I am not trying to start a offense vs. defense discussion, I think we can all agree that both have had their issues this year. What I wanted to look at was possible issues that may be causing the offense to struggle the second half of the year. While the offense over the years under KG has been very dynamic, it has had it's share of games where they are very anemic, more in the second half of this year that I remember in previous years. Here are a few of my thoughts for discussion...
Offensive line is one area many have pointed to as an issue. However, looking at stats the percentage of pressures has dropped significantly from last year (25% as apposed to almost 40% last year) and the lowest number of sacks in the NFL... I think it is safe to say that the O-line, at least in the passing game, is not the problem.
Running game is another area that receives a lot of criticism. Yet again, the running game is producing on average 20 yards more per game than last year. While statistically the running game seems fine, it has been very inconsistent which clearly causes some problems for the offense.
Injuries, especially to Nicks have been an issue. However, I wonder if this issue is compounded by the complexity of the option routes and difficulty that young receivers have getting on the same page with Eli. With a simplified scheme would rookies like Randle be able to step in and be more of a factor?
Teams have figured out how to slow down, even shut down, the passing game. This is one I keep coming back too. But I want to expand on this even more. No question that defenses are adjusting to the scheme, but I am beginning to think they are actually manipulating the scheme. DBs know that receivers are reacting to what they are doing, so they are using that to guide the receivers where they want them to go. This leads to turnovers or at the very least receivers that are right where the defense wants them. This has always been the fatal flaw in the "read and react" defense, offenses trick that defense into a reaction, then exploit it. Is this what is now happening to our offense? If that is the case, would simple adjustments be enough to get the offense back on track or does it require major changes?