All signs point to Pat Shurmur becoming the 18th head coach in the history of the New York Giants. The current Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator will inherit one of the worst offenses in the National Football League if, in fact, he does succeed Ben McAdoo.
The Giants offense averaged 314.2 yards per game, ranked 21st in the league. Unfortunately, they ranked 31st in points with 15.4 per game (only the 0-16 Cleveland Browns scored fewer points in 2017). The offense only managed 4.9 yards per possession (ranked 26th overall) which would explain why their average time of possession was 28 minutes, 42 seconds (ranked 29th overall).
The Giants used different combinations on the o-line because of injury and necessity. The result was an offense that was wildly inconsistent and ineffective. Offensive line play is a crucial component to success. The Giants won Super Bowls when they had outstanding play on the offensive line. 2017 was a blaring example of what happens when the offensive line goes to hell.
Eli Manning did not have of his best seasons. The numbers don’t necessarily tell the tale of how bad his season was. He had 352 completions in 571 attempts for 3,468 yards, completing 61.6 percent of his throws. The 352 completions were the fifth highest of his career while the 61.6 completion percentage was the sixth highest.
Manning also threw 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His performance was a long way off from his Super Bowl season of 2011 (when he threw a career high 4,933 yards) or 2015 (when he threw a career high 35 touchdowns with a career high quarterback rating of 93.6).
Of course, it wasn’t entirely Manning’s fault. Very few, if any, quarterbacks can recover from losing Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Dwayne Harris to season ending injuries in the same game.
On one hand, Manning had the services of Sterling Shepard and rookie Evan Engram. On the other hand, anyone who thinks Marquis Bundy, Tavarres King, Roger Lewis, Darius Powe, Kalif Raymond, and Hunter Sharp can collectively replace the production of Beckham, Harris, and Marshall is stark raving mad.
In each of the Giants’ three victories, Darkwa carried the ball at least 20 times. He averaged 5.65 yards per carry in those games despite suspect offensive line play. Gallman, in his rookie season, finished with 476 yards on 111 carries (including 15 carries for 89 yards in the regular season finale against the Washington Redskins). He also proved capable of catching passes out of the backfield with 34 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown.
If Pat Shurmur becomes the Giants’ next head coach, his input will be needed to make a decision about the future of the quarterback position.
Manning turned 37 on Jan. 3 and will be entering his 15th NFL season in 2018 with two years remaining on his current contract. Will the team make one last run with No. 10 behind center and officially move into the post-Manning era?
The Giants also have a quarterback taken in last year’s draft in Davis Webb that hasn’t played a down in a meaningful game. The team’s 3-13 record did yield one positive: the second overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. The 2018 quarterback class is already drawing comparisons to the legendary classes of 1983 and 2004 (of which Manning is a member).
Pugh was the offensive line’s best player in 2017 but only played 19 games in the past two seasons. Richburg was thought to be the Giants’ starting center of the future but finished the season on injured reserve. There were rumblings that Richburg wanted to play after he cleared the concussion protocol and wasn’t happy that he wasn’t given the opportunity.
Then, there’s the elephant in the room: Beckham. OBJ said he wanted to the NFL’s highest paid player during last offseason after the team picked up his fifth-year option. McAdoo was soundly criticized for not disciplining Beckham after his canine touchdown celebration at Lincoln Financial Field. For his part, Beckham tweeted that he is “geeeked” about having Shumur as his head coach.