Let’s be honest and straightforward for a second: this new-look Giants offense looks worse than the atrocity that they called an offense last year.
To compare, what’s supposed to be an up-tempo offense has run slower and more inefficient than the New York City subway. It’s still under construction with too many delays and problems while both new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning are trying to get this Giants offensive train running smoothly.
Yet, going into Friday’s preseason matchup against their rival New York Jets, the Giants still have another chance to nail this new offense down as they get closer and closer to their regular season opener at Detroit on Sept. 8.
“Whatever words you want to use to describe it, there’s no production,” head coach Tom Coughlin said after Saturday’s 27-26 win against the Colts.
“There’s nothing to look at from a production standpoint and that’s disappointing.”
Disappointing is a nice way to put it. Embarrassing is more like it, especially when it seems like the backups and third-stringers seem to have the offense down more than the first-team.
The west-coast offense is full of short, high-percentage passes that allow the quarterback to make quick reads and get rid of the ball quick. While Eli has had moments of getting rid of the ball quicker, he’s had more moments of sitting in the pocket, trying to make a read and, in turn, getting pressured, forcing bad throws.
Manning completed just one pass Saturday night, a six-yard completion to Jerrel Jernigan on another drive that eventually died. He went 1-for-7 for those six yards Saturday night, following an 0-for-2 passing performance against the Steelers the week before.
Eli Manning’s preseason rating is 51.3 http://t.co/xAvSEHcV5d
— ProFootballZone (@ProFootballZone) August 18, 2014
The Giants first-string offense has scored just one touchdown in three preseason games (a rushing touchdown by Rashad Jennings against Pittsburgh last week) and has sustained just one drive. With Eli under center, the Giants have scored all of just 14 points in those 11 drives, with Eli throwing for just 49 total yards so far. He has also been sacked three times this preseason as well.
The Giants nearly had a highlight play when Manning found his favorite target, wide out Victor Cruz for what would’ve been a 50 yard reception late in the first quarter, however Cruz fumbled the ball trying to break away, but the play was erased after a defensive penalty by the Colts.
“None of these games matter yet,” Cruz said after the game Saturday. “Nothing is really going in the win-loss column honestly. It’s just a matter of us continuing to plug away.”
“No I don’t worry too much,” Manning added. “Obviously you want to go out there and you want to play well. But you can’t get worried at this point in time.”
Preseason Eli Manning: 7-for 16 passing, 49 yards, 43.8 completion %, 3.06 yards per attempt, 0 TD/INT, sacked 3 times. QB rating: 51.3 #NYG
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) August 18, 2014
“I think we were just a few plays away from being OK tonight. Hit those plays and those lead to more plays, they lead to a rhythm. We just didn’t have many first downs and opportunities to get into a rhythm.”
The Giants haven’t had any sort of rhythm throughout as far back as the offseason and if they’re going to avoid another 0-6 start, they need to get into a rhythm soon.
If it takes just one play to spark anything with this Giants offense, then Eli and company better hope to find it on Friday night against the Jets, when they will take their last significant action of the preseason.
You have to remember, the thing with the Giants is that they never seem to make anything easy, nor is anything really as it seems. Yes, they’re currently undefeated at 3-0 in the preseason, but it’s not because of the Giants starters. If the Giants want to go 4-0 after Friday night, it better be because of the starters.
It’s fine that Eli’s suffering from a bit of a learning curve during the preseason. This is the first time he’s had to learn an entire new offense, especially when he missed time due to his ankle surgery, forcing him to miss some of the team’s OTA’s. But now it’s time to get down to business and nail this down.
The Giants are running out of time to learn and soon enough, the struggles will be magnified even more and the records will actually count.