The Giants offense was supposed to be high powered but has been stuck in neutral with one quarter of the season in the books.
Odell Beckham Jr., the league’s highest paid wide receiver, was held under 100 yards in Week 3’s loss to the New Orleans Saints. Beckham had just 60 yards on seven receptions. It was the second time this season Beckham was held under 100 yards and he still hasn’t caught a touchdown.
Eli Manning, despite completing 75 percent of his passes against his hometown Saints, was criticized for not taking any shots down the field. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, had just 44 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The Giants offense managed just 18 points against a defense that allowed more than 34 points per game entering Week 4. Head coach Pat Shurmur is being referred to as “McAdoo 2.0”.
They still have an opportunity to right the ship but gets no easier for them. Their first opportunity is against a bye-week rested Carolina Panthers on the road. The offense is efficient they just aren’t generating a ton of yardage or scoring a bunch of points.
Manning’s air yards per attempt is 6.2. The only quarterbacks with a lower air yards per attempt are Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, C.J. Beathard, Blaine Gabbert, and Sam Bradford. Despite this, Manning has completed 74.2 percent of his passes. This is far above his career-best of 63.1 percent and his career average of 60.1 percent.
Manning has a third-down passer rating of 127.2. He has completed 80.5 percent of his third downs with 33 completions. These numbers all lead the NFL.
Barkley has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of the Giants’ games. If he has such a performance against Carolina, he will join Kareem Hunt and Adrian Peterson as the only players in NFL history to reach that number in their first four games. Barkley leads all rookies in receptions with 27.
Beckham had six receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown in his only career game against Carolina: a 38-35 Giants loss in Week 14 of 2015. The game was memorable because of Beckham’s on-the-field beef with Josh Norman. Beckham drew three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, earning a one-game suspension.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is not taking Manning or the Giants offense lightly.
“Yes, I do,” Rivera said when asked if Manning seems like the same quarterback he’s faced in the past. “The dude—you’re talking about a two-time Super Bowl MVP. There’s something about your game that’s special, and I think he’s a special player.
“Again, as I said, new offense and they’re learning things, they’re learning how to play it, it takes a little bit of time, you don’t just plug in say, ‘OK, this is it’. They’ve got to understand each other’s philosophy, they’ve got to understand what the other players are doing.
“That’s a lot to learn when you install a new offense, but I still see the same guy—good decision maker, good arm, and he’s a winner. Believe me, we’re not taking these guys likely. This football team’s got way too much talent, but again, like I said, they’re still growing.”
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.