The New York Giants are once again struggling on offense to curate big plays downfield and take advantage of lesser defenses. Against the Atlanta Falcons last weekend, the Giants only mustered 14 points, an embarrassing number considering their opponent had given up an average of 40 over the first two games of the season.
After signing star receiver Kenny Golladay to a massive four-year, $72 million contract, the Giants still havenâ€™t found the best ways to utilize him in the passing game. Golladay is known for his big plays downfield and applying his massive catch radius to present quarterbacks with a security blanket and higher completion rate.
Over the first three games of the season, Golladay has hauled in 11 receptions with a game-high of just 64 yards. In fact, reserve receiver Collin Johnson earned more targets last week against the Falcons than Golladay did, which has surely presented a bit of questioning from the new acquisition. When asked why he hasnâ€™t been targeted downfield more frequently, Kenny simply didnâ€™t have a response, indicating confusion.
Compared to last year, the former Lion is averaging just 15.1 yards per reception when he landed at 16.9 in 2019. Back in 2018, when Golladay earned a Pro Bowl nod, he averaged 18.9 yards perception, clearly indicating a difference in usage and far more production downfield.
If the Giants want to have a high-octane offense that focuses on utilizing Daniel Jonesâ€™s deep ball accuracy, Golladay must be part of the equation. If coordinator Jason Garrett canâ€™t get him involved against a lowly defense like Atlanta, itâ€™s hard to imagine he will find a way to maximize strength against any other opponent.
With that being said, Golladay does have one advantage this weekend against the Saints, a clean bill of health. After being limited during practice the past few weeks due to hamstring and hip injuries, Golladay was cleared of any designation prior to Sundayâ€™s match-up. It will be the first time the Giants can feel confident applying him without any setbacks or hesitations, which should correlate with an increased workload.
Golladay will take on Marshon Lattimore this weekend, a significant challenge that will likely limit how the Giants target him in the passing game, but they wonâ€™t have a choice with Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton ruled out of the contest. This likely won’t be the game where Golladay breaks out in a big way, considering Lattimore has the highest grade of any corner this year, per PFF. He’s allowed just 79 yards over two games this year, including a game-winning interception against New England last weekend.