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Giants return to reliance on 3-WR sets in loss to Eagles | Snap count analysis

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Giants coach Ben McAdoo talk about being a “heavy-handed” team is empty words.

The Giants have attempted just 47 running plays, which is 13 fewer than any NFL team that has played three games. And it’s not just the play-calling that contradicts McAdoo’s hollow talk about being a physical team. The Giants also continue to rely on three-wide receiver sets despite the addition of a blocking tight end and a fullback this season.

The Giants used 11 personnel (one running back, one tight end, three wide receivers) on 89 percent of their plays in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Eagles, according to Pro Football Focus. That over-reliance is in line with their record-setting use of 11 personnel last season (90 percent). The league average for 11 personnel usage was 58 percent last season.

The Giants had shown more variety in their first two games, when they were in 11 personnel on roughly 75 percent of their snaps. But it was back to old trusty on Sunday, as the Giants ran a hurry-up passing attack.

Quarterback Eli Manning attempted 47 passes compared to just 17 runs. The Giants averaged just 2.9 yards per carry and were stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the 1-inch line late in the first half.

McAdoo takes blame

Fullback Shane Smith wasn’t on the field for that fourth-and-goal play – or any others. Smith didn’t play a single offensive snap on Sunday and he has logged just 12 snaps in the first three games.

General manager Jerry Reese touted Rhett Ellison as “one of the best blocking tight ends in the league” after handing the former Viking a four-year, $18 million contract this offseason. The Giants also hyped Ellison’s untapped potential as a receiver. The sixth-year veteran has three catches for 30 yards and has played just 33.7 percent of the

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