The New York Giants have hooked up the IV to their offense and are in the process of healing after an abysmal 2017 performance.
The firing of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese applied some bandages, and the hiring of Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman were the morphine. The dulling of the pain was the overhaul of the front office, and the recovery process is currently in full effect.
The Giants’ offense ranked in the bottom half of the league in every category last season. They landed at 31st in points scored per game (15.4), 21st in overall yards (314.2), 19th in pass yard (217.4), and 26th in rushing yards (96.8).
Adding the likes of Nate Solder to solidify the left tackle position and Patrick Omameh at left guard provides an influx of talent on the offensive line, but there is still much work to do. Big Blue lost guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg in free agency and replaced them with one good lineman and another average. They replaced Richburg with Brett Jones and Pugh with a less-talented Omameh. In addition, they moved former LT Ereck Flowers to right tackle.
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This may look like an improvement on the offensive line, but for the most part there are still many holes that need to be filled. We can expect Gettleman to further address the line in the upcoming NFL draft.
But, with the comeback of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, the Giants will be looking to rebound from last season’s atrocity. Averaging 217.4 yards per game is putrid, but it was without Marshall, Beckham Jr., and Sterling Shepard for a majority of the season.
With the emergence of Evan Engram as a receiving threat from the tight end position, Beckham Jr. and Marshall should benefit greatly in the coming season. Opening up single coverage for the two talented receivers will undoubtedly make a difference on the offense and allow Eli Manning several high quality options.
Manning’s numbers from 2017 weren’t anything special:
- CMP-ATT (352-571)
- 61.6 completion %
- 3468 yards
- TD-INT (19-13)
Manning suffered the lowest amount of passing yards since the 2008 season; the lowest amount of touchdowns, completion percentage, and highest amount of sacks since 2013.
His numbers can be forgiven though, as he was playing with an unreliable offensive line and a band of misfit toys at wide receiver. In fact, the only benefit from Manning playing last season was to build chemistry with Engram.
What we should expect:
We should expect the Giants to address the offensive line and running back positions through the draft, which will be essential points to the improvement of the offense.
Adding a capable running back with help improve the rushing ranking the Giants had in 2017. From ranking 26th, the Giants can improve that to the 15-20th rank. That’s a significant improvement in just one season with various holes that needed to be addressed on the offseason.
The passing rankings (19th) weren’t actually as bad as it could’ve been. With three healthy wide receivers and improved chemistry between Manning and Marshall, their ranking should see a jump of at least five spots (10-14th range).
Eli Manning statistical projections:
- CMP-ATT (380-606)
- 62.7 completion %
- 4,358 yards
- TD-IN (28-12)
I’m predicting that Manning will have his lowest interception totals since 2008 (10), simply due to the new offensive scheme brought forth by Shurmur. The Giants’ new head coach is known as the “quarterback whisperer” and will be the best thing to happen to Manning since OBJ was drafted.
Overall, we will see improvement in the first season under new management, but don’t be surprised to take a ride on the gradual-improvement train for at least a season or two.