As was written about when the New York Giants drafted running back Saquon Barkley, there’s only one football.
Maybe because Barkley was part of the New York Giants new regime, or maybe its philosophical, but he immediately became the focal point of the offense. In and of itself, that not a bad thing, but at times, that role seems to have been force fed at every turn.
And the truth be told, the G-Men have not been great about utilizing their offensive resources effectively. The playbook seems hamstrung by loyalty only to Barkley and quarterback Eli Manning. While much of the NFL relies on innovation, the Giants seemingly want to go back to “three yards and a cloud of dust”.
Last week, much was written about Odell Beckham’s comments after the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and he wasn’t wrong.
On Sunday, Big Blue made a concerted effort to run the football, and there’s no argument in that. In the secondary, where Philadelphia was weak, the Bears were strong. This wasn’t going to be a game to chuck the ball 50 or 55 times. But there also has to be enough meat on the bone for OBJ to be perceived as a real threat to defenses.
Right now, the downfield shots to OBJ seem to be hit-or-miss, and the end around is a tired technology.
Without Beckham’s hand in two touchdowns, the New York Giants don’t win this ball game. His option pass was a thing of beauty, and not just because it caught the Bears defense off guard (although that was also nice to see).
Beckham’s athletic presence made the play work, as he didn’t panic at first. He has a pocket presence that’s not hard to see.
Clearly, it makes sense for the team to install the wildcat, or other gadget plays, to take advantage of Beckham’s ability to throw the ball. Face it, a read-option scheme utilizing Beckham and Barkley would be devastating.
Isn’t that a better idea than having OBJ return punts?
We know that gadget plays like the “Philly Special” are more difficult for the New York Giants because of the lack of mobility at quarterback. And right now, it seems that head coach Pat Shurmur has committed every snap of every game to Eli Manning under center.
It’s time to rethink that notion, and even allow new back-up quarterback Kyle Lauletta snaps in a read-option format too. This would achieve two goals. First, Lauletta could be evaluated in more than just garbage time. Second, it gives opposing defenses food for thought, thus opening up other avenues for big plays with Barkley and Beckham.
Shurmur should use this final four-game stretch to install the framework of a more cutting edge offensive philosophy. It benefits your star players, and it can jump start the inevitable quarterback transition, that’s being avoided.