NEED STARS TO SHEP UP!
Sterling & OBJ to play Giant roles
There has been a common theme all season between head coach Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning when speaking about the offense.
They both continue to stress the importance of getting the ball in the hands of guys who can make plays.
It seems like an obvious thing to say, but it is something the Giants had not executed until the fourth quarter against the Eagles last week. It resulted in a 24-point outburst thanks mostly to getting the ball into the hands of Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, who combined for three touchdowns.
While there was much fanfare at the start of the season over the additions of Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram, it was Shepard who reminded everyone just what kind of a threat he is after taking a slant route 77 yards for a touchdown, which gave the Giants a temporary lead.
“Odell and I have talked a long time about trusting my speed,” he said earlier this week. “Now I know I can do it and I can trust it.”
It certainly should help them this upcoming Sunday as the Giants receivers are tasked with a favorable matchup against a Buccaneers secondary that was torched for 35 points by Case Keenum and the Vikings last week.
The Vikings had 11 plays that accounted for 16 yards or longer, including a 20yard pass to Stefon Diggs, which he turned into a 59yard touchdown.
While the idea of going against a weak pass defense can be salivating, the Giants know they still have to do their part. “I just feel like it’s a combination of a lot of things,” Shepard said. “They had time to throw the ball and receivers ran their routes pretty good and got open and made good catches. That’s how our mindset is.” The challenge the Giants face will be getting favorable matchups for Beckham. The star receiver drew attention away from the two touchdowns he scored against the Eagles with a crude celebration, but what has gone overlooked is that Beckham made two impressive plays in oneon-one coverage, a scenario the Giants most definitely prefer. “It’s tough to get Odell the ball,” McAdoo said on Friday. “Teams most of the time cloud him or play a version of two-man to him or double him in some sort of way. So, it’s a challenge to get him the ball, so when you have an opportunity to get him the ball, you have to take advantage of it.” Of course, the one thing that will help the Giants make the most of the passing game is if they can get the running game going, which they have yet to do. The Giants have rushed for a total of 35, 62, and 49 yards in each of their first three games, respectively. “I think our offense is at its best when we are running the ball well,” McAdoo said. “It takes the pressure off the quarterback. You run the ball well, it opens things in the action pass game and the quarterback has a chance to complete the ball.” When that happens, you can count on guys like Beckham and Shepard making the plays they did last week.
Sterling Shepard’s 77-yard TD sprint on a slant route last Sunday against Eagles is the type of game-changing play Giants need from him in order to draw some attention away from Odell Beckham Jr. (inset).