Don’t look now, but the New York Giants passing offense is currently hovering around league average. According to Football Outsiders DVOA, they have the 15th best passing offense entering their matchup against the Redskins. That puts them at slightly above average. Think about how impressive that is for a second? The Giants top two receivers go down with injuries, their slot receiver has been in and out (now out) of the line-up, they have barely played with their top two offensive linemen the last month, and yet somehow the Giants passing offense is ranked 15th. That’s higher than Carolina and Dallas. Cowboys and Panthers fans are jealous of the Giants passing game!
How has the Giants passing game improved without its star receiver and top offensive linemen? They have committed to the run game and are more willing to diversify their formations. The stats from NJ.com’s James Kratch support this theory as well. The Giants have gone from a 66-34 pass/run ratio with McAdoo calling the plays to 55-44 with Sullivan as the play caller. Further, they went from running 11 personnel 70% to 46% of the time under Sullivan.
It’s hard not think how the season would have been different with Sullivan calling the plays from week one. All we can do now is highlight the great work the offense has put together the last two weeks and hope it continues. Let’s take a look at the film from week 10 and week 11.
Week 10 Q1 10:12
No quarterback can play well with constant pressure up the middle. The Giants offensive line did a great job of keeping pass rushers to the outside of Eli Manning. The worst place for a pass rusher to be is two yards past the quarterback (credit Michael Lombardi for that quote). After quickly coming off his read to his right, Eli exhibits a great feel for the rush and steps up to find Tavarres King over the middle of the field.
Week 10 Q2 11:37
This is a play the Giants could not have executed in week 2. Now, the combination of a frisky running attack and improved offensive line allows Eli to hit Sheppard on the deep crossing route off of play-action. Kudos to Justin Pugh and Rhett Ellison for holding their blocks just long enough to allow Eli to get the throw off. When Pugh’s agent is persuading teams to make him the highest paid guard in the league, this play will be submitted as supporting evidence.
Week 10 Q2 3:20
Orleans Darkwa gets juuuuuust enough of the blitzing 49er linebacker to allow Eli to get his throw off to Roger Lewis Jr. Notice Eli releases the ball just before Lewis comes out of his break and throws it only where Lewis can catch it. Eli and Lewis are starting to develop good chemistry. On the quarterback-receiver chemistry spectrum, Eli and Lewis are somewhere between Ruben Randle and Mario Manningham. Though closer to Manningham.
Week 10 Q2 2:13
It’s inexcusable for teams to allow Evan Engram to be even remotely open in the red zone. Eli appears to want Engram the entire play. Eli gives a subtle pump to the right side of the field to freeze the safety before coming back and throwing a perfect ball to Engram. Engram displayed great hands and quick feet to avoid the initial jam from the defensive back to gain just enough separation in the back of the end zone. Watching Engram play brings back fond memories of watching Eli throw to…actually he’s never had a tight end this athletic.
Week 10 Q3 11:05
You know who the real star was on this play? Tavarres King. For placing the most gentle pick I’ve seen watching football. He got in the way of the defensive back just enough to allow Sterling Sheppard to gain separation on the sideline. Great play call from Mike Sullivan against man coverage and we should probably give Sheppard some props that making a hell of a catch.
Week 10 Q4 1:07
Even though this was a garbage time touchdown, the chemistry between Manning and Lewis was on display. Eli anticipated when Lewis would come out of his break and fired a perfect pass to his outside shoulder away from the defender. The offensive line once again does a great job of giving Eli a clean pocket to step up in. I haven’t praised the offensive line so much since 2010 when Shawn Andrews briefly stepped in at left tackle for an injured David Diehl.
Week 11 Q1 5:58
The Chiefs show a 2-deep man look before the snap. However, it was became a cover 1 call with the safety coming down to double Engram. Eli recognized this and targeted the only player running a deep route on the sideline. He connected on a perfect pass to Travis Rudolph.
Week 11 Q3 7:07
This was another great call from Mike Sullivan. Backed on their own nine yard line, the linebackers got completely sucked in on the play-action fake. This allowed Eli to fire the ball over the line backers to King on the hook route. King does a great job of selling the deep route to give himself a cushion between himself and the safety.
Week 11 OT 2:12
This play was 99% Eli and 1% Lewis.