If there is one statistic the New York Giants must improve if they want to be among the 14 playoff teams at the end of the regular season, it’s average points scored per game.
The Giants finished 31st in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game. Meanwhile, 11 of the 14 postseason participants last year averaged at least 25 points per game, and of the three that didn’t hit that mark (Washington, the Bears, and the Rams), none dipped below 20 points per game scored.
This need to score is not lost on Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who is just as much on the hot seat entering the 2021 season as is third-year quarterback Daniel Jones. Last year, Garrett was often criticized for his lack of creativity with his play-calling, which often put the Giants into bad situations.
Two things appear to have gone into the Giants’ struggles to score.
The first was the lack of an off-season program and pre-season slate of games, two periods that coaches hold near and dear to their hearts because it allows them to see for themselves the strengths and weaknesses of the team.
“It was hard putting a new system in at the outset. You’re wondering what that volume is, what guys can handle, because the year isn’t really a typical year,” Garrett said during the team’s mandatory minicamp.
“You don’t get the reps on the field in practice and then the pre-season games. So you had to grow and evolve and try to make those assessments as you went early on in the year and again, I thought we got better as the year went on.”
This obstacle likely wasn’t helped when the Giants lost running backs Saquon Barkley only five quarters into the 2020 season to a torn ACL.
Although Garrett wouldn’t confirm it, it wouldn’t be a surprise if when Barkley went down for the year, so too did a portion of the Giants’ playbook.
The good news is that with 2020 in the history books, the Giants have been focused on how they’re going to incorporate their newest playmakers—tight end Kyle Rudolph and receivers Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and Kadarius Toney—into an offense that includes a rehabbed Barkley, receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, and tight end Evan Engram.
Although Garrett hasn’t had a chance to work with Rudolph or Barkley this year due to their respective rehabs, he is optimistic about the upgrade in talent and what it can potentially do to help boost scoring.
“We are excited about the additions we have. We are trying to get those guys acclimated,” Garrett said.
“We are also excited about the guys who were with us before, and they have a year under their belt now. They will learn from those experiences and hopefully continue to grow. That’s the process we are in right now. They are embracing what we are doing and hopefully we are getting better each and every day.”