The New York Giants have scored 30 or more points in a game only once this season. The Giants have, in fact, only scored 20 or more once in their last five games. During their nine-game losing streak, the Giants have accumulated 300 yards of total offense only twice. Can they find some offense on Sunday against the 3-10 Miami Dolphins?
Let’s look at the Giants’ offense vs. the Miami defense.
Who’s at quarterback?
As of Thursday afternoon the Giants had not announced a decision on whether rookie Daniel Jones or veteran Eli Manning would be behind center on Sunday afternoon.
Sentimentality would make it nice to see Manning get what would likely be his final start at MetLife Stadium as a Giant. Coach Pat Shurmur has, though, made it clear that if Jones is ready then he will play.
Barkley still hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game since coming back from his high-ankle sprain. Of more concern, he has had only 1 receiving yard in two of the past three games. It’s really too late to rescue anything this season, but it would be nice for once to see the Giants maximize their best player’s talents by getting him into space.
The second half counts, too
Early in the season Giants’ habit was to fall behind early in games and try to play catch up.
- Week 1 — The Giants trailed the Dallas Cowboys 21-7 at halftime.
- Week 2 — Again a 21-7 halftime deficit, this one to the Buffalo Bills.
- Week 3 — A 28-10 halftime deficit to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
- Week 5 — The Giants trailed the Minnesota Vikings 18-8 at the half.
- Week 7 — The Giants fell behind the Arizona Cardinals 17-0.
- Week 10 — The Giants fell behind the New York Jets 14-0 after only one quarter.
Lately, things have been different. The Giants have led at the half in two of their past three games, and have a cumulative first-half scoring advantage over their opponents of 34-31 in those games.
Unfortunately, the second half counts, too. In their last three games the Giants have been outscored 50-10 in the second half. 50-10! Unbelievable.
After an impressive first half (226 yards, 17 points) against the Eagles on Monday, the Giants gained only 30 second-half yards.
Per Inside Edge, the Giants have scored on only 21.9 percent of their second-half drives this season, a rate that is fourth-worst in the NFL. League average is 33.9 percent.
Is that poor coaching leading to halftime adjustments that put the Giants at a second-half disadvantage? Is it just young players not being able to carry solid play through all four quarters? Is it simply that the Giants don’t have enough talent?
I really don’t know. All I know for certain is that a football game lasts 60 minutes, not 30. For whatever reason, the Giants too often only seem capable of playing well for about 30. That’s not going to cut it, obviously.
Depleted Dolphins’ secondary
The Dolphins placed cornerbacks Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis on IR this week. They traded unhappy defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers early in the season. Defensive backs Aqib Talib, Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain and Reshad Jones were already on IR. Dolphins fans are plenty worried about Giants’ rookie wide receiver Darius Slayton.
The Giants should have the ability to find open receivers, provided they can protect whoever is at quarterback.
Hello, old friends
There are a couple of familiar faces on the Miami defense. Former Giants draft pick Avery Moss is a backup defensive end John Jenkins, who spent last season with the Giants, is a backup defensive tackle. Linebacker Jake Carlock, who started the season on the Giants’ practice squad, is now in that capacity with Miami.
In addition, long-snapper Taybor Pepper was with the Giants in training camp, and offensive lineman Evan Brown was recently signed by Miami off New York’s practice squad.