The Giants have the tiebreaker advantage over the Cowboys and truly control their own destiny as it relates to winning the NFC East. Many writers in local NY area media and even fellow bloggers on other sites have the Giants as the clear frontrunner to win the NFC East division. But some former Giants Pro Bowlers have observations shared by the bloggers and commenters on this site.
Let’s look at some of the issues that have plagued this team dating back to last year.
The defensive woes do not need to be discussed over and over again as we have addressed this ad nauseum. But two former defensive starts and respected leaders spoke out on twitter about their concerns with the defense’s performance:
AntonioPierce Antonio Pierce
WTF.... this defense is a JOKE... COMMUNICATION/LACK OF AGGRESSIVE PLAY/ BAD DEFENSES COACHING.. thats all
michaelstrahan Michael Strahan
Defense is definitely not on same page. Teams should at least have to work for a td!! That's just sad
Why do we continue to see communication issues dating back to last season? Why do we continue to see blown coverage assignments, which result in a TD or near TD, week in and week out? Is this defense so complicated that we need to bring in Rhodes Scholars like the other Rolle?
Red zone issues have been plaguing them for as long as Coughlin has been Head Coach. He even re-named the red zone with the moniker green zone. The red zone issues became more glaring recently going back to the 49ers game, ISSUES that probably cost them the game. You cannot win on the road by consistently putting up 3 points versus 7 in the red zone. We have discussed constantly that you need to be unpredictable and this past Sunday was no different. On one possession before the end of the first half Gilbride called 2 straight corner fades to Nicks and then Beckum (he called it again later to Manningham with no luck again) which followed up a draw for 0 yards. Disguise and spread the field to create one on one mis-matches you clearly had versus a depleted Cowboy secondary that, by the way, you were having a lot of success against. Rick H commented yesterday about the abysmal screens run by the Giants:
Here's something I haven't seen discussed very much. Why is it so difficult for this team to run a screen pass? Every other team seems to be able to run an effective screen on 3-4 plays per game (at least). Why can't the Giants? It seems like every screen play they try blows up and result in a loss or minimal gain. Is that just my imagination or do others feel that way too? Is it just another symptom of Gillbride's inability to disguise plays?
Even Banks States, “I say that’s the one thing during the offseason this staff when they sit down and start evaluating priority number one is develop a screen.” Rick H we have been wondering about this for several seasons with Gilbride. Bottom line, you have to wonder if Gilbride knows how to design and effectively implement a screen.
Each season we see a rash of hamstring, knee and other leg ailments since Coughlin’s statement about injuries being a “cancer” and it’s more of a mental thing. If it was a cancer before Coughlin was hired then why isn’t his conditioning coordinator, Palmieri, ever held accountable since? But even in then they have had their share of injuries in 2007 when Ward, Kiwi and Shockey were amongst the injury woes and they adjusted.
We don’t know where the Giants will be next week, the following week or even in January but we can predict that the above issues will linger. I am going on record that this team’s season will conclude due to the issues of both their secondary schemes and/or lack of effective red zone offense. They may well win the division that arguably is one of the weakest in the NFL but they are not going anywhere this year in the playoffs.
We plead to Mara, Tisch and even Reese to make adjustment to their coaching staff to give this team a chance to achieve it’s ultimate objective. Coughlin we know will not part ways with his current coordinators given his history of stubborn loyalty. It is up to ownership to take measures to give them a chance. They have a $100 million dollar quarterback who has elevated his game to elite status, they have a young freakish talent at DE who could become a dominant player in the NFL and they have enough talent to not be gashed consistently for 400+ yards per game. Yesterday Todd Haley was fired as Head Coach of the Chiefs and Steve Spagnuolo is rumored to be on the firing line in St. Louis. How successful do you think the players would be under these two as offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator respectively?