Ben McAdoo didn’t Improve the Giants Offense Enough in the Off-Season
It’s early days in the NFL season. But last year’s offensive woes persist for the New York Giants.
How does that old saying go?
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Of course, we’re only one game into the 2017 NFL season. You could argue that putting too much stock into the Giants’ loss to Dallas is a waste of time. You could say that the Giants were missing arguably their most important player (certainly on the offensive side of the ball) in Odell Beckham Jr.
Yet, here we are, one week into the NFL season and 18 (including the playoffs) games into Ben McAdoo’s tenure as head coach. After averaging 19.4 points per game in 2016 under the offensive-minded McAdoo — good for 26th in the league — the Giants answered their critics by dropping a whopping three points in their 2017 season opener against Dallas.
Worse though, was that Sunday’s game was much of the same for these Giants, who haven’t put up more than 20 points in seven straight games dating back to last season (and when they last did, that game featured a pick-six by JPP).
This isn’t a one-off. This isn’t an anomaly. This is par for the course when it comes to the Giants offense under McAdoo and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan. McAdoo’s reliance and preference to stay primarily in 11 formation needs to change if this offense is going to get on track. In 2015 — with inferior offensive personnel — the Giants were the sixth-highest scoring offense. In the year-plus since McAdoo transitioned from coordinator to head coach, the offense has completely regressed, scoring 110 fewer points in 2016 than in 2015.
11 formation — in which there are three WRs, one RB and one TE — was the formation used a vast majority of the time last season. Over the off-season, the Giants brought in blocking TE Rhett Ellison and drafted TE Evan Engram in the first round. After these moves, it was assumed this meant far less time in 11 formation for the Giants. Instead, Ellison played a total of 19/56 snaps in week one, a number that needs to rise if the Giants are going to give Eli enough time to throw the ball.
They have a championship-caliber defense. They’ve got the weapons on offense to (hopefully) counter the poor offensive line play. What they’re missing is the proper play-calling that maximizes the talent on the offense while mitigating that poor offensive line play. This needs to come from McAdoo, who has shown a startling amount of stubbornness when it comes to adjusting formations and schemes.
In remarks to the media on Tuesday, McAdoo said, “We’ve got to make a big jump from week one to week two.” He also mentioned “breakdowns across the board” and the “need to get better technically.”
Aren’t these things that should’ve been addressed during the preseason?
To see this offense come out and put on the same performance (if not worse) than they did for a majority of last season is startling, to say the least. They were missing Beckham, which, of course, is huge. But the hope was that we’d see Engram utilized in new and unique ways to break up the cover-2 the Giants faced for much of last season. The hope was that the running game wouldn’t be as terrible as it was last season. The hope was that at a minimum, we’d see the Giants scheming to take advantage of their offensive weaponry.
Instead, we got much of the same. Something’s gotta give.