The Giant Insider Online

Four Ways the Giants Can Turn Their Fortunes Around in 2018

The New York Giants are coming off a terrible 2017 season in which they finished 3-13 for the first time in franchise history.

As a result, they shook up their front office, hiring the no-nonsense Dave Gettleman at general manager while also bringing in a brand new coaching staff to point the team back in the right direction.

What went wrong last season? You name it. Just about everything. Here are four things they will hope to improve on in 2018.

Win more games

Duh. This goes without saying. The 13 losses they sustained in 2017 are franchise record, eclipsing the previous record of 12, which was achieved five other times in team history: 2003, 1983, 1980, 1974 and 1966.

The Giants went 2-6 at home, their worst home record since 2003, when they were 1-7. They also went 1-5 against the NFC East and 1-11 against NFC opponents.

They never scored over 30 points in any single game. In fact they scored either 12 or less in seven games. Their two highest totals came against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Eagles (29 and 24) in two close defeats.

Score more points

The Giants scored just 246 points in 2018 (an average of 15.4 per game), their lowest total since the 2003 season (243) when they went 4-12 in Jim Fassel’s final season. It was also their third-lowest output since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978 (242 points in 1996 was the lowest).

They allowed 388 points, which led to a point differential of -142, the largest gap since 2003 when they scored 243 points and allowed 387 (-144).

They were considerably hobbled last season without superstar Odell Beckham, Jr., who was lost to them after four games with a broken ankle, and several other key players also did not play a full season. Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard played only 16 games collectively and with no running game to speak of, the Giants’ offense sputtered along at a snail’s pace.

This year will almost have to be better with Beckham and Shepard returning and their last two first-round draft picks, tight end Evan Engram and running back Saquon Barkley set to become two of the best in the league at their positions.

Stop the pass

The Giants were fairly decent at stopping the run in 2017, allowing a modest 4.2 yards per rush, but against the pass they were vulnerable. The defense surrendered 4,038 yards through the air, the second-most in the NFL behind Tampa Bay (4,169) and a league-high 32 TDs.

The 32 touchdowns through the air was the most permitted by a Giant defense since the 36 the porous 1966 crew allowed. This was due to a poor pass rush (their 27 sacks ranked them 30th in the NFL) and a secondary that wasn’t committed to the direct of the team.

This year, under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher, the Giants will be blitzing more and providing more pressure on opposing quarterbacks from all angles and sources. The defensive backs are all healthy again and Eli Apple is back in the fold after getting a second chance.

Apple will join Pro Bowler Janoris Jenkins, free agent William Gay and Sam Beal, just selected by the Giants in the NFL Supplemental Draft last week, to form a deeper, more focused group of corners in 2018.

Balance the offense

The Giants threw the ball 608 times in 2017 and ran it 394. That’s a 62% pass/run ratio which was the fourth-highest in the NFL last year. It’s also the third-highest amount of attempts in franchise history (623 in 2015 and 616 in 2003).

The three teams ahead of them in run/pass ratio were Miami (63.8), Detroit (62.9) and Tampa Bay (62.8). What do these teams all have in common? They all averaged under 100 yards per game on the ground and none of them qualified for the postseason.

The Giants, with the second overall pick, could not take the bait and roll the dice on a young quarterback in the draft. They have quarterbacks. They need someone who can run the football and who better than Barkley, who was widely considered the top player in the draft.

With Barkley, they get an instant babysitter of the football, someone they can entrust to get 25 touches per game. He will balance out the offense, not only by rushing the ball but by catching short passes. He is the “can opener”, the “jack knife” player they haven’t had since Ahmad Bradshaw, who incidentally was their last 1,000-yard rusher (1,015 in 2012).

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

%d bloggers like this: