Plenty of upticks from the gmen last night. Last Sunday, when we reviewed the tape of the Ravens game, we pointed out that "it was not a great effort overall but the Giants will play better than this too." The Giants played better.
Before we get to the good, bad and ugly, please reread this paragraph from last Sunday:
SUMMARY: I actually was less concerned after reviewing the tape this morning. Yes, there are problems, but this boils down to health. Terrell Thomas and McKenzie will make this game a very different first half. The middle of the Giants defense (LBer!, passive pass defense) is vulnerable. The Giants will be able to beat weaker teams but will get victimized by the better QBs and lose those games.
Very little from the Pats game was information on the margin. The synopsis works for both games.
1) Ahmad Bradshaw in space
2) Kevin Boss getting thrown the ball
3) Kevin Boss getting thrown the ball in the red zone
4) Matt Dodge's steady improvement
5) Eli Manning had less rust, more control (excepting a ditsy fumble, lol)
6) Rolle's aggressiveness and playmaking
7) Misdirection away from Jacobs to break tendency
8) Bomar had his moments, a little less telegraphing
9) Tynes generated a touchback on a kickoff, my wife had to reach for the defibrillator to revive me
10) Kiwanuka, Tollefson, Alford brought pressure
11) Victor Cruz
12) Goff was ubiquitous in a good way most of the night
13) Nice defensive goal line stand
14) DJ Ware and Gartrell Johnson looked ok running the ball
1) Special Teams adventures- too many to name, this list would never end if we cited them all
2) Defensive pass coverage- too many plays to name
3) Bomar had more accuracy problems, 2 balls batted down with the sidearm release
4) Bomar and Mario Manningham have not been on the same page the entire preseason
5) Beatty looked bad on a sack
6) Banks ripped Boley and Sintim for meek pass rush, it is called a "blitz"
7) A blueprint to beat the Giants like a drum? Use your TE against our defense (see Q5).
No injuries that we are aware of yet, so no ugly!
For those of you new to the blog, sit back and enjoy the rant AGAINST KEVIN GILBRIDE. How is it possible that we could rant against Kevin Gilbride when he actually playcalled splendidly last evening??? Easy- because we have seen time and again how this guy has the strobe light that goes on for a brief speck of time, only to go back off and stay off for the next 6 games. What we saw last night was actually quite incredible and inspiring. And therein lies the frustration- that we actually can have brief moments where we KNOW how good it can be. Maybe ya think he could take notes from HIS OWN book?! (1) In the first two series with the starters, Gilbride got the ball to Bradshaw in space, and the results were shocking... NOT! Of course it worked great. (2) Boss was thrown to not once but twice in the same drive, and one of them was in the red zone, where the TE is your (literally) biggest tool. (3) We saw two or three misdirection plays AWAY from Jacobs that ALL worked. No, they all did not get massive yardage, but they created opportunities and CONFUSED THE DEFENSE. All of a sudden the defense does not have 14 players keying on #27 for a handoff when the bull is in the backfield.
Rule #8) Do the unpredictable. Once you are predictable you are dead.
Lots of people here correctly applaud how Bradshaw is ahead of Jacobs on the depth chart. Part of that reason why Jacobs has slumped is Jacobs (yes, Pete!) slowing down, but another part is that Gil-dolt does not make Jacobs' job any easier when a bulls-eye is painted on his jersey. It's the 2008 Steelers with 8 men in the box, deja blue. So this is why you HAVE TO MISDIRECT. I do not give two cr*ps whether the misdirect works or not. You cannot let the defense poach on him. Make his job just slightly easier and keep the defense off-balanced and confused. We did not see play action.. that is another form of misdirection that Gilbride does not use nearly enough. But at least we saw the WR reverse and the flea flicker. We are not advocating wild and exotic playcalling. Just fakes to Jacobs that will give him more running room when the defense gets burned allocating too many resources in defending against him. The Jets 2009 moribund offense was able to work because everyone knew they were running the ball but at least they used a fair amount of misdirection to burn the defense when they played the 'expected' too hard. It is almost as if the Giants feel that misdirection is not honorable, that it is trickery. Bullbleep. 31 other teams do it and use it more liberally than the Giants. And that is why Gilbride wastes his resources and underachieves. Last night's game vs the Pats should be a revelation, but do not hold your breath. If we can see just about 3 or 4 more plays of misdirection per game from Gilbride, this offense will hum and be very effective. Unfortunately it is not in his genes to use it more consistently.
Summary: (1) Bomar had some good and some bad. He is not ready to be the backup but he is completely ready for a roster spot so that his development and improvement can continue. (2) The defense is going to be volatile. Yes, it will generate more turnovers, but good QBs will gash us. (3) If the OL is healthy the offense will be fine. If Gilbride ever figured it out it it would be awesome. (4) Our special teams s*ck. (5) I saw 8-8 after last week and I still see 8-8. If Gilbride could ever wake up we would be a 10 or 11 win team instantly.