I don’t know Brandon Marshall personally, but it seems like he’s in a good place in life. He boasts Hall of Fame caliber numbers. He and his family continue to spread mental health awareness, and he does extremely well on television as an analyst on Showtime’s Inside the NFL.
From a football perspective, the only thing that has eluded him in his wildly successful career is playing for a winning NFL franchise. As Marshall was released from the New York Jets, many expected him to join the New England Patriots. After unraveling the parallels between the two, it was a no-brainer why it wouldn’t work.
Marshall would have had to keep his emotions and words in check, which isn’t the norm for him. He would’ve given up his television gig due to not being in the New York metropolitan area. Not to mention, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Marshall have a history of conflict between them. As we all know, the “Patriot Way” produces championships, but for someone as outgoing as Marshall, it would have been a difficult fit.
Since he recently played for the Jets, it made sense to keep his talents in MetLife Stadium, by suiting up for the New York Giants.
The main reason is that Marshall has yet to play in a playoff game. He’s only been a part of two 10-win seasons in the 11 years he’s been in the NFL. For the first time in his career, he joins a franchise with stability at quarterback and head coach. On top of that, the Giants are a few players away from being a legit contender in the NFC.
For Marshall, that’s uncharted territory. He played for Denver, Miami and Chicago through roster overhauls and coaching changes. Stability is something that Marshall isn’t accustomed to, in fact you could say that he’s far too familiar with constant turnover. Now that he’ll play for the Giants, he’ll suit up for one of the more stable franchises in the league.
On paper, New York and Marshall are a match made in football heaven. After releasing salsa-dancing wonder Victor Cruz, the Giants cleared $7.5 million in cap space. Signing Marshall for $6 million upgraded the wide receiving corps for less money. Adding B-Marsh to team up with Odell Beckham Jr. will make life easy on Eli Manning and the rest of the G-Men.
The move empowers an offense that struggled for 2016. Outside of OBJ and a few moments from rookie WR Sterling Shepard, the aerial attack was pedestrian at best. In addition, the running game wasn’t much better. The combination of a middling running game and a one-dimensional passing attack hindered the Giants from making a run to Super Bowl LI. Now that Marshall is there to help, the Giants really have the chance to make some noise.
During the regular season, the Giants averaged 19.4 points per game. To dive even further, New York finished 25th in total offense with 330.7 yards per game. Adding Marshall would likely improve those numbers.
Prior to signing Marshall, the Giants didn’t have a receiver outside of OBJ that tallied over 700 yards. Last season, Marshall amassed 59 catches for 788 yards and three touchdowns, which are low by his standards, but he is just one season removed from a 1,502-yard, 14-touchdown campaign.
The threat of having both Marshall and Beckham will make safeties play the double-high scheme much more due to the threat of getting beat deep. That said, it will allow the wide receivers and tight ends to capitalize on underneath routes. Not only will Marshall improve the passing game, but his presence on the field should improve the 29th-ranked rushing offense.
It’s uncertain if Marshall is still the No.1 wide receiver that tormented defenses in years past, but he doesn’t necessarily have to be the top guy on Big Blue. His veteran presence on and off the field can help a young wide receiving group that needs maturing. It also helps that he is a threat to defenses wherever he’s lined up—especially in the red zone.
The Giants aren’t a shoe-in to win to make it to the Super Bowl or to even win the NFC East, but their chances increase with Marshall on board.
Columbus, Ohio born. Ron is a first-ballot healthy hairline hall of famer. He spent the summer of ‘08 eating calamari pasta because of OJ Da Juiceman. He also loves to write about sports while listening to Sada Baby. Follow him on Twitter @Ron_Hamp
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