Through 13 games of play, the New York Giants have a rather unimpressive looking 2,424 receiving yards to their name, the fourth-lowest total in the league.
While the lack of receiving yardage alone isn’t necessarily a significant factor in the team’s record—the Ravens, who have 2,365 receiving yards, the fewest in the league, are sitting pretty right now in the playoff race—the Giants' sluggish passing game has raised questions as to whether their receivers have been able to get open on a consistent enough basis.
Giants receivers coach Tyke Tolbert claims that while the team's receivers don't get open 100% of the time, they're also not struggling to get open as badly as some think.
“When I look at the tape, the way I hear people talk about us, I would think that the receivers and DBs are Siamese twins, and they're not,” Tolbert said.
“You know, they're out there, and they're running routes, they're getting open a lot of times but again, give the other guys credit that are paid to cover it.
“I see a lot of times on tape, they're just separating but sometimes they're not. (Arizona Cardinals cornerback) Patrick Peterson is a three-time All-Pro and he's going to make plays and cover guys, but there were some instances where we were open against him, but the ball just didn't come their way at that particular time.”
According to NFL NextGen Stats, the Giants receivers average separation yardage is not very impressive. Sterling Shepard leads the group with an average3.1 yards of separation, followed by tight end Evan Engram (2.9) and then Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, each averaging 2.2 yards.
(Note: The average does not take into account deep passes of 20+ yards versus the shorter to mid-range passes where the latter usually yields more separation since defenders seek to keep things in front of them and not get beaten.)
Tolbert has insisted on more than one occasion that if the receivers get open, they will be found in the passing game. But for that to happen, quarterback Daniel Jones needs to have sufficient time to find them, which has not always been the case.
“I keep emphasizing executing the plays that are called, whether it's a run, play, pass, screen—whatever—execute to the, to the best of our ability. And if it's a pass play, do your best to get open.”