New York Giants News, 9/10 – Why Pat Shurmur’s week one game plan was awful

Alexander Wilson

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

While the New York Giants fell of the Dallas Cowboys 35-17 on Sunday afternoon, head coach Pat Shurmur’s game plan was the most significant question mark.

Yes, the defense was putrid and secondary was nonexistent. In addition, there was no pass rush, and quarterback Dak Prescott was able to thread the needle throughout the game. However, that doesn’t justify the lack of touches star running back Saquon Barkley had in the loss.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott finished the day with 13 carries after holding out the entire preseason. Barkley had just 11 carries and thrashed the Dallas defense for 120 yards. He averaged 10.9 yards per carry, which is extremely efficient and makes you wonder why Shurmur didn’t utilize him more.

The argument against using Barkley was that the Giants were so far behind they couldn’t activate the run game. I would debate that using Barkley is far different than sticking to an average run game in the NFL. Averaging 10.9 yards per attempt is exceptionally successful and should garner more usage, especially in week one against a division rival in their home stadium. Also, it would keep the Giants’ lousy defense off the field by wasting time and keeping the ball on the ground.

Overall, the Giants’ game plan was inferior on both sides of the ball. Tight end Evan Engram was very active in the passing game, maybe even too much. Barkley needs to be a focal point moving forward, and while the Giants don’t want to make him a target for defenses, keeping the ball out of his hands only hurts the team’s chances of success.


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