This past offseason, the Giants hired Ben McAdoo to be their new offensive coordinator and playcaller. Kevin Gilbride, the former OC who won two Super Bowls here decided to "retire", leaving the door open for the Giants to change the direction of the offense.
The main objective was to re-energize and refocus QB Eli Manning, who had become inefficient and turnover-prone. The goal was - and is - to get his completion rate to near or above 70%, an initiative that is still a work in progress (Eli is currently completing 61.2% of his passes).
They also wanted Eli to get the ball out faster, put it in play ASAP rather than hold onto it and get sacked or throw a risky pass. Initially, Eli was doing a good job of this and the Giants offense was moving the ball well. It led to a three-game winning streak from Weeks 3-5, but then the team was hit with significant injuries.
In the Week 5 win, RB Rashad Jennings suffered a knee injury that would keep him out for five weeks. WR Victor Cruz was lost to a torn patellar tendon in Week 6 and the team has been averaging just 14.4 points per game since then.
McAdoo has not been able to overcome the challenges and conjure up a consistent game plan that results in more points. Jennings is back and Cruz' loss has been defrayed by the emergence of rookie WR Odell Beckham, Jr.
They are averaging just over 20 points a game, but have scored just ten points over the past six quarters. They averaged 35 points in their three wins but just 14.2 in their seven losses.
The Giants are losing games because (duh) they aren't scoring enough points. All the below indicators show the Giants are performing average or better than average in major offensive categories. So, why isn't this team scoring more?
You can point to the offensive line and it's subpar performance (which many will say is by design) not allowing the offense to reach it's full potential but that is more of a perception than a reality. The reality is, the Giants' offensive line has not been that bad.
According the to website Football Outsiders, the Giants are far from the worst OL in the league. They rank 2oth in run blocking and 17th in pass protection.
It's not that they have been inefficient, either. They are not going three-and-out and they have been converting on third down. In 119 drives this season, only 24 of them were three-and-outs, tied with the Patriots for 17th in the NFL. The Giants have converted 40.58% of third down opportunities, 18th best in the league.
They are averaging 5.2 yards per play, the same as the 49ers and slightly better than the Lions, two winning teams. They get into the red zone 3.5 times per game (9th in the NFL) and convert 66,6% of the time (5th in the NFL).
Are the Giants not getting enough first downs? No, they average 21 first downs per game, 13th best in the league.
Up until last week the Giants were around even in the give/take category. They are now -4 after Eli's five INT day. So they have not been giving games away. Penalties aren't the culprit, either. The Giants average 5.4 accepted penalties a game, 6th lowest in the NFL.
Here are some possible stats that may provide some answers...
The Giants have punted on 52 of their 119 drives and have 21 giveaways. 25 drives resulted in a touchdown while ten ended with a FG. They went for it on fourth down 13 times and have only made four. The rest of the drives were fruitless, either ending the half or the game.
The bottom line is that they are not doing enough on offense to compete. What can be done about it?
Do they need to become more dynamic, throwing the ball downfield more? Maybe. They have capable wide receivers. They also need to get their big, athletic TE the ball in the seam more often. Your thoughts...