Darnold would not have had great debut if he played for Giants
As Giants fans watched quarterback Sam Darnold light it up for the Jets Monday night in Detroit, many thoughts drifted to what might have been if they had taken the USC quarterback instead of running back Saquon Barkley. Probably nothing like what you saw and here's why...
Along with bringing in Darnold, the Jets also went out and got him some blocking and a supporting cast of running backs and wide receivers who are not afraid to go downfield in a vertical passing game. As a Giant, Darnold would have spent most of the day peeking to his right to see Ereck Flowers attempt to pass block. His run game would have consisted of Jonathan Stewart who was signed to be the starter before they ever knew they would get Barkley. Last but not least, Darnold would have taken all day to move the ball downfield in Pat Shurmur's dink and dunk offense leaving the rookie out on the field longer than the Jets did which creates more opportunity for mistakes.
The Giants are right in that Eli Manning at 37 is exactly what they need at quarterback. It's a miracle that Manning can withstand the sacks and pressure of his lack of line all these years and remain standing. It's also amazing that the Giants, as former center Shaun O Hara says, would waste his last years by giving him such bad blocking. In the end, all that will be left are cockroaches and Ereck Flowers at right tackle.
But Eli with his even keel and refusal to throw anyone under the bus can digest and manage Shurmur's offense and if the blocking breaks down, it's nothing that he hasn't seen before. If he misses an open Odell Beckham Jr. or Sterling Shepherd, "I gotta play better" will suffice. Also, for what the Giants need and are, Saquon Barkley is the perfect fit. Flowers did throw the block that sprung him for that 68 yard touchdown run. Hopefully there will be more.
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