One week after Eli Manning apologized to New York Giants teammate Sterling Shepard for not getting any targets in a game, Victor Cruz complained about not getting any catches in Sunday’s loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is a suddenly troubling trend for a team with legitimate playoff hopes that also has an equal number of concerns on offense.
The Giants offense mustered just two touchdowns on Sunday, both of which came in the second half of a bad, demoralizing loss to the Steelers. It was another weekend of offensive struggles for ‘Big Blue’ whose offense hasn’t been terrible this year but is a far cry from what was supposed to be a prolific unit.
On Monday during a conference call with the media, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo was asked about his three-receiver sets and how the ball isn’t always getting in the hands of his playmakers.
“That's a good question. I'm sure you're referring to Victor’s (Cruz) comments. When you have been as inconsistent as we have on offense, it's a challenge,” McAdoo said. “Victor, like everybody else, including myself, wants to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. So my door is always open for any of these guys that want to come in and have a conversation.”
It is trite but noticeably short of specifics.
McAdoo noted that Cruz and fellow wideout Roger Lewis played a combined 49 snaps on Sunday “and we had one reception between the two of them.” That the offense is so one-dimensional around Odell Beckham is an issue that the team must address.
The scary thing is that even though the offense has been hot-cold all season, the Giants at 8-4 still have a shot at the playoffs. With a split of their final four games, they should be able to stake a claim to the Wild Card but this offense and a suddenly banged-up defense means that any postseason trip might be a short stay before hitting the golf courses in early January.
“Right now we believe we have the players and the scheme to make a run at this thing,” McAdoo said. “We know we need to get back to work, we need to get some pads on this week if that's the smart thing and the right thing to do based on the injury report and player health, we'll do that. We need to play good football on Sunday.”