Penalties plague Giants’ offense, may lead to changes on special teams

Earlier this week, I explained the role penalties played in the Giants’ loss to the Redskins.

Here’s a sampling of what I wrote …

The big issue last night: penalties.

The Giants matched a season-high six penalties in the first half and finished with nine on the night.

All but two drives began on the Giants’ 15-yard line or deeper, and with such unfavorable starting field position, having a parade of yellow flags raining down on the offense added to the struggles.

The Giants’ field position Monday night was awful, and even that might be an understatement.

Special teams coordinator Tom Quinn blamed penalties, although questionable, were the main culprit.

“Penalties lose games because you lose field position, so you can’t do that to our offense, make them start from the eight and the nine, that’s very poor. We have to keep our hands inside and we can’t hold,” he said.

“The two were on kickoff return and the punt return one was questionable, but they’ll call it if the guy starts to go down, which he did. The two kickoff return (penalties), Jim (Cordle) has to keep his hands inside. It’s on our back.”

Quinn denied David Wilson’s increased role on the offense having a negative impact on the team’s success on kickoff returns.

After a disappointing start to the season in the backfield, Wilson began to gain the confidence of the coaching staff with his impressive returns.

Wilson leads all NFL players in total kickoff return yardage this year. He tied for 17th with an average return of just fewer than 25 yards.

“We’ve had guys that have had multiple jobs; (Ahmad) Bradshaw, when he was a rookie, he did the same thing. We’re aware of that,” Quinn said. “If he does increase, we have backup returners who are ready to go.”

Quinn confirmed that if healthy, Domenik Hixon could assume punt return duties.

Hixon was injured in the Nov. 11 contest with the Bengals, but is listed as probable for Sunday’s game against the Saints. He ran back just one punt so far this season.

“If he’s active, we’ll start getting him back into his role, getting him on some special teams. Hopefully we’ll see an increase if he’s active,” Quinn said. “if David is playing more on offense, it might be something that he will do. We’re ready to go either way, just trying to get him more involved.”

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