Who’s to Blame for the New York Giants’ Struggles?

By: Jonathan Goad

The New York Football Giants are not a good football team. They’re 3-8 on the season and on their way to another top five pick in next year’s NFL draft.

However, when you look at their roster, they’ve got some fine players. Wide receiver, Odell Beckham, Jr. has some of the best hands in the game and can be extremely explosive. Rookie phenom Saquon Barkley is living up to being the number two overall pick in the 2018 draft. Eli Manning has been a solid quarterback, although he has declined significantly in the past couple season. He’s certainly more than capable of getting his play makers the ball.

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They have play makers on the defensive side of the ball as well. Landon Collins is one of the best safeties in the game. Janoris Jenkins is underrated as a cornerbac, and Alec Ogletree is a solid linebacker.

So why is this team this bad?

Well, maybe they’re not as bad as it appears. The Giants have eight losses so far this season. Only two of those losses are by double digits. One of those was a 21 point loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The other was a 15 point loss to the New Orleans Saints. Their other five losses are by a combined 27 points.

Who takes the blame here? Is it the players for not finishing games? Is it the coaches for not drawing up the correct game plan? Is it just plain bad luck?

Usually when teams perform poorly it’s a combination of those things. Bad teams don’t get lucky very often. In this situation, more blame has to be put on the coaches. While no one expected the Giants to go undefeated and win the Super Bowl, with the weapons they have, they should be better than a three-win team.

Their latest defeat at the hands of the Eagles (again) has to be on the coaches. Philly was without three cornerbacks. A normal coach would see that and decide to take advantage. Eli Manning did throw the ball 37 times for just under 300 yards. But Odell only has five catches for 85 yards. He did see nine targets, but those numbers should have been much higher.

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Odell was clearly upset about it saying, “Knowing they were struggling (with injuries) in the secondary, personally, I would have loved to attack them. But that wasn’t in our game plan.”

If I’m first-year coach Pat Shurmur, Odell would have had ten targets by halftime. As a coach, you have to do everything in your power to exploit the other team’s weakness. More times than not, Odell is going to beat his man. You have to give him a chance.

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The other interesting thing is that Barkley only touched the ball five times in the second half. While he ended up with a great day stat-wise, he could have been used a lot more to win this game. That sounds like poor coaching to me. To win games in the NFL, play makers need the ball in their hands. So why didn’t Odell Beckham and Saquon Barkley see more touches?

Poor coaching is the only answer.

If this continues, Odell may regret signing his five-year deal this past summer, and Saquon is gone after his rookie deal.