When the New York Giants signed wide receiver Kenny Golladay from the Detroit Lions in a major free agency move this past offseason, the expectation was that the offense would become more explosive.
Through three weeks of regular season play, that has not been the case.
The Giants are in the bottom 10 of the league in points scored with 56. Golladay was signed to a four-year, $72 million contract this offseason in hopes that he could help the Giants extend the field. But through three weeks, Golladay is averaging a career-low 15.1 yards per catch and has yet to catch a pass longer than 19 yards.
When asked by the media Wednesday why there have not been any big plays by him to kickstart the season, Golladay replied: “I don’t really have an answer to that.”
Giants fans want answers though, particularly after cameras showed Golladay apparently shouting at offensive coordinator Jason Garrett during Sunday’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Golladay might be second on the team behind Sterling Shepard with 11 receptions for 166 yards but he is tied for last in receptions of 20 yards or more with zero. Shepard has three, Darius Slayton has two and even C.J. Board and Kaden Smith have one 20-plus yard play apiece.
”At the end of the day, I’m going to run what the guys want me to run,” Golladay said. “I just look at it as whenever my number is called, I just want to go out there and make the play. If it’s short or long, I‘ve just got to go out there and make the play. That’s my mindset.”
Golladay’s offensive snaps remain low. He had 52 snaps in Week 1, 58 in Week 2 and 48 snaps in Week 3 - a game in which the Giants lost two of their top receivers (Shepard and Slayton) to hamstring injuries mid-game.
“I’m not feeling it as pressure at all,” Golladay said of the injures to the receiving corps. “I’ve been in situations where receivers have (gone) down. At the end of the day, I’ve still got to do my job – and that’s make plays. I’m not going to do more than what I’m asked to do.”
There has been speculation that Golladay’s lack of playing time is due to the nagging hip injury that he suffered during the preseason. The wideout entered Sunday’s game against the Falcons listed as questionable on the injury report.
“I was able to be out there, so it really doesn’t matter,” Golladay said when asked if he felt any pain while playing. “I feel like I was able to go out there and play. I know before the game I had to do like a workout and everything. Obviously, I showed the coaches I was able to go out there and compete at a high level...At the end of the day, I wanted to be out there because I want to do whatever I can to help the team.”
The Giants could certainly use the help as an abysmal 0-3 start to the season has them in last place in the NFC East.
“Our back is against the wall right now, pretty much,” Golladay said. “We’ve just got to keep fighting. We’re on Week 4 right now. We’ve still got a lot of ball game left. To be honest, it’s a challenge each and every week, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to go out there and play our game.”
The last two losses in particular have been difficult to swallow as the Giants’ Week 2 game against the Washington Football Team was lost in the final seconds due to a penalty and they only fell to the Falcons by three points in Week 3.
“We are right there, it’s just at the end of the day, we look back and some of those plays we just didn’t execute on,” Golladay said. “If we’re not going to execute then that’s how the games going to turn out. We’ve just got to do a better job of that.”
The red zone offense in particular has been lacking for New York which has converted only one of every three attempts.
“At the end of the day when you look at the game, (there are) plays in there that we kind of are shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit,” Golladay said. “When we get down in the red zone, we want to come out with points. We’ve just got to do what we do, to be honest. I’m going to keep it like that. Play our game and just limit the self-inflicted wounds – penalties, whatever it might be. We’ve just got to find a way to come out with points and just play our game.”