Parcells says run game hurts in red zone

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Former Giants coach Bill Parcells believes the Giants' struggles to score touchdowns in the red zone stems from an inability to consistently run the ball. The Giants have converted just 17 touchdowns on their 38 trips to the opponents’ red zone (45 percent) this season, although they have scored on 95 percent of red zone chances.

“I think the reason is the same for all teams that happens to, and that is an inability to run the ball into the end zone,” Parcells said on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN 98.7 FM on Thursday. “When you can't, they start bunching up their defense a little more the closer you get to the goal line, you got more people you have to contend with immediately. When you can’t run the ball down in the red zone, usually your efficiency down there isn’t very good. Running the ball in the red zone is a very key element to being a good red zone team.”

The Giants rank sixth in the NFL in points per game but could be closer to the top if they were better at converting their chances. In the past two games, the Giants have had six chances inside the red zone but have only managed to score touchdowns on two. For the year, the team has kicked more field goals (19) than scored touchdowns inside the red zone.

The team’s running game is currently ranked 15th in the league in yards per game and Parcells said an improvement in that area could help the team’s title chances.

“I just don’t think they got that running game where they want it right now,” Parcells said. “Being with Tom I know he wants to run the ball well if he can and I think that’s an area where, if they can just improve that one thing, I think they will be a very, very serious threat to win the championship.”