The New York Giants have the defense – now they need to work on the O-line.
After their critical win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the Giants hold a 9-4 record. They appear playoff-bound for the first time since their last Super Bowl title of 2012, and the defense is arguably as good as it was back then. Since we all know defense wins games this can only be seen as a positive. But for whatever reason, the Giants still aren’t the team to explode on both sides of the football. Sure, their defense handed another loss to the “best team in football”. But it was anyone’s game until the 4th quarter, due to the fact that the Giants have lost their offensive spark since last year.
“We beat ‘em two times, and we’ve played pretty well, but our focus is on Detroit now,” said Odell Beckham Jr., postgame. “ We’ve got work to do. We’ve got so much talent, and we know we can play better.”
On paper the Giants have one of the best receiving corps in football. Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard provide quarterback Eli Manning with three capable look options aside from the run game. And still – STILL – the Giants couldn’t get the knock-out punch over Dallas. Each receiver dropped at least one critical pass, which caused Manning to lose faith in his look options. The result? Continuous sub-par attempts at running the ball to ensure positive yardage. And the only thing worse than the Giants run game, is their offensive line.
We all know Manning isn’t a Russell Wilson type quarterback, who can escape a collapsing pocket and make the completion. In fact, when Manning holds the football for more than four seconds, the resulting play is a sack, fumble, interception, or incomplete pass, with the latter being the most desirable outcome.
If the Giants want to continue their Super Bowl run, the O-line needs to beef up against the opposing pass rush to protect their quarterback. When given the time, Manning will make accurate passes to move the chains. Simply put, the offensive unit needs to gel immediately …or else.
“Offensively you just gotta pin your ears back and just go, and just not be fearful of doing anything,” said Cruz. “Run your play calls, be confident, execute your game plan and take it from there.”
Despite missed opportunities and way too many turnovers, the Giants proved their grit over their division rivals for one of their biggest wins of the season. Last time the Giants managed similar wins in 2012, they went on to claim Super Bowl XLVI. And there’s no denying there’s a that same almost eerie energy around these Giants, as there was in 2012.