This would have been a touchy subject for New York Giants fans just a few weeks ago, in fact, maybe it still is for some, but the reality is, the offense can be even more efficient and productive without Odell Beckham Jr.
Trading Beckham Jr. certainly sent shockwaves throughout the NFL, and the Giants received a decent haul in return for his talents. We’ve already seen the benefits of fewer antics and distraction this offseason, as Beckham has attacked talking heads on Twitter and skipped OTAs when he should be building chemistry with his new team.
We are beyond the days of watching Beckham’s private workout videos to soothe our minds that he’s not attending team practices. The Cleveland Browns are now on the hook for his transgressions, and head coach Freddie Kitchens has already expressed his concern with Beckham not attending OTAs.
“I have never disputed the fact that it is not important for him to be here, but it is also important for him to be mentally ready to be here,’’ Kitchens told reporters after practice. “I’m not giving him an out by any stretch of imagination, and nobody here knows the conversations that Odell and I have. I’m just saying it is better for him to be here when he can present his best self – emotionally, physically, everything.”
However, this is about the Giants and why their offense is going to be even more productive in 2019. Not only will the ball be spread out significantly more without OBJ on the field, but it will give the Giants a chance to execute a possession-based offense.
How has the New York Giants offense operated?
In recent years, we saw Big Blue center their entire scheme around the home run play. Forcing the ball to Beckham and watching Eli Manning track down his number in triple coverage. Now, we are going to see something much different. An offense with balance and unpredictability. The signing of Golden Tate attests to that ideology.
Tate and Sterling Shepard are two of the most efficient possession receivers in the NFL. They’re built for yards-after-catch and moving the chains consistently. They’re not big red-zone targets, but that’s why the Giants drafted Saquon Barkley – he has a knack for getting into the endzone, 15 total scores tell the story.
But the primary catalyst of this idea boils down to Manning. How many times have we seen Eli throw balls astray in hopes of Beckham coming down with it? I recall a specific scenario against the Philadephia Eagles where Manning tossed a ball into triple-coverage while Barkley was wide-open in the flat. That pass was intercepted on a drive that was progressing well.
Here is Eli Manning’s interception on Sunday.
It’s almost inexplicable that a 15-year veteran would fall for Malcolm Jenkins goading him into the throw like this. Especially with both Saquon Barkley and Corey Coleman both WIDE open underneath on both sides. #Giants #Eagles #NFL pic.twitter.com/K7DZ7qkdib
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) November 27, 2018
Without Beckham and Manning’s tunnel-vision, that play would have never happened. Focusing on the short game and moving the chains slowly will not only help the offense succeed, but it will aid the defense as well.
Keeping the defense off the field is essential for success in the NFL. Fatigue is a very real negative response from playing too much and delivering too many hits. The offense can limit the playing time significantly for the defense by maintaining possession and wasting time off the clock. Time-management is a very important aspect of coaching, and something we will witness takes a front-seat in 2019.
To recap, letting Beckham go promotes a possession-based offense with receivers that move the chains incrementally instead of advocating a home-run style. This is a very proven method – ask the New England Patriots, the New Orleans Saints, even the Philadelphia Eagles (2017 version). Hopefully, the Giants can execute this style efficiently in the season ahead, as it could pay dividends if successful.