The New York Giants made the decision to move on from Jason Garrett after their loss to the Bucs, and fans are happy. Garrett has been heavily criticized since early in his tenure, thanks to the team underperforming consistently on offense. Arguably, the Giants have some of the worst utilization of offensive talents in the league.
But is Garrett just a scapegoat, or are the Giants actually removing a problem by getting rid of him? Here’s some statistics that point towards Garrett holding back the offense.
The New York Giants were dead last in offensive touchdowns
This one might be the worst statistic for the Giants, and the best one to use to make a point against Garrett.
At a basic level, the point of the offense is to score touchdowns. The offensive coordinator is supposed to design schemes and call plays to accomplish that goal. But under Jason Garrett, the Giants were the worst team in the league at this. The Giants were the worst team in the NFL at scoring offensive touchdowns since Garrett took over, and they’ve added too much talent recently to blame that on a lack of weapons.
Offensive touchdowns scored since the start of the 2020 regular season pic.twitter.com/iI2ZpFVHlq
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) November 23, 2021
The disparity between the Giants and other teams was notable. They scored four less touchdowns than the 31st ranked Jets within the same time period and 10 less than the 30th ranked Jaguars. For comparison, the Buccaneers led the league during that time with 95 touchdowns.
The fact of the matter is that Garrett hardly did his job to utilize the weapons the Giants have. Even accounting for COVID-19 and injuries, there’s no way the Giants should be dead last in this statistic based on the players on the roster.
Daniel Jones hasn’t come close to his rookie season performance
Developing the quarterback is another duty that often falls on the offensive coordinator. While quarterbacks coaches work with QBs more directly, the offensive coordinator still has to account for the current starting quarterback when making their offensive schemes.
When it comes to the relationship with Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett, one thing stands out: regression.
Jones threw for 24 touchdowns, 3,027 yards, and 12 interceptions during his rookie season. It wasn’t a rookie year that would blow anyone away or win him Rookie of the Year, but it inspired some hope that maybe the Giants hadn’t made the wrong choice. Jones did this in only 12 starts, compared to 14 starts in Garrett’s debut season next year.
But when Garrett got to the Giants, there was a noticeable decline. While Jones held onto the ball better, he wasn’t actually better at accomplishing the main job of a quarterback: throwing touchdowns.
Jones threw for a similar number of yards but only 11 touchdowns last season. When you account for his 10 interceptions that season, it’s easy to see why the sentiment around him as a player became a lot more negative after year two.
That’s not to say that every problem Jones has suffered from during his time in the league is just because of being under a bad offensive coordinator. But this season, Jones only has 9 touchdowns to 7 interceptions and still doesn’t look as promising as he did during his rookie season.
Whether Jones is ultimately the guy or not, that’s a utilization problem and not just a talent problem. And the main variable behind a change like this appears to be the coaching staff, namely Jason Garrett calling the offense from the 2020 season onwards.