It’s the halfway point for the New York Giants and at 2-6, let’s just say the season is not going as expected.
It’s been a tumultuous first half and there is not a lot for the Giants to hang their hat on. However, if there is one unit that is pulling their weight to some degree it is the receivers. Tight ends on the other hand, well, that’s a different story.
So, let’s dig in and hand out some grades for the receivers and tight ends.
Wide Receivers: B-
With Eli Manning struggling mightily this year, the play of the receivers has been good but nowhere near stellar. While the play of Manning has hindered the effectiveness of his receivers, they are not completely exempt of blame. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle have all had their fair share of drops. However, if it wasn’t for the play of the receiving unit, the Giants would be in even worse shape—if that is somehow possible.
Cruz and Nicks both rank in the top 30 in the NFL in receiving yards, as Cruz has 677 receiving yards (ranking 11th), while Nicks has 521 (ranking 27th). On the flip side, Cruz (four) and Nicks (zero) are not exactly making their way toward the end zone at the frequency they have in the past. That’s where Randle’s value comes in.
Randle, while third in the pecking order of things, has reached the end zone four times, providing Manning with a nice target in the red zone. Randle has been a constant source of consternation, though, as his route running has been porous, which has led to countless turnovers. Some of which were not Manning’s fault.
Guys like Jerrel Jernigan, Louis Murphy and Kris Adams have basically given the team nothing and there is not much hope that they will.
Overall, this is a solid group and with the running game still a major question mark, this unit will be needed to make plays if the Giants are hopeful of a second-half turnaround.
Tight ends: D-
Where do I start?
The off-season signing of Brandon Myers has been an absolute bust so far. Myers is a good pass-catcher, but he is a terrible blocker. Many games he has gone missing and thus far Myers has only hauled in 23 catches for 265 yards through eight games. Maybe with his old team, the Raiders, coming to town this weekend, Myers can kick-start a revival for the second half.
As for the other tight ends, well, outside of good blocking, Bear Pascoe is limited in what he can do. Meanwhile, Larry Donnell has been practically non-existent and Adrien Robinson has been sidelined all season with a foot injury.
Collectively, if this unit could do a better job in blocking while providing Manning with a nice, safety blanket (looking at you Myers), it could help turn around the fortunes of the offense.