Giants passing offense a Top 10 unit?
By: Daniel Racz
The New York Giants’ offense fell short of all expectations in 2020. After losing star running back Saquon Barkley, the Giants had to adapt. The front office signed Devonta Freeman and Alfred Morris to pair with Wayne Gallman. To the surprise of many, the Giants’ running game was more successful than their air attack. However, there are many reasons to expect the Giants passing game to take a step forward. A healthy Daniel Jones will be the key, but there are a few other pieces that will be crucial if the Giants want a top-ten passing offense. Ensuring that the Giants use weapons besides Kenny Golladay and Saquon Barkley may be the determining factor for Big Blue in 2021.
Schemed Up Touches For Kadarius Toney
The Giants’ questionably spent a first-round pick on Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney. Despite remaining at Florida for four years, Toney is a raw route runner. If the Giants want to add a new element to their offense, they will have to play to Toney’s strengths. Toney is a menace in the open field. His ability to break tackles and evade defenders in college was reminiscent of Alvin Kamara. If that skill translates to the NFL, the Giants can utilize Toney like the dynamic weapon that he is.
The best way to maximize the skill of open field specialists like Toney is through touches at or behind the line of scrimmage. Giving Toney touches like screens, drag routes and even pitches could give the Giants a weapon that few other teams in the league possess.
A Stable Offensive Line
The least talked about aspect of an offense when discussing their passing attack is their offensive line. The New York Giants’ were unable to run lots of successful deep passing plays in large part due to their inability to give Daniel Jones time to throw. Their offensive line ranked in the bottom five in almost every statistic. Jones did not have time to throw, and he got frazzled under pressure.
If the Giants can piece together a top twenty offensive line, it will open up new avenues for their passing attack. Deep targets to Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton can only be consistently successful if they are attempted from a clean pocket. The Giants hired Rob Sale to be their new offensive line coach, and he may be an X-Factor for the team in 2021.
A Healthy, Dynamic Evan Engram
Did Evan Engram make the pro bowl last year? Yes. Did that endear him to Giants fans? Not at all.
In 2020, Engram’s drop issues cost the Giants turnovers and an early-season matchup against the Eagles. It is worth noting that Evan Engram played the 2020 season with a lisfranc injury. Engram’s injury is similar to the injury that Marquise “Hollywood” Brown of the Ravens played through during his rookie year in 2019. In 2020, Brown returned more explosive. If Engram can come into the 2021 season and play as he did earlier in his career, the Giants will have another weapon on their hands. When at his best, Engram is a premier tight end with elite athleticism. If the Giants use Engram properly, they can have an above-average passing attack.