The problems with the New York Giants offense — and there are too many to list — don’t solely fall on quarterback Eli Manning’s back. In fact, there is plenty of blame to share including his wide receivers and even his coaches.
In Sunday’s 51-17 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams, an embarrassing display on both sides of the field, the Giants offense sputtered through miscues, penalties and poor execution. But while fans clamor for Manning to get benched, the offensive struggles aren’t on his arm alone.
Manning completed 20-of-36 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Rams. Not exactly stellar numbers but Manning didn’t exactly get a ton of help.
Eight of Manning’s passes were dropped in the loss to the Rams on Sunday, a number that led the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. The analytics site also said that Manning released the ball on average 2.19 seconds per snap.
That is the fastest time in the league this past week, a number that points to the lack of confidence the Giants have in their offensive line. Manning has to chuck the ball so quickly or risk being pulled off the turf by a teammate a moment later.
But Manning also isn’t getting any help from the coaching staff and their bizarre playcalling in recent weeks.
The Giants had struggled to run the ball earlier in the year but several weeks ago, they found an answer in running back Orleans Darkwa, who put up big numbers in a win over the Denver Broncos.
But despite Darkwa’s relatively strong few starts in recent weeks, the Giants ran the ball just 25 times on Sunday with Darkwa getting just 16 carries. Given the Giants injuries at wide receiver, it would seem that a commitment to running the ball might balance the offense a bit.
Darkwa, after all, had 71 rushing yards and yet the Giants didn’t feed him the ball more. Pro Football Focus notes that “51 of his 71 yards [came] after contact and forced three missed tackles.”
Numbers that point to the fact that Darkwa is making plays and positive contributions for an offense that is stale and stagnant.
For an offense struggling to find consistency and do little things like catch the football, the lack of a focused gameplan and use of pieces like Darkwa continues to be puzzling. If the Giants can open up a running game, perhaps Manning will have more time under center to throw the ball.
But all that makes too much sense.