“We keep working to get better. But, again, everyone keeps pointing to the offensive line. There was enough to go around. We have to work this week to improve. It’s one week.”
That was what New York Giants’ head coach Ben McAdoo said when he was asked what happens after an opening week where the offensive line showed little improvement over it’s 2016 performance.
Nobody was happy with the Giants’ offensive performance against the Dallas Cowboys. McAdoo was quick, however, to say that the Giants aren’t interested in laying blame, but rather solving the problems.
“No one’s blaming anybody,” McAdoo said. “We have a lot of work to do as an offense. It’s not just the offensive line.”
And on that count he’s right.
While the offensive line certainly failed to inspire confidence in the first half, they did enough to give the offense a chance in the second half. That half the Giants were able to find brief glimpses of running lanes and Manning often had a clean pocket with which to work. However, as Ed pointed out in his All-22 review, Manning took far fewer chances than we are used to seeing from him.
Starting running back Paul Perkins just did not run with the electricity that we saw from him at the end of 2016 — though Orleans Darkwa ran with his customary fire. Receivers did not get the kind of separation that they might have needed to, and routes might not have been run correctly or as precisely as necessary (that is difficult for us to know without being privy to the play designs).
As well, the offensive game plan just didn’t seem to be aggressive, erring to the side of caution. Perhaps that might have been out of a lack of faith in the offensive line to be consistently reliable, but McAdoo refused to single out any player, or even position, out.
And he’s right. Football is the ultimate team sport. It will take more from everyone on offense to improve.
“We have 11 guys on offense,” McAdoo said. “It takes all 11 to have a successful play and win the down on offense. Not just the center, not just the guards, it takes all 11.”