The Freddie Kitchens era as New York Giants’ offensive play-caller didn’t necessarily start with a bang. The offense scored 13 points on Sunday despite the defense forcing four Philadelphia turnovers. The Giants were outgained 332 to 264 yards, and the issue of generating explosive plays continued.
The Giants did manage three 10+ play drives that netted all 13 of their points; assembling long drives isn’t an issue, but constantly settling for field goals isn’t a sustainable method to winning football games. Furthermore, a lack of explosive play ability allows defenses more freedom and less fear of getting beaten deep.
These were never issues Kitchens could fix on a short week. Kitchens is still using the Jason Garrett playbook, and it was evident after watching the game. However, play calling is about timing, situation, and putting offensive pieces into the best situations to succeed.
I felt like Kitchens’ big plays were in timely situations. He called man beaters the few times the Eagles’ were in man coverage, and he had man and zone beaters built into a lot of his EMPTY set play designs.
There’s a lot of room for improvement, and Sunday wasn’t perfect, but I am curious to see what Kitchens can do against a man-heavy Miami Dolphins defense that figures to blitz Daniel Jones early and often. Some of Kitchens’ best calls were low-risk, high-reward screen passes that picked up first downs. Those would be solid calls against a defense like Miami’s.
Kitchens certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel, which was always unreasonable to think in such a short amount of time, but it’s safe to say he did an adequate job with his play calling. He was a bit conservative after the Giants’ touchdown drive, but there are many variables that play into that reality. Here’s a quick video of some offensive plays that look familiar, and some others that have interesting new wrinkles.