it gets better” strategy has proved shockingly ineffective. And now here we are, staring down the barrel of another miserable, wasted season.
The Giants offense, as it’s been for the past two seasons, is broken. The talent is there to not only win the division but be a legitimate contender. But first they have to be capable of scoring 30 points.