The New York Giants could take their offense in a unique direction in 2019 with a bit of creativity, centered around rookie passer Daniel Jones and his athleticism.
Eli Manning, one of the NFL’s most tenured quarterbacks, had a very interesting 2018 season in the red zone, especially inside 10 yards. He ranked as the 9th best passer in regards to touchdown passes 10 yards or less from the end zone, but had a significantly lower completion percentage than the quarterbacks ranked around him.
This statistical indicates that Manning scored more on third down than on first or second, which attests to an increase in incompletions. The Giants must help the efficiency of the offense in the red zone, which is where Jones could come into the picture.
Having the ability to utilize the zone-read option within 10-yards takes a player out of coverage and makes the play-action more effective. That’s the potential the Giants’ 6th overall pick brings to the table.
247 Sports’ Dan Schneier touches on this subject:
“The zone-read option is an especially useful tool in the red zone as the field shrinks and it becomes easier for defenses to scheme ways to stop the traditional pocket passing game. The zone-read offense allows the quarterback multiple ways to attack the defense based on how the defense is aligned both before and after the snap. If the quarterback has the option to tuck the ball and run, the defensive ends have to think twice about crashing hard inside and committing to stopping Barkley, and that’s exactly what the zone-read offense accomplishes.”
Finishing his collegiate career with 17 rushing scores, Jones has the ability to systematically break down a defense and give his receivers a better chance at securing a touchdown pass. The threat of running can be just enough to lure the secondary closer to the line of scrimmage.
This is where receivers like Evan Engram come in handy – bigger bodies that can go up and catch the ball at its highest point.
While it’s unlikely the Giants actually carry out this idea, it’s certainly one that makes sense and could be a new take on offensive production in the red zone. It would also provide Jones with game live-game experience. My biggest concern is Eli Manning’s pride, as he once insisted he didn’t want to play at all if he wasn’t the first-choice option for every scenario.