One of the biggest problems with the Giants this season was the ineffectiveness of the passing game. Veteran quarterback Eli Manning set a career high with 27 interceptions while throwing the fewest amount of touchdown passes (18) since his rookie season in which he played just nine games.
While Manning had a miserable season by all accounts, the lack of production through the air is hardly his fault alone. The offensive line failed to keep defenders out of Manning’s face, and the quarterback seemed at times to be out of sync with his wide receivers. Too often one of Manning’s targets would zig while he zagged, which resulted in an incompletion or interception.
Maybe that’s why the Giants went without a 1,000-yard receiver in 2013 for the first time since 2008.
“I felt like we were not on the same page time to time, so that’s something,” said wide receiver Rueben Randle.“ I think we all feel the same way, that we left some plays out there we should have made and weren’t exactly on the same page.”
Randle was the second Giants player to comment on the disconnect between the wide receiver corps and Manning. Last week, Cruz was quoted as saying something similar: That Manning and the receivers often weren’t on the same page.
It’s expected that a veteran like Cruz would feel like something was wrong, but it’s interesting that Randle felt it as well despite going through a breakout campaign. In just his second season out of LSU, Randle led the Giants with six touchdown receptions this season.
“I have to make some more plays,” he said. “I feel like I left some plays out there that I should have made so next year I want to be able to build on that and hopefully have more production.”
Considering how well Randle played in 2013, it’s encouraging to think of what he could do when Manning is better connected to his receivers. Whether that connection is formed next season or if it’s just a convenient excuse remains to be seen.