The New York Giants’ offense has severely underperformed this season, failing to score a single first-half touchdown through their first five games and being shutout in three of the team’s four losses. Among the many problems the unit is facing, a lack of involvement from core playmakers stands out.
Veteran wide receiver Sterling Shepard was expected to get more involved in the game plan last week after being absent through the start of the season. However, Shepard’s impact was once again minimal as the team barely incorporated him into the offensive system.
As the offense continues to falter, the Giants should begin getting Shepard involved and seeing what kind of impact he can have in the lineup.
Sterling Shepard has been absent from the offense
Ahead of last week’s matchup with the Dolphins, head coach Brian Daboll said he expected Shepard to be involved “a little bit more” in the Giants’ offense going forward. This appeared to be a farce, however, as Shepard ran only nine routes on 43 quarterback dropbacks in Week 5.
Shepard was on the field for only 20 snaps in Week 5. This season, Shepard is playing a career-low 15% of snaps on offense. His lack of involvement in the offense has left many perplexed, including Shepard himself.
“It ain’t my job to explain it,” Shepard said to The NY Daily News. “I just try to be patient and also just stay on top of my job. And when my number’s called, just try to do something and make due with what opportunities I get.”
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The Giants should get Shepard more involved
Throughout his career, Shepard has been one of Big Blue’s most reliable playmakers when on the field. He has struggled to remain healthy, but this season, Shepard is playing at full strength and is still not receiving much playing time.
Shepard has been targeted only five times through the first five weeks this season, hauling in three receptions for 23 yards and two first downs. Through three games last season, he had already been targeted 24 times, catching 13 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown.
Throughout the summer, Shepard looked sharp, consistently beating down the team’s defensive backs in practice. Shepard appeared ready for a bounce-back season and is confident he could still rise to the occasion, but the Giants have not given the veteran any opportunities.
As the Giants frantically search for answers to fix their sinking offense, they need to consider getting Shepard more involved. He is a reliable receiver who seldom drops passes and frequently breaks open for easy yardage underneath. Shepard is still a talented player who deserves a chance to prove his worth as one of the rotational receivers in Big Blue’s offense.