Giants must find answer to running game



The first thing the Giants need to fix in a broken offense goes back to the first thing head coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman ever agreed upon. 

Winning games requires running the football effectively. 

After the firing of Jason Garrett and the injury to Daniel Jones over the last two weeks, the Giants will have a different offensive coordinator (Freddie Kitchens) and a different starting quarterback (Mike Glennon) on Sunday against the Dolphins than were in place most of the season. But what really needs to change is the Giants’ ranking of No. 28 in the NFL in yards per carry (3.8). 

“After 12 weeks, they don’t have one signature run that they can do well,” NFL Network film guru Brian Baldinger told The Post. “They are working with what they have on the offensive line after injuries, but they don’t move the line of scrimmage at all. Their double-teams are weak. The basics of blocking are not good.” 

Freddie Kitchens (left) and Joe Judge (right) speak at Giants’ practice Thursday.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Garrett’s offense left many across the league scratching their heads: What is the Giants’ identity? Kitchens needs to go back to the core principle on which the Giants are built. 

“To just go into each game and simply say, ‘This is what we are, this is who we are,’ you have to have an identity within that,” Judge said. “We have a core family of runs that we work off of — powers, counters, gaps, zones. 

“You can take those and say, ‘How do we want to go ahead and run these this week? Is it formation? Is it motion? Is it running out of the base type of situation?’ Every game plan, it’s not Xerox it and move on to next week. That’s not what this league is.” 

Saquon Barkley had one 32-yard carry and 12 others totaling 8 yards against the Eagles. Barkley shares in the blame, but he faced unblocked inside linebackers and defensive ends who overpowered a tight end to cut off the edge and other impossibilities. 

“They ran a reverse last week, but nothing set up the reverse,” Baldinger said. “It feels like a chart of plays. It wasn’t like they were putting themselves in a negative position because of penalties. They were putting themselves in a negative position because of poor plays.” 

Five of the nine offensive linemen on the active roster (plus all three on the practice squad) were not with the team until at least Week 1 of the regular season. It shows. 

“Everybody wants to put our heads on a guillotine and axe the whole thing,” center Billy Price said, “but offensive line is a lot of chemistry and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, scheme and continued repetition.” 

The Eagles lead the league in rushing after opening the season as a pass-first team. Washington discovered a blueprint for a three-game winning streak running behind its guards. The Bengals, with comparable offensive line talent to the Giants, are running the ball effectively because “everybody knows what they are supposed to do,” Baldinger said. So, what should the Giants do? 

“You can finesse it with toss-crack, and you just have to seal the end on angle blocks where you don’t have to really move them, and then you can pull your tackle, which is what Nate Solder and Andrew Thomas do well,” Baldinger said. “Or inside power, where the guards pull and you try to get a good double team.”


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