In the past few months, several NFL media outlets have stated that the New York Giants are looking to select a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 draft. According to SI.com, “co-owner John Mara instructed his scouting department to start taking a hard look at the top quarterback prospects available.” Although the team believe that a new quarterback will solve some of their issues on offense, that is not the case.
Over the past four seasons, the New York Giants have implemented an offensive system that is heavily dependent on the quick passing game. The team installed this offense to showcase the breakaway speed of Odell Beckham. The organization knew that provided he had man-to-man against a corner; corners would be unable to keep up with his speed. As a result of this, the team fell into the habit of calling quick passing plays that focused on slants, screens, out, in and curl routes because they wanted to give him the ball as fast as possible. Although the offense increases the chances of significant plays happening to lead to quick scores; It opens the door for the team to have the ball for less time because of a fast touchdown, 3 and out or turnover. As a consequence of this, the defense was forced to go back on the field without the proper amount of rest. Which led to the unit giving up more yards and points late in games because they were not able to regain some energy between possessions to be able to stop the opposing offense. In fact, according to teamrankings.com, the Giants offense was on the field for an average of “28:00” thus the defense was on the field for 32:00. Furthermore, the team has compiled a 21-26 record with Odell Beckham on the field.
As a result, the Giants should prioritize a change in offensive philosophy over drafting a quarterback in the first round. For instance, it would behoove the team to drastically alter their offense from the short pass to a heavy run and play action attack. In fact, during the first two downs of a series, Eli Manning will hand the ball off to the running backs in an attempt to force the opposing team to stack the box and set up a manageable third down. If the strategy were successful, the Giants would call a play action pass where Eli can fake the handoff and go in the opposite direction to throw the ball to the flat or the crossing route fifteen yards downfield. However, on occasion, Eli can fake the handoff to freeze the defense momentarily which allowed the receivers to get some separation as they try to complete a slant, in or out route. As a result of this, the Giants offense was able to stay on the field for a more extended period which means that the opposing team had less time to feast on their defense.
However, if New York decides to select a quarterback, they’ll continue on the path of the past four seasons. This is because the organization will give the quarterback as many opportunities as possible to prove to the public that drafting him with their top pick in the 2017 draft was the right decision. Due to this, the team would call a lot of passing plays to give him a chance to demonstrate that he isn’t just a game manager and is capable of making all the necessary throws to lead the team to victory. While it is reasonable to expect an organization to give their new investment many opportunities to prove themselves at a certain point, it will affect the performance of the rest of the team. For instance, if the quarterback gets the chance to throw a lot, the offense will spend less time on the field because of incompletions, interceptions, sacks or big plays that result in short drives. As a result, the defense would have to go back on the field without the proper amount of rest which leads to the defense being more susceptible to giving up yards and points. Since they would be unable regain some energy between possessions to be able to stop the opposing offense.