Jason Garrett’s Week 1 play-calling lacked creativity Giants hoped would come with new weapons

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Jason Garrett looks on field with headset
Jason Garrett looks on field with headset

So...this isn't what Giants fans wanted to see come Monday morning. Their team is 0-1 and all the new additions and good feelings heading into the regular season about what this team could be capable of were washed away in 60 minutes, as the Denver Broncos had their way with Big Blue in their home stadium.

There's a lot to dissect in this bad loss for New York. You could point at the defense as they shocked with a bad performance, allowing Teddy Bridgewater to have his way on the turf and pick up first downs left and right.

But the offense is going to be the focus of this piece because it was a complete reflection of the inefficiencies that occurred last year for the Giants. And while fingers can be pointed in multiple areas, they all seem to come together on offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

Yes, it's game one and there's 16 still left to play and the ship could be righted. But Garrett's scheme didn't look at all adapted to the new weapons available, and it hurt the Giants in the end.

Average depth of target was a big issue for Daniel Jones last season, which looks at the air yards thrown per pass. But his 8.6 average depth per target was 15th in the league this week, sitting in the middle of the pack.

Jones did take some shots, like in the first quarter when a flag allowed him to go deep to Darius Slayton for his first big reception of the season, or toward the end of the game when Kenny Golladay was picking up chunk plays with some good routes.

So, with that key stat for Jones not being the issue, then who can be blamed for the offense failing to put points on the board? The man calling the plays, which has led to 20 points or fewer in 10 of 17 games since taking over as offensive coordinator, maybe?

Garrett's offense just doesn't adapt throughout the game, and a prime example of that came Sunday when he wouldn't abandon the run game.

Saquon Barkley did not look like his normal self and the interior push from the offensive line wasn't remotely there. But 20 rush attempts still occurred throughout the game, and of course, they came on second downs to try and make it a shorter third down. Overall, 60 total yards were put up.

Maybe the Giants should've worked screens or more creative rushing plays like delayed handoffs or pitches to get the Broncos less comfortable than they looked? Or how about read options that worked last season with Jones during the team's winning streak? Jones finally moved his feet in the second half and it worked (except for the fumble which can't be placed on Garrett. Jones, again, needs to learn to slide in those situations instead of voluntarily taking hits).

There's also the typical throws on third down below the sticks that came up again. They don't work half the time and are simply counterproductive.

Finally, late in the game when a touchdown was absolutely needed, Garrett called a play on third and goal for Kyle Rudolph and he and Jones were on completely different pages. The ball was thrown to the back right pylon while Rudolph was heading to the front one. That was followed up with Golladay running that same route to the front right pylon and Kyle Fuller being all over it.

If Golladay is the target why not run a fade and let his tall frame go up and grab the ball in that coverage like he has throughout his career? That route was just run and the coverage was blanketed, yet the Giants went to it again -- just with a different target.

It's lazy play-calling like this that gets fans worked up, and rightfully so. The Giants were one of the worst offenses in the league last season in many categories, second to last in points per game to name one of them. And those same fans just watched another game where a garbage time touchdown was the last play of the game to reach 13 points.

Again, there are many things that make an offense run smoothly. And the fact that Golladay, Barkley, Rudolph, and Kadarius Toney were sidelined for most of training camp doesn't help the chemistry factor. It could take some time to get going full throttle.

But the general rigid gameplan was still present in Week 1, and it can't go any further. The Giants got these new weapons to be more creative and help Jones expand things each week. Even if it takes time for each of them to get the chemistry down pat, the concepts can still be run to see what's working. That was nowhere to be found against the Broncos.

Now, Garrett has just three days to implement it against an even tougher defense of the Washington Football Team.