The New York Giants suffered a disappointing loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 8. It left the Giants at 2-6, reeling with their fourth straight defeat. Now the Giants are stuck looking up at the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys with only the hapless Washington Redskins to look down on within the NFC East.
What does New York need to do to right the ship this season? Here are three ways to fix the Giants after their recent losses.
Be patient with Daniel Jones
The team’s Week 7 loss was a tough game for quarterback Daniel Jones. Giants.com recapped what an awful day it was for the Duke University rookie: “He threw an interception and lost two fumbles and Arizona scored after each of the turnovers, for a total of 17 points. Jones was sacked eight times.” It would be easy for the Giants’ brass to panic, but this move would be foolish.
The team knew what they were in for this season: a long-haul rebuild. The 22-year-old is far from perfect, but he’s miles better than expected. New York has to give a rookie the opportunity to play like a rookie while coaching him to limit turnovers. By helping Jones improve his weaknesses, the Giants may set him up for long term success.
Additionally, he isn’t the Giants’ biggest problem right now. They struggled to score points against Arizona early in the game, falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter. Their offensive struggles go well beyond problems with QB play.
Get their key pieces more involved in the offense
The game against Arizona saw the return of three of the Giants’ best players on offense: running backs Wayne Gallman and Saquon Barkley along with tight end Evan Engram. Seemingly, this should indicate that the team would have better offensive output. But the team managed less than 300 yards.
Barkley himself only had less than 80 yards rushing and receiving. Engram only had one catch for six yards while Gallman was shut out. All three of these individuals are needed if the Giants want to win (more on Barkley in a bit).
Engram is their top receiving threat alongside Sterling Shepherd. Gallman is a capable backup who can spell Barkley. For their offense to be more successful, they must find a way to get all three players more involved — although in Barkley’s case, less may be more.
Protect Saquon Barkley
After missing several weeks due to an ankle injury, Barkley is back in the lineup for the Giants. The team must closely monitor his workload to avoid missing him for another long stretch. Simply put, their offense can’t survive without Barkley.
Having an effective running game will make it even easier for Jones to perform and take a lot of the pressure off him. As capable as the QB has been, Barkley is still the offense’s most talented player and centerpiece. If the Giants can’t rely on him, their chances of winning drop exponentially.
Injuries are bound to happen in the NFL. But whatever the Giants can do to protect Barkley — whether it’s decreasing his usage in practice or strategically limiting his carries — the Giants’ future depends on it.