The Giants offense under he-who-shall-never-be-mentioned-again wasn’t just bad the last two seasons, it was horrific. When people look up the definition of “incompetence” they will now see a picture of he-who-shall-never-be-mentioned-again with his diner menu sized play sheet. Watching the Giants offense was more painful than trying to surf the internet on a 56 kbps modem connected via a phone line. Watching monkeys defecate into their hands and eat it would have been easier to stomach than watching Eli try to force a pass on a slant route to a covered Roger Lewis Jr for the 85th time.
With the hiring of Pat Shurmur, the Giants offense should get back on track in 2018. If he can make Nick Foles and Case Keenum look like pro-bowl quarterbacks, Eli should thrive in his scheme.
After watching every pass play the Minnesota Vikings executed during the 2017 season, it is clear how they became the #3 ranked pass offense in the NFL by Football Outsiders DVOA. Shurmur excelled at creatively finding ways to get his two star receivers the ball out in space. This article will focus on two elements of Shurmur’s offense. Pick plays to help defeat man coverage and the play-action pass.
Even with a healthy Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants predictable offense struggled to identify ways to get their playmakers free from press coverage. Defenses quickly learned that they could easily neutralize the Giants passing attack by playing play cover 2 or 2-man.
One of the staples of Shurmur’s offense were pick plays, especially out of bunch sets. Bunch formations make it challenging for defensive backs to get a jam on the receiver off the line of scrimmage. Pick plays, if executed properly, can give the quarterback easy throws and let his playmakers run after the catch. The Vikings did an exceptional job of executing these plays, especially for Stefon Diggs.
Pat Shurmur has had the benefit of working with some great offensive minds. From Andy Reid, Norv Turner and Chip Kelly, he’s benefited from being able to coach within different systems and listen to different perspectives on how to execute an offense.
You can see Norv Turner’s influence on Shurmur’s play-action pass game. The Vikings love to hit deep crossing routes and double moves off of play-action. What makes the Vikings play-action pass offense so effective was their willingness to max protect on a majority of these plays. You’ll notice most of these plays have two or three man routes. That’s how you attack a team vertically when your offensive line is weak.
Eli Manning should excel in this offense. During the glory days when he had Nicks, Cruz and Manngingham, the Giants could attack teams vertically as well as any team in the league. With Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, they have play-makers who should replicate the production put up by Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph.
With good protection in front of him, Eli still has the ability to lead a potent passing attack. Under Shurmur, he’ll at least be given the time to make plays down the field. This time of year most fans feel optimistic about their teams’ prospects heading into the next season. With Shurmer as their new head coach, Giants fans should be feeling as optimistic as anyone.
Thanks for reading. Go Giants.