The conclusion of the 2020 NFL regular season has brought great anticipation to the future of the New York Giants. But with all of the jubilation does come some over-reaction to what we have seen over the last 17 weeks. The Giants have some obvious deficiencies at certain positions and nowhere is it more glaring than the lack of playmakers on the offense.
New York Giants Must Add More Playmakers to Become a Playoff Contender
Giants Offense Lacked Fire Power
The Giants had the 31st best offense in the NFL this season. They ranked 31st in total (29th in passing and 19th in rushing) offensive yards per game and averaged over 17 points per game. The offense scored 30 or more points (Week 5 in a 37-34 loss to the Dallas Cowboys) just once all season. Usually, it was game, set, match when the Giants trailed by two or more scores in a contest. Once Saquon Barkley went down with a torn ACL, the bigger question became who was going to be the person to make plays offensively.
This season, we saw too many losses that were a direct result of a dropped third-down pass or lack of execution by the offense. Often, successful completion of that one particular play would have iced the game for a Giants victory. Adding more playmakers to the offensive mix could shorten the gap between a decisive win from a bitter defeat.
Daniel Jones Needs Playmakers to Thrive in Giants Passing Game
Daniel Jones had a rough 2020 season as he was often left all alone on an island at times.
After his fabulous rookie season that saw him throw for 3,027 yards with 24 touchdown passes in 12 starts. Giants fans thought they had their new franchise quarterback in place for the next decade.
Now, Jones is defined as a broken quarterback who turns (50 combined fumbles and interceptions in 27 games played) the football over too much. Granted, he was hampered by two leg (strained right hamstring and sprained left ankle) injuries that limited his effectiveness in the final weeks of the regular season. But when healthy, Jones is a dual-threat (running and passing) quarterback who can effectively lead the Giants’ offense into the end zone. However, the confidence is gone and Giants fans have their doubts if it will ever come back again.
If the goal is to end the misery of another non-playoff season in 2021, then the Giants must acquire a few playmakers to allow Jones to reach his potential as a quarterback. It will help to alleviate the thought of him having to carry the entire team on his shoulders. The window of opportunity to win with a young, talented quarterback is very short, so the Giants need to strike quickly.
Could the New York Giants Window of Opportunity Close Before it Begins?
They have to take advantage of Jones’ reduced salary over the final two years of his rookie contract. This is especially true if the media reports are accurate that the NFL’s salary cap will be reduced in 2021. The Giants have a young roster led by a rookie-contract quarterback, so you better add those necessary pieces to make a playoff run. Because if not, then you might have lost your chance to contend. The front office will have tough decisions ahead as good players will leave via free agency due to salary cap constraints. Now is the time to arm Jones with more offensive weapons.
The future of the Giants seems to be in good shape as they have all their picks in the 2021 NFL draft except for the fifth and seventh round. However, the Giants did acquire an extra sixth-round draft pick in the Markus Golden trade with the Arizona Cardinals earlier this season. Currently, the franchise has over $12 million of salary-cap space available for free agency, but the number should grow once the front office begins to purge the roster. Still, there is more than enough money to patch up the holes on the offense.
2021 could become a cornerstone moment for the Giants rebuild. But that means surrounding Jones with more playmakers that allows him to thrive and lead the Giants to a playoff berth next season.
It isn’t a lot to ask from a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016.