Entering Week 18, 265 players have caught a touchdown pass during the 2021 NFL season. New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay is not one of them.
That’s a stunning fact for a player the Giants signed to a four-year, $72 million contract ($40 million guaranteed) this offseason to be their No. 1 receiver.
Per Lineups.com, Golladay has been targeted nine times in the red zone with only one reception. He went from Week 2 thru Week 11 without a red zone target.
The Giants have only four touchdowns from wide receivers this season, a position they placed heavy emphasis on upgrading entering the year. The last wide receiver to score a touchdown for the Giants was Dante Pettis in Week 7.
“It’s hard to make sense of that,” wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said this week.
Golladay leads the Giants in receiving yards, although only with 499. That places him 80th in the league among receivers in yards gained. He is actually sixth on the team in receptions with 34. Evan Engram, Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley, Devontae Booker and even Sterling Shepard (seven games played) have more.
How does Golladay feel about his first season in New York, which obviously has not been a success for him individually or the team collectively?
“To be honest, me just looking back, I would just say just not good enough on my part,” Golladay said. “Not saying I was playing terrible or anything, but I expect more. Yeah, just not good enough.”
Part of that is injury-related. Golladay started slowly due to a training camp hamstring injury, then missed three games with a knee injury when starting quarterback Daniel Jones. The last five games have been with Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm at quarterback. In Week17, as the only healthy veteran receiver, he was targeted only once.
“I came into the season saying that the expectations were high,” Golladay said. “The ‘what ifs,’ that’s always valid, pretty much. That’s all you can really say is ‘what if.’ “
Golladay admitted that he and Jones did not get to work together nearly enough on the practice field.
“That’s something else I kind of said early on, pretty much gaining his trust. If I’m not out there on the field or he’s not out there on the field, there’s only so much trust you can really get without him actually trying to force the ball to me. It’s going to make him look bad,” Golladay said. “We don’t have that same type of chemistry and him knowing and the coaches knowing that I would go up and make that play. It’s easy to look and say, ‘Yeah, he made a lot of those catches in Detroit,’ but if I haven’t made not one here then that’s not a good play and you shouldn’t do it.”
The Giants, of course, fired former offensive coordinator Jason Garrett midseason. Even if Joe Judge returns as head coach, a shakeup on the offensive coaching staff is expected after a year in which the Giants have averaged 15.7 points per game, 31st in the 32-team NFL.
Are there specific offensive changes Golladay would like to see in 2022?
“I’m keeping that in-house. That’s definitely something I would talk to Coach (Joe Judge) about and that would be between me and him,” Golladay said. “A lot goes into it – different personnel, as far as who’s playing and who’s not playing, including myself. Even in the personnel as far as coaching-wise. A lot goes into it. A lot goes into it to make a football team go.”
Figuring out how to get more production out of the player who is supposed to their best wide receiver has to be a big part of the 2022 offseason agenda.