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Giants' upcoming schedule could offer some hope of an offensive turnaround

Odell Beckham Jr. celebrates with teammate Eli Manning

Odell Beckham Jr. celebrates with teammate Eli Manning of the Giants after a touchdown against the Panthers in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium on Oct. 7 in Charlotte, N.C. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Grant Halverson

The Giants’ offense hasn’t been able to do much of anything this season. The unit is averaging 19.5 points per game this season and has failed to break 20 points in four of their six games.

Lucky for them, the upcoming part of their schedule may have just the cure for that.

Of the Giants’ next four games, three are against teams with relatively soft defenses: the Falcons in Week 7, the 49ers in Week 10 and the Buccaneers (who just fired defensive coordinator Mike Smith) in Week 11.

The Falcons – the Giants’ opponent on Monday night – have been plagued with injuries to key defenders such as Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, Grady Jarrett and Ricardo Allen. As a result, they are second-worst in the NFL in points per game (32), third-worst in yards per game (417.5) and tied for last with 16 passing touchdowns allowed. They’re fourth-worst in total yards per play (6.4), completion percentage by opposing quarterbacks (70.4) and passing yards allowed per game (295.8) and are tied for fifth-worst with 10 sacks.

Their run defense hasn’t been much better. They are allowing an average of 5.1 yards per carry (third-worst in the NFL) and have given up eight rushing touchdowns (tied for third-worst). They also have allowed 121.7 rushing yards per game, which is eighth-worst in the league.

After a Week 8 matchup against a stout Washington defense and a Week 9 bye, the Giants travel to San Francisco to face a 49ers defense that so far has allowed 29.8 points per game (third-worst in the NFL) and has a league-worst three takeaways in six games. They’re fifth-worst in passing touchdowns allowed (14) and eighth-worst in passing yards per game (279.0). Their run defense is a little better, ranking 13th in yards per game (98.2), 11th in yards per carry) and tying for ninth in rushing touchdowns allowed (five).

The following week, the Giants host a Buccaneers defense that has been nothing short of sieve-like. Overall, the unit is second-worst per game in points (34.6) and yards (439.8) and tied for second-worst with five takeaways. Most of this is due to a porous secondary that is league-worst in passing yards per game allowed (355.6) and completion percentage (76.8), tied for the worst in passing touchdowns allowed (16) and interceptions (one) and fourth-worst in sacks (seven).

The Bucs do rank among the top run defenses in the league, however. They are fifth in rush yards per game (84.2), tied for fifth in yards per carry (3.8) and tied for ninth in rushing touchdowns allowed (five). In addition, Smith’s firing means this Bucs defense could look drastically different by the time Nov. 18 arrives.

Of course, none of this will matter if the Giants’ offense doesn’t do its part. Just 35.8 percent of the Giants’ drives end in a score, which ranks 21st overall, and the 19.5 points per game are sixth-worst in the league. The offense is sixth-worst in rush yards per game at 87.5, although Saquon Barkley ranks sixth in the NFL with 438 rushing yards. The Giants are tied for fifth-worst in sacks allowed (20), sixth-worst in passing touchdowns (seven) and eighth-worst in yards per completion (10.8). Their 68.8 completion percentage ranks seventh-best in the league, but they’re 18th overall in pass yards per game (260.8).

New York Sports