New York Giants: There’s one major positive on offense to be proud of this season

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman
Nov 15, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman (22) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to the offensive side of the ball for the New York Giants, there’s not much to be proud of. They currently rank second to last in points per game at 17.4, just ahead of the New York Jets, the worst offense in football, and maybe even historically.

There’s a lot of blame to go around for the Giants’ struggles on offense, notably their play-caller, Jason Garrett, Daniel Jones’ inconsistencies, and a lack of playmaking talent.

The moment star running back Saquon Barkley tore his ACL, things became inherently difficult for Big Blue. Their ability to move the ball is hampered by a lack of wide receiver separation and injuries at key positions. Daniel Jones missed last week’s contest against the Cleveland Browns and was limited against the Arizona Cardinals the week prior. Jones has been solid in spurts but simply can’t capitalize on Garrett’s system. The more he runs the football, the more Jones will increase his probability of injury. He must learn to be a pocket passer first and a runner second, and I don’t believe Garrett is doing him any favors with his playcalling.

However, there are some positives when it comes to the offense’s efficiency. They might be at the bottom of the NFL in passer success, but their ability to run the football is not questioned. The Giants currently ranked 16th in yards per game on the ground, with 113.5. That makes them average in running the football, but that is without Saquon and a newly pieced together OL.

The New York Giants are doing a lot with a little:

Considering the Giants have rookie Andrew Thomas at left tackle, Shane Lemieux at left guard, and a new center in Nick Gates, there’s not much continuity in the trenches. The fact that they are considered average in the rushing category is simply impressive. With a year of experience under their belt and one of the best running backs in the NFL returning to the Giants, we should see the offense open up a bit more in 2021.

So far this season, the Giants have enjoyed seven consecutive games at one point with 100+ rushing yards. They even went four consecutive games with 140+ yards on the ground, reaching a high of 190. Over a five-week span, the Giants earned six rushing touchdowns, thanks to Wayne Gallman and his ability to punch in short-yardage assignments.

The establishment of Thomas at left tackle has worked wonders in the run game, and the moment Lemieux made his debut at left guard, things really took off. They are both hard-nosed offensive linemen who are always looking for work. It is quite impressive that the Giants have managed to make older players like Alfred Morris look like adequate players.

Against the Browns this past weekend, Morris averaged 5.6 yards per carry and picked up 39 yards on seven carries. The gaps they’ve been opening up are a running backs dream, and a player with elite athleticism like Barkley will capitalize on these opportunities.

So, we can conclude that the offense has struggled in many ways, but running the football isn’t one of them. That factor should continuously improve, and the byproducts of a good running game include a lower probability of turning the football over and more time of possession. Both of these points keep the defense off the field and well-rested.