When the New York Giants signed Kenny Golladay to a four-year, $72 million deal, they hoped he would bring his 11 touchdowns and 1,190 yards from Detroit in 2019 with him.
Unfortunately, Golladay’s season has taken a turn for the worse, posting just 499 yards and failing to get in the end zone over a minimum of 13 games for the first time in his career. His 47.9% catch rate is the lowest in his career, and 2.6 receptions per game, the lowest since his rookie campaign back in 2017 when he started just five games.
His yards per reception is down to 14.7, the lowest over five seasons in the NFL, and his yards total sits at just 38.4, half of what it’s been in the past three seasons. All together, Golladay’s lack of usage is directly correlated to poor offensive line play from the Giants and a scheme that most high school coaches would likely laugh at.
Even after the Giants fired Jason Garrett and promoted Freddie Kitchens to play-caller, they failed to get anything going with quarterback Daniel Jones sustaining a neck injury that forced him out for the rest of the season.
Golladay shouldered the blame for his performance, indicating he wasn’t good enough. His answer could’ve easily been directed toward a lack of competent protection for his quarterback and route concepts.
“Just not good enough on my part. I wasn’t playing terrible, or anything, but just not good enough.” – Via Matt Lombardo of Fansided:
“A lot goes into it,” Golladay says. “Different personnel goes into it in terms of who’s playing. Different personnel, even coaching-wise, a lot goes into it. A lot goes into making a football team go.”
“Like I tell a lot of people all the time, Kenny is 6’4”, so a lot of times he’s open when he’s not open because of his catch radius,” Giants WR coach Tyke Tolbert said. “If a quarterback or whoever is not used to throwing to guys like that, then that might take some time. So yeah, there’s some validity to that.”
The Giants had plenty of time to develop chemistry between Jones and Golladay, so this excuse is a bit irrelevant. Nonetheless, Jones doesn’t exactly throw the best ball for a player like Kenney, who prefers high-arching passes where he can adjust his body and gain leverage over opposing corners. Unfortunately, Jones throws straight-line passes that don’t give Golladay the proper time to get leverage with his physically imposing frame.
Suppose the Giants want to get the most out of their number one receiver. In that case, they have to go heavy into the off-season with offensive line on their mind, utilizing top draft capital to bolster the trenches and free agency money when appropriate.
If they’re going to stick with Daniel Jones, they must find a way to protect him, otherwise, they will once again be wasting time trying to correct an issue that’s been present since Dave Gettleman took over in 2018.