As a football Giants fan, after observing Jerry Reese’s 2015 free agency moves to date, I fully expect next season’s team to again NOT make the playoffs despite Odell Beckham’s presence.
The Giants are a team with a quarterback who makes poor decisions under pressure. In 2014, his quarterback rating when not under pressure, according to Pro Football Focus, was 100.7; but when Manning was under pressure, watch out: His QB rating dropped to 58.6. (Remember last season’s five-interception game against the 49ers. I still cannot believe that Coughlin left him in the game long enough to throw five. Just shows Coughlin’s confidence in backup Ryan Nassib.)
But back to Manning. Given the huge difference that a good offensive line can make (such as the Cowboys have), I hoped the Giants would use the off-season to upgrade their line. But what have they done? One thing is they signed a CFL center. Another is they cut J. D. Walton. Then, in free agency, they signed Marshall Newhouse. His 2013 Pro Football Focus rating for the regular season was -9.7, lower than even Guy Whimper’s. (Remember him?) And Newhouse’s PFF rating after the 2014 season: -11.6. According to bigblueview.com, “Newhouse has never received a positive score from PFF for a full season.” Then, they resigned John Jerry. Dan Graziano of ESPN wrote that Jerry’s “Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade was minus-16.4 [that’s how Graziano typed it], which ranked him No. 76 on the list of 78 guards who played at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps.” Those moves do not seem ones that will lessen how often Manning will be under pressure.
Again, when Manning’s feeling the pressure, poor decisions too often result. When Manning starts making poor decisions, the Giants are more likely to lose the game. The more games they lose, the less likely it is that they will make the playoffs. How many more seasons will that have to happen for the Giants to realize — and remedy — a primary cause: the offensive line?