The New York Giants are poised to be one of the surprise breakout offenses of 2015. After just one season under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, Eli Manning posted a career best 63.1 competition percentage while also throwing for the second most yards in his ten year career. With another season practicing and playing in McAdoo’s offense as well as the return of key players from injuries, it is certainly possible that Eli Manning and Co. can improve on their progress from a year ago.
Giants’ running back Rashad Jennings hasn’t shied away from vocalizing these expectations.
“I think we’re going to have a dominant offense,” Jennings said. “Eli [Manning] is really comfortable in the offense now. I think we can control a lot from the line of scrimmage.”
Although Jennings may be embellishing the Giants’ potential dominance and should be led to believe that his team will boast one of the league’s top offenses, his statement isn’t without merit. Manning and the Giants offense exhibited success during the last leg of the season, highlighted by the emergence of reigning offensive rookie of the year Odell Beckham Jr. The former rookie stepped up and filled a vacant role that was held by the injured Victor Cruz, while also building invaluable chemistry with Eli Manning as his go-to target.
A healthy Victor Cruz rejoining the offense adds another dynamic playmaker that Jennings believes will contribute to the Giants’ ascendance. Jennings states,
“Victor Cruz coming back healthy, Odell [Beckham Jr.] is stepping up, [Rueben] Randle is stepping up outside on the edges, and also some younger guys filling those holes, offensive linemen coming back healthy,” added Jennings.
Lining Victor Cruz up opposite of Odell Beckham Jr. will be mutually beneficial to both players, as each of them will receive less attention from defenses due to the presence of the other wide receiver. This also means Rueben Randle will face the opponent’s third best cornerback, as opposed to the second best cornerback that covered him a majority of the previous season.
Lastly, the offseason addition of Shane Vereen will act as Manning’s security blanket, filling a check-down, receiving-running back role that he excelled at during his time in New England. His addition will result in safer and smarter throws from Manning, boosting his completion percentage and overall efficiency. Jennings is also excited about his new position-mate.
“[We] picked up [Shane] Vereen, and Andre Williams is down here training with me now so I’m sharing every secret I can with him so I’m excited for this push this year,” noted Jennings. “ Andre Williams second year in the league should also show signs of improvement after a mild rookie season.
While I partially agree with Jennings’ tentative assessment of the Giants’ offensive outlook, I believe that they need to add another source of talent through the draft with their number nine overall pick to be considered a “dominant” NFL offense. They could do this by drafting a top prospective offensive linemen to protect Manning and build their run game, or by drafting another dynamic WR to give opposing defenses headaches. Either way, the Giants boast a lot of offensive talent that would make any defensive coordinator nervous come game day.