The Giants had the weekend off, and while many of them used the time to get away from the pains of being 1-5, heal up from nagging injuries, and reflect on what can be done to change the fortunes of the team, a good many players did exactly what you’d think they would do.
They watched football.
And when they did, they saw a league that is scoring points at a breakneck pace. Begging one very big question:
Why can’t the Giants do that?
“It definitely looks kind of easy out there for some teams,” tight end Evan Engram said on Tuesday. “But they’re executing. They’re doing their job, they’re limiting mistakes. They’re doing things that we have to attack and we have to get better at. It’s not a jealousy thing – ‘Why is it not us?’ They’re just doing things that we aren’t doing.”
There were 14 NFL games played since the Giants left the field on Thursday night, and during those contests the 28 teams averaged 25.1 points each. The winning teams averaged 30.7 points, the losing teams 19.5. Five of those losing teams scored 28 points or more while only three teams scored fewer than the 13 points the Giants managed in their loss to the Eagles on Thursday night.
For the season, the average of 48.3 points per game is the highest in NFL history after six weeks. The 328 touchdown passes also are the most ever at this point in a season, and 52 more than last year.
The Giants, though, seem to be missing out on the scoring bonanza. They rank 27th in points per game (19.5) and the one game they did score a season-high 31 points — which is actually a three-season high for them — they lost.
There are plenty of teams with less offensive talent than the Giants have, fewer bona fide playmakers, and yet the league is lighting up scoreboards like they’re pinball machines and the Giants don’t have any quarters.
“We haven’t scored enough points and I’ve acknowledged that,” Pat Shurmur said. He pointed to opportunities in the red zone against the Eagles that resulted in field goals or no points at all. “That makes the game a lot different. Yeah, when you get down there you have to score points.”
The Giants remain insistent that they can and they will.
“I didn’t do the whole, ‘Oh, why can’t we . . . ?’” rookie guard Will Hernandez said after watching the weekend’s point totals. “I didn’t do any of that. For me, it’s just taking too long. It’s not whether we can do it or not, it’s when are we going to start doing it.”
Monday night presents a good opportunity. The Falcons have a banged-up defense that is allowing 32.0 points per game. That’s the second-most in the NFL. They allowed 37 or more points in three straight losses before beating Tampa Bay, 34-29, on Sunday.
“I know what this offense is capable of,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said. “It’s just us going out and executing the game plan. If we can do that, I have no doubt in my mind that we can put up 30 points and keep up with the Falcons offense. They can score points and we have to go into the game with the mentality that we can do the same.”
In a league where it feels like everyone but the Giants is scoring points, having that mentality is the easy part. Until the Giants join the festivities, though, they’ll continue to be bystanders to an era of unprecedented offensive prowess.