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Could The 2015 Giants Offense Be One Of The Best Units In Franchise History?

Manning threw for over 4,400 yards last season.

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Going into last season, questions swirled around the New York Giants offense. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo came in from the Green Bay Packers with a variation of the famed West Coast offense. The emphasis in McAdoo’s offense is quick throws from the quarterback with short routes from the receivers and a more balanced offense between the run and the pass. Aaron Rodgers had magnificent years in this type of offense with whoever was in the backfield gaining close to 1,000 yards a season. Add in McAdoo’s pledge that Eli Manning would hit 70 percent passing completions and the stage was set for either a sink or swim year in offense.

As it turns out, the offense was the highlight of the 2014 season. Manning threw at a 63 percent clip with over 4,400 yards and 30 touchdowns. Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. exploded on the scene with 91 catches and 1,300 yards en route to the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Even without Victor Cruz, who was hurt early in the season, the offense flowed with some hiccups here and there all having to do with injuries decimating the depth at the running back position. Overall, the first year of the McAdoo offense was a 6.5 out of 10 and with everyone thinking 2015 would be a major jump.

This off-season, the Giants went out and increased the number of weapons at the disposal of McAdoo and Manning. Before going to new additions, you begin with a hopefully healthy Cruz who is stating that he will be ready for Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. Cornerback Prince Amukamara stated after the first day of Training Camp this week said that Cruz looked faster than before the knee injury which could be a significant upgrade for the Giants. Cruz going back into his slot position gives Eli his other favorite option and gives defenses headaches.

In the free agent market, the Giants went out and signed former New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen to a multi-year deal. This new weapon gives the offense another dimension with a back that has caught 99 passes out of the backfield in the last two years and who was Tom Brady’s favorite weapon besides Rob Gronkowski. It also helps the depth of the Giants running back corps with Jennings showing that he may not be able to stay healthy for 16 games and Andre Williams having multiple lapses of judgment last season. You can shift guys in and out and on third down, Vereen comes in and gives Manning a weapon to add to Cruz, Beckham and Randle to maybe convert that 3rd-and 6 that they were not converted on normal basis last season.

On the receiver front the Giants were already pretty strong and on Thursday it got even better. New York signed James Jones who caught 79 passes for 666 yards last season for the Oakland Raiders. This gives you four legitimate receivers that Manning can sling the ball to. In a three receiver set, teams may decide to double team Cruz but them you have Beckham and Reuben Randle left one-on-one on the outside. If you choose to double Beckham on the outside, you leave Randle one-on-one on the outside and Cruz in an advantage with a safety or linebacker in the slot position. Add the new addition of Jones in a four wide receiver package and you have a passing game where the options are pretty good, especially if you have Vereen in the backfield as the solo running back.

It has been well established that the defense was the weak link of the New York Giants team last season. The offense was the bright spot and the 2015 season will only see the continued evolution of an offense which has the chance to be one of the best in franchise history. The amount of weapons that team has accumulated and the obvious maturation of working in a system for a second year and the Giants may have the offense to bring this team back to the playoffs after sometime away from the postseason. Of course there are variables such as offensive line play and injuries but if all goes well, the NFC East could be in for a rude awakening when they come to New Jersey or when the show goes on the road.

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Kahlil Thomas

Kahlil is the College Sports Editor for DoubleGSports.com as well as a columnist, hosting the Bump 'N Run column once per week. He also co-hosts a weekly basketball podcast, The Box Out, every Thursday evening with fellow DoubleGSports.com writer Jason Cordner.
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