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Postby liny195 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:07 am
around against the Houston defense? Not much is going right for the Giants offense this season. There’s a lot of blame to go around. But there are a few ways it can be fixed. Where they’ll try to fix it this week is in Houston against the Texans www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com , who are also an 0-2 and struggling a bit on defense. If that turnaround is going to happen, here’s some things to look for this week against the Texans.The defensive line is nastyThere’s the names you know — J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, Whitney Mercilus — and some you might not, like D.J. Reader. Whether they are at full health or not (Clowney is expected to play after missing Week 2, Watt is still working his way back from an injury that cost him almost all of 2017), these are dangerous players who could flip a game in an instant.Reader can be a dominant player on his own, but when he’s getting blocked one-on-one while the rest of the offensive line is worried about Watt and Clowney, he can take advantage. He had two sacks against the Patriots in Week 1, both of which were aided by attention paid to Watt.Another takeaway from those plays is how close Watt is to being the dominant Watt we’ve seen in the past. He’s working his way back to the J.J. Watt of old and he’s on the verge of getting there. He’s yet to record a sack, but he’s oh so close, which doesn’t bode well for the Giants offensive line.The sack and pressure numbers aren’t great at the moment, but that’s not likely to last for long.Quick hittersThe offensive line has clearly struggled and given up pressure, but there are ways to combat that. Per Next Gen Stats, Eli Manning has an average of 2.7 seconds to throw this season. That’s almost exactly league average (2.72) among 32 qualified quarterbacks. Since Manning obviously isn’t behind a league average offensive line, it would make some sense to mix in some throws that allow him to get the ball out quickly.There’s an argument to be made that getting the ball out quickly lowers the ceiling of an offense or limits the amount of downfield shots — both true to an extent — but Manning already has the eighth-shortest throws on average among those qualified quarterbacks. Setting up Manning with more easily defined throws will also help an offense more than running around and relying on a check down to a running back, even if those throws are the correct read at the time.Slants to Odell Beckham became a running joke as the only workable part of the Ben McAdoo offense, but there’s a reason they were relied on so often — they had the greatest potential to work. Beckham slants shouldn’t account for the majority of the passing offense like it had in the past, but getting a few more in there isn’t a bad idea for anyone involved.More movement and creativityOne of the biggest disappointments in the offense has been the lack of movement and creativity in the offensive personnel and play calls. When I talked to Evan Engram during training camp, he said he was excited for this offense because everybody’s everywhere. Through two weeks, that hasn’t been the case, especially with Engram and Saquon Barkley.Engram had seven targets last week against the Cowboys and only one came when he was lined up in the slot. All 16 of Barkley’s targets against Dallas originated from the backfield. These are supposed to be two versatile, dynamic playmakers who can be moved around the formation to create mismatches, but they have yet to be used that way. Engram’s 3.8 intended air yards are the lowest among 97 wide receivers and running backs with at least eight targets on the season.You could say the lack of protection from the offensive line hasn’t allow the Giants to be more creative. But on the other side, stretching the field horizontally with a tight end or running back in the slot or outside puts stress on the defense, lessens the amount of players in the middle of the field, and can decrease the amount of pass rushers available. And if there’s still a pass rush close to getting home, there are more receivers in better positions to serve as hot routes or outlet passes instead of check downs with little room to run.Per Sharp Football Stats New York Giants T-Shirt , the Giants are still using 11 personnel (three wide receivers) at an above average rate (66 percent), but they aren’t doing many creative things with it. The Giants’ use of 12 personnel (two tight ends, 22 percent) has often seen Engram and Rhett Ellison as traditional in-line tight ends.This should be the week to try to unleash Engram down the field more often. Through two weeks, the Texans are 30th in DVOA against opposing tight ends. Attacking the cornersHouston currently ranks 24th in defensive DVOA against the pass, but it comes with a crazy split. The Texans rank first in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers, but rank 25th against No. 2’s and 24th against “others.” That comes with some caveats, though, since Houston has played New England, which doesn’t really have a “No. 1” receiver and Tennessee, which had Blaine Gabbert “throwing” passes to Corey Davis.So, if Odell Beckham can take more advantage of Jonathan Joseph and the other parts of the secondary are already weak, there could be openings in the passing game.Kareem Jackson has already bounced between starting at safety and moving back to cornerback after Kevin Johnson was was put on injured reserve after suffering a concussion in Week 1, which followed a concussion suffered in the preseason. The depth behind Joseph and Jackson is not ideal, so it could be a big day for Sterling Shepard and possibly Cody Latimer if the Giants choose to go that way.Why the Giants will, or won’t, win the Super Bowl Can someone possibly project which teams will, or won’t, win the Super Bowl? Sure, by using a process