The New York Giants’ offense was one of the worst in the NFL in 2020. That is not news but in a year where many of the league’s offensive scoring and yardage records were shattered, the Giants were on the outside looking in.
It was hoped that new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett would generate a solid mixed attack that would equate to more points. It did not. Experts are pointing fingers in all directions from Garrett’s scheme to the personnel, mainly second-year quarterback Daniel Jones.
The Giants deployed a station-to-station approach to offense, based around star running back Saquon Barkley and a glut of slot receivers. Barkley blew out his knee in Week 2 and that plan went down the drain in a hurry.
Garrett did an admirable job getting the running game going, with the Giants becoming one of the top rushing teams from Week 4 through Week 13. But that was not enough to make up for the poor passing attack and its truncated, easy-to-defend route tree that took few shots downfield and was riddled with inconsistencies such as Jones trying to force passes into tight windows and an unusual amount of dropped passes by the receivers.
That led to sickeningly low statistics in the passing game. The Giants scored just 12 touchdowns through the air in 2020 as opposed to 30 in 2019. They averaged just a sliver over 180 yards passing per game, down from 233 last year. The Giants’ yard per completion was down slightly from 9.9 yards per reception to 9.4, which was 29th in the league.
Last year, the Giants average YAC (yards after catch) was 6.0. This year it dipped to an NFL low 3.9.
Not surprising, but the Giants had the lowest YAC per completion in 2020.
YAC is primarily driven by the scheme getting guys open – it isn’t a coincidence that the league’s four best play callers had the highest average YAC.
Drafting Jaylen Waddle won’t fix this offense. pic.twitter.com/BRi8qVrtOF
— NY Giants Stats & Analytics (@Analytics_NYG) January 13, 2021
This has nothing to do with the offensive line and the fact that Giants quarterbacks were in the top 10 in hurries, QB hits, pressures and sacks. This is purely on the receivers. The Giants had Golden Tate, who has traditionally been one of the NFL’s leaders in YAC, on their roster.
Tate did not figure much in the passing game this season, however. He missed four games and only had 35 catches for 388 yards and two touchdowns on 58 targets. He was clearly the team’s fourth option in the passing game behind Evan Engram, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard and would have surely been buried behind Barkley had he played a full season.