Kyle Rudolph, a solution to the Giants’ red zone problems


They are almost the worst.

For years, Kyle Rudolph has been one of the best.

Hence the marriage of Rodolfo and the Giants.

Of all the stats, analysis and exploration of Rudolph’s efficiency for nearly a decade, compared to the decline of the past two years, one number stands out above all others with the Giants’ new tight end. Of his 48 career touchdown receptions, 40 of them – 83.3 percent – have come in the red zone. This strength fits perfectly in the groove of the Giants’ most glaring weakness.

In 2020, the Giants had the NFL’s 31st offense in red zone conversion rate, scoring touchdowns on just 46.3 percent of their trips within the opponents’ 20-yard line. Rudolph’s track record indicates that he will help increase the frequency with which the Giants reach the end zone, working in conjunction with Evan Engram.

“Just look at the red zone objectively,” Rudolph said Wednesday after signing his contract. “The field is condensed, there are smaller windows, tighter pitches, but I think one of the things that has helped me throughout my career is making contested receptions. You’re not going to get a guy to open wide in the end zone, you don’t see him very often. Every once in a while it’s possible, but most of the time scoring in the red zone is an explosive pass and it takes the confidence of a quarterback. ”

kyle rudolph catches a pass during viking camp
Former Viking Kyle Rudolph may be a solution for the Giants in the red zone.
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Rudolph, 6-foot-6, was a three-time all-conference basketball player in high school in Cincinnati and believes his ability on the court is related to his NFL scoring prowess.

“It’s really no different than going up to catch a bounce off the glass,” he said.

Rudolph had six touchdown receptions in 2019, but only one in 12 games last season. After averaging 63 receptions in a span of four years, Rudolph had just 39 receptions and 28 receptions in the past two years. His attack count on offense declined with the arrival of Irv Smith as a tight end target, and decreased production, Rudolph, 31, insists, is not an indication of diminished ability.

“With my role changing over the years, it wasn’t like I couldn’t run and catch balls anymore, I was just doing more blocking stuff,” Rudolph said. “I am extremely competitive and it forced me to go two ways. I could have complained or I could have taken it as a challenge to improve that aspect of my game. ”

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