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This is not what John Mara had in mind. 

The Giants’ internal analysis last offseason concluded that the best way to fix a broken offense was to add more playmakers for quarterback Daniel Jones, so the organization’s best two assets — a $72 million free-agency check and a first-round draft pick — went to wide receivers. Somehow, almost unfathomably, newcomers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney have combined for zero touchdowns through 16 games. 

“Surrounding Daniel with more weapons was certainly a priority,” Mara said in March. “You always want to put as many weapons on the field as possible. It’s becoming more and more of a passing league, and we saw an opportunity to add some guys who have some unique talent. Hopefully it’ll pay off for us.” 

It didn’t. So, now the conclusion to fixing an even more broken offense, which had -7 net passing yards last week, will be to change the scheme. 

Joe Judge said the Giants need to add a physical running game to the Giants' offense.
Joe Judge said the Giants need to add a physical running game to the Giants’ offense.
Charles Wenzelberg (3)

If Giants ownership retains head coach Joe Judge, as expected, one of Mara’s first questions in a season-wrap meeting will be: How will you improve the offense? Judge’s response should include hiring an outside offensive coordinator whose playbook will come with a definitive identity. 

Mara’s most important offseason decision is hiring the right general manager. Judge’s most important offseason decision is hiring the right offensive coordinator — and he hinted at his offensive vision Friday before the final practice of the season. 

“If we’re going to run the ball, run the ball downhill,” Judge said. “That’s an aspect of this program that we have to have. It’s the New York Giants — it’s got to be a physical running team. In terms of throwing the ball, you want to be an accurate, efficient team. It really flows through the quarterback and allows your players to make plays in space and prioritizes getting the ball in the hands of the playmakers.” 

Judge’s vision when he arrived was an offense adaptable to each opponent’s weakness. He’s not going to abandon that principle, but he has been left with a 32-game sample size that includes zero 30-point games and 16 games in which the Giants failed to reach 300 yards of total offense. 

“There definitely have to be some things to hang the hat on as far as staples,” Judge said, “but you also have to have the flexibility per game plan.” 

Firing offensive coordinator Jason Garrett in November only made things worse. 

Freddie Kitchens got a raw deal auditioning to replace Garrett because five of six games were played with backup quarterbacks, but the Giants scored just 19 total points in two games over two seasons with a Kitchens-Jones pairing. 

If that’s not enough to be scared away from the status quo, the Giants have scored one touchdown on their last 35 offensive possessions and have zero points in the final two minutes of first halves this season, when Judge has been quick to play for field position and defense. More faith in his offense might make for a less conservative head coach. 

“Based on the circumstance and situation in different game plans, that may require a different way of attacking,” Judge said. “You want to always be able to be a balanced team — running or passing when you have to and when [the defense] knows you have to do it. That’s the way you want to play.”

Source: NYPOST

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