London ball

London takeaways and how the giants are making it happen

The team reacts to the win in London and the team’s 4-1 start to the season:

John Schmeelk: There’s no simple answer to why the Giants were able to score 27 points, beat the Packers and start 4-1 despite an injured roster that is at the start of a long-term building process. It starts with coaching, but not as many people think.

The refrain for the past four years has been “WHY DON’T GIANTS THROW THE BALL ONTO THE PITCH MORE!?!?!” and the answer has always been injuries and the roster’s performance on the offensive line and wide receiver hasn’t allowed for a high volume of those attempts. The protection just wasn’t good enough. And here’s the funny thing: today’s coaching staff has continued this trend!

The Giants attempted just nine passes that traveled 20 yards or more, the second-fewest in the NFL. The Giants completed just 21 passes for 15+ yards, third-fewest in the NFL. Yet here the Giants are 4-1. How? Going back to a Daniel Jones quote from last week (emphasis mine): “I think his system is the one that suits us well as a team. I think that gives us a lot of options. It allows us to move guys around and put them in different places to let them do what they do best.”

Key to the passing offense has been Jones’ decision-making, which is aided by the scheme giving him options depending on what the defense is showing, and easier completions for shorter distances that allow the team to move the ball consistently and avoid incomplete passes. Jones is setting a career high with 66.7% of his assists. He has the lowest average target depth (min. 25 dropbacks) in the league of just 6.9 yards, but he was effective.

Jones also gained significant yards in crucial situations with his legs. He has the third-most rushing yards in the league among quarterbacks. Every play, there always seems to be an option for Jones whether to throw or run depending on what the defense is showing.

To be clear, the lack of down throws is not a criticism of the coaching staff. This is how they have to play to win games. The staff tailored the game plans to the roster and the strengths and weaknesses of the opponents, which gave the team a chance to win EVERY MATCH they played this year. They managed to win four.

It’s the little wrinkles that defy trends or put defenses in precarious situations that are impossible to see when watching a game once live on TV. This makes things a little easier for Jones, which has led to better decisions and fewer turnovers. According to Pro Football Focus Jones, Jones’ 2.7% turn-worthy play rate is 13th best in the NFL. The Giants’ five gifts are tied for seventh in the league. The big mistakes are not there.

And you have to mention Saquon Barkley and the running game because without him and the explosive plays he creates, the Giants would be much more like the offense we’ve seen for the past three years when he’s been injured most of the time. time. Barkley is tied for second in the league in rushes for 20 yards (five) and tied for the most rushes for 40 yards (two). He also has just one of the Giants’ two receptions that have gone for more than 30 yards.

The Giants have scored 10 touchdowns this year. On six of those drives, Saquon Barkley has a play that has gained at least 29 yards. On six of those drives, he has a play that went for at least 15 yards. He was the big-play machine that helped the Giants score. His value to the team is almost immeasurable. Without him and great game plans from the coaching staff, the Giants aren’t 4-1 and the offense isn’t averaging more than 20 points per game. And there is no way the Giants will come out of London with a win.

Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka came from systems with dynamic downward passing attacks that were among the most aggressive and explosive in the league. They walked away from that with the Giants with a different group of players because they felt that gave them the best chance of winning games. They’ve adjusted their approaches, which coaches don’t often do. They deserve a lot of credit.

Dan Solomon: In the NFL, good teams have a small gap between what they say and what they do. You often hear the phrase “next man” come out of the mouths of coaches and players, but not all coaches and players do what the Giants do. And it never flinches when something goes wrong with them. Whether through injury or a game plan, Brian Daboll has led his players to embody the mantra.

“It’s my fourth year now with the Giants, and the past years when guys fall, that’s where we really struggle,” said safety and team captain Julian Love. “But this team is different. Guys who step in and fill those positions, you see Adoree’ [Jackson] on the way down you see guys stepping up and making big plays. You see Nick McCloud, Fabian Moreau, Justin Layne making big plays at the end. Because the guys are ready, the guys are resilient, and the guys know what it takes to win. And that’s what good teams do. The best teams in the league don’t stay the least injured, they don’t stay healthy the most, but they have guys who step up and make plays when their time is right. So that’s what we have in this team.”