The New York Giants had one of the more inept offenses in 2020, ranking 31st in points per game with just 280 total points throughout the course of the season. Only the New York Jets had it worse, scoring 243 total points. However, the differential between the Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars, who ranked 30th, was a significant 26 points.
Not only was the Giants’ offense incapable of moving down the field efficiently, they simply couldn’t get into the red zone to capitalize on opportunities. When in the red zone, the Giants didn’t have many adequate options to utilize, as their tallest receiver was Evan Engram at 6’3″, but his drops and inconsistencies hurt the team.
The Giants not only made it a priority to solve the red zone offense and inject more playmakers, but the primary purpose around their massive free agency spending and first-round draft pick in Kadarius Toney centered around providing Daniel Jones with more weapons.
Based on the production of their newly acquired assets, the Giants should have far more success scoring points close to the opponent’s end-zone while also moving the ball more efficiently downfield with a refined scheme that focuses on attacking man coverage and a high completion percentage.
Last season, opponents simply locked down Giants’ receivers, providing Jones with little to work with and forcing him to run the ball a bit more frequently than he would’ve liked, which resulted in an injury to his hamstring.
Nonetheless, with their newly acquired toys, let’s take a look at how they will impact an increase in scoring next season.
New York Giants top red-zone threats:
The Giants signed Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million deal, and if you look at his 2019 statistics, he’s worth every penny. While only playing in five games last year, his Pro-Bowl level performance in 2019 saw him accrue 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is a massive 6’4″, 214-pound receiver. He provides Jones with a massive target around the field, but in the red zone, he dominates. During his most productive season two years ago, he tallied at least one red-zone target in nearly every game, with a high of three targets in week four.
Jones can feel confident throwing the ball high and letting his big receiver make a play over smaller corners. Things in the red zone get a bit more condensed due to the congestion, meaning Jason Garrett and the coaching staff will have to devise proper schematics to get Golladay in advantageous situations.
Luckily, with the attention defense will have to keep on Kenny, they will also have to allocate eyes toward a variety of other playmakers.
Kyle Rudolph has 40 career red-zone touchdowns, and while he only scored one last season, he recorded six in 2019 with an 81.3% catch rate. He’s extremely dependable with the ball in his hands, considering he hasn’t dropped a pass in over two years.
At 6’6″, Rudolph adds another tall target for Jones to utilize alongside Golladay. Engram was the tallest receiver on the Giants last year, and they made sure to attribute resources towards that category.
While most have given up on Engram, he’s actually quite effective when targeted on the boundaries and seams. Most think of dropped passes and interceptions when Engram crosses their mind (for good reason), but he’s capable of being an adequate receiver in scoring position, hauling in six touchdowns in 2017, showcasing his abilities.
One correlation we can make with the Giants’ playmakers and their fall off in production is that they were more efficient when they had a WR1 on the field. Even Saquon Barkley was far more productive when Odell Beckham Jr. was on the team. Golladay should help tremendously across the board, and one smaller receiver shouldn’t be overlooked in the red zone category.
One of the Giants’ most dangerous weapons is Sterling Shepard. He was asked to do far too much in 2020 against top corners. As an elite route runner with dependable hands, Shepard is capable of fitting into tight spaces and giving Jones windows to throw.
Sterling recorded eight touchdowns back in his rookie season in 2016 and has scored six touchdowns over the past two years. He stated recently that his goal is to play all 17 games this year, which should provide him with more opportunities in the red zone, especially with a plethora of attention being allocated toward the Giants’ new big body receivers.