The 2021 NFL season may barely be in the books, but Dave Richard is already getting a jump on his 2022 preparation by highlighting at least one key statistic to know for each NFL team that had a major bearing on their 2021 performance and could mean a great deal for their 2022 outlook. In this space, Dave dives into the New York Giants.
More Early Prep (AFC): BAL | BUF | CIN | CLE | DEN | DET | GB | LAR | MIN | SEA | NYG
More Early Prep (NFC): ARI | ATL | CAR | CHI | DAL | HOU | IND | JAC | KC | LAC
New York Giants stats to know
The Giants were a mess with Joe Judge and less-messy-but-still-a-mess with Pat Shurmur. The team's intention is to become a smarter offense with Brian Daboll as their play caller. Daboll is credited for turning the Bills offense around and did so in large part by unapologetically becoming one of the most quarterback-centric offenses in the league.
While I don't believe this means Daniel Jones is about to average 38.0 pass attempts and 7.2 rushes per game, I do think it suggests Daboll won't fear going overboard with whatever works. He may have learned that at Alabama, where the Crimson Tide threw the ball 37% of the time while running over defenses with Damien Harris, Jalen Hurts, Najee Harris, Bo Scarbrough and even a little bit of Josh Jacobs.
But there's been one staple of Daboll's offense that's pretty much been there for most of his career, and it's something that might make you think twice about Saquon Barkley.
Percentage of receptions by running backs in Daboll's offenses:
- 2009 (Browns): 28.8%
- 2010 (Browns): 25.3%
- 2011 (Dolphins): 27.9%
- 2012 (Chiefs): 26.4%
- 2017 (Alabama): 24.4%
- 2018 (Buffalo): 23.6%
- 2019 (Buffalo): 20.4%
- 2020 (Buffalo): 13.4%
- 2021 (Buffalo): 17.6%
I get how the past two seasons don't mesh with Daboll's other years, but those are the years Allen took off as a passer and remained a phenomenal runner. I don't blame Daboll for not calling more checkdowns and throws to his running backs.
But Daboll should take one look at Barkley and make him a focal point of the offense. For starters, he can help take a lot of pressure off of Jones. He should also benefit from a stronger offensive line. And while he wasn't efficient as a pass-catcher in 2021, he's been good in the past and offers plenty of versatility to go with the speed and power he has left. And he's in a contract year, so Barkley will be more motivated than ever to play well. The Giants could utilize him to the max in 2022 and conceivably move on from him after.
That is if they don't move on him before the season.
And if that happens, whichever good-hands running back replacing him would absolutely be worth a long look in PPR leagues.