Eli Manning admits that the Giants will miss Odell Beckham next season, but the veteran quarterback believes his offense will improve in 2019.
Many NFL observers believe the Giants offense is going to take a step back without the services of Odell Beckham Jr. in 2019. Eli Manning disagrees. He believes the unit has the talent to overcome the star receiver’s departure and be more productive next season.
Manning acknowledges that the Giants will miss Beckham’s “tremendous playmaking ability,” but that isn’t dampening his optimism about his group’s ability to score points and rack up yards. Specifically, he believes the development of Saquon Barkley in his second professional season will go a long way towards offsetting the loss of Beckham. The former Penn State star was very productive in his rookie campaign, but it’s fair to assume his game will progress in year two.
The veteran signal caller also believes that Even Engram can make more plays from the tight end position. He caught 45 passes for 577 yards and three touchdowns in 2018, but he flashed Pro Bowl potential at times. New York will need him to step up and threaten opposing defenses down the seam to create room for the rest of their offense to work.
Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard will be tasked with replacing Beckham’s production most directly. Neither is going to suddenly perform like a top-10 receiver in the NFL, but the Giants hope both players can step up and make their offense more unpredictable. Tate will be tasked with giving Manning a wideout capable of turning a short catch into a long gain with his ability to run after the catch.
Manning’s plan of making up for Beckham’s departure as a group sounds great in the offseason, but it’s going to really struggle when the snaps really count in the regular season. He’s underestimating just how much defensive attention Beckham drew on every snap. There wasn’t a single play where opposing defensive coordinators didn’t account for him on the field. No one left on the Giants roster is going to put that much pressure on the defensive secondary.
That means the Giants offense is very likely going to take a sizable step back in 2019. It won’t come screeching to a grinding halt, but there will be lots of doldrums for New York fans to suffer through. This group will miss Beckham’s production presence more than Manning thinks.