commonly referred to as “guessing.” The New York Giants themselves have proven the folly of ruling a team out of contention in August or September. In 2007, they were perceived as a mediocre team with a head coach who should be fired. In 2011 they were perceived as a mediocre team with a franchise quarterback who caused belly laughs among the punditry when he said that he thought he was in Tom Brady’s class of quarterback. It might be slightly more accurate to assess which teams the chance a team has of making a run at the Super Bowl. That’s what Bill Barnwell did for ESPN, assessing how likely each of the 32 teams were to play in the Super Bowl, and how they could win it. He lists the Giants as one of the least-likely teams to play in, and win, the last game of the season, ranking them at 26th with a miniscule 0.3 percent chance at the Super Bowl. Ouch. What path does Barnwell lay down for the Giants to win the Super Bowl? Well, it’s fairly obvious: They could surprise us all and be good if their best players — Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, Janoris Jenkins New York Giants Hats , and Damon Harrison — and their second tier of players — Evan Engram, Eli Apple, Will Hernandez, Nate Solder — play well. As well, he says that they’ll need Olivier Vernon and Alec Ogletree to fix the problems at linebacker, and for Eli Manning to play like a franchise quarterback. If the majority of the Giants’ starting offense and defense plays well, according to Barnwell, they might just have a chance. If not? Well...It’s interesting that Barnwell doesn’t mention players like WRs Sterling Shepard and Cody Latimer, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, LB B.J. Goodson, EDGE Lorenzo Carter, or FS Curtis Riley as players who could be major role players in a Giants run, despite the importance of their roles. The Giants should reasonably expect their best players to play their best. Any team will miss the play-offs, or have an early exit, if their best players don’t perform up to expectations. The difference between the teams that make it and the ones who fall short are often the players nobody knows who step up and provide answers where none were expected.Sterling Shepard, or Latimer, could be the offense’s X-factor as teams concentrate on dealing with Beckham, Engram, and Barkley. Tomlinson will likely play more snaps, in more situations, than Harrison. He might not (yet) be the dominant player that Harrison is, but stout defensive tackle play is needed on every defensive snap. Goodson is a force against the run, and looks surprisingly comfortable playing in space. He might not be a “big name” but the more the Giants can do from their base packages, the better for the defense. I have lost count of the number of times I have said this over the years, but good free safety play is transformative for a defense — especially a blitz-heavy defense. The defense absolutely needs a reliable last line of defense for a DC to feel comfortable sending pressure. If Riley is able to convert from corner to free safety, that is a tremendous advantage. The Giants have the talent at the top of their depth chart to compete with any team in the NFL. Beckham, Janoris Jenkins, Harrison New York Giants Hoodie , and Collins are each among the best in the league at their positions when healthy. Sterling Shepard was a top-5 slot receiver in 2017 despite playing just 11 games and playing through injury when he was on the field. And in the ultra-small sample size that was the first half of the third preseason game, Eli Manning looked better — more crisp, confident, and aggressive — than he has in years. And that is all well and good, but why wouldn’t the Giants’ make the post-season (let alone the Super Bowl)?For a team that went 3-13, got a new general manager, head coach (and coaching staff), and had so much roster turnover that even veterans of multiple teams describe it as “wild,” that certainly isn’t easy.The biggest pitfall for the 2018 Giants is their depth chart. It is simply riddled with question marks. Much of their secondary was brought on after final cuts, which raises questions for a blitz-heavy defense which relies on players to go from disguising coverage to being in position and keeping the ball in the quarterback’s hand. There is also the issue of the offensive line, particularly the interior. Eli Manning, and pretty much every other “pocket passer” (read: “quarterbacks who can’t run good”), depend more on a stout interior line than stout offensive tackles. While athletic quarterbacks can escape interior pressure by scrambling — which is facilitated by good tackle play to help them break contain — pocket passers need a pocket which they can climb to avoid pressure off the edge. The Giants have upgraded their tackle positions with Nate Solder pushing Ereck Flowers to the right side, but the interior of their line is a question mark. Will Hernandez is a highly drafted and talented rookie, but he is a rookie — he will have “rookie moments” as he adjusts to the speed, power, and gamesmenship of the NFL. Jon Halapio has only recently moved to center, and Patrick Omameh has had his struggles at right guard. Pat Shurmur said that the Giants will only go as far as the offensive line blocks for them, and it’s fair to wonder if the revamped offensive line is actually an improvement over the 2017 line, or just different. If it is the latter, the Giants will have a tough time making it to Atlanta on Feb. 3, 2019 unless they buy tickets. Which will it be? There is a much greater chance that any team will not play in the Super Bowl (let alone win it) than there is that they will. Winning the Super Bowl is HARD and even great teams will fall short and miss it. If the Giants get what they need from their best players, and get some surprise contributions from their depth, they should surprise those who are dismissing them in September.
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