The schizophrenic Giants were the Giants we know last night night. The team with too much talent to have any excuses for laying an egg vs the Bengals came out with energy and throttled the Packers 38-10. They played with energy and urgency, something that was lacking for many quarters over the last 4 games. Eli played better. The WRs played better. The OL played better. The DL played better. Chase Blackburn was everywhere. And oh yah, it was the Packers' turn to lay an egg.
We will not take anything away from the Giants. With that said, the opponent was missing Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson. The Giants are back on track.. that is all that matters.
We did research on the Giants playcalling over the break, and found that the Giants called a grand total of 9 screens to their RB and TE in the first 10 games this season. There were 2 playcalls targeted to the Tight End in the CLE game that we liberally assigned as a (mid) screen. So that means that in 10 games there has been an average of less than 1 RB screen called per game. In today's world of passing, and Defensive pressure to disrupt offensive passing, you have to use more of these plays. We mention it specifically because on the 4th play of the game, Bradshaw busted a screen for 59 yards. Two plays later the Giants scored a TD. The Giants attacked on the opening drive and got out to a 7-0 lead because of small ball playcalls like that. The tenor of the game was established and the beatdown was on. The only criticism is that more of these plays need to be called during a game. Only 1 more screen was called, an aborted attempt in H2. We aren't asking for 10 screens per game. But we are asking for more than 1 or 2. They will matter down the stretch and into the playoffs because other teams will use pressure defense more than the Packers did.
The stats will show 5 for 6, but the Giants were 5/5 in the red zone last night (the last one in garbage time does not count). Let's review what happened:
1) TD1- Andre Brown on a 2 yard plunge. And remember that a small ball pass to a wide open FB was missed by Eli, but the prior small ball screen and FB pass are symptomatic of what was missing.
2) TD2- 3rd and 5 pass for 16 yds to Randle. Pretty pass and nice rookie grab. The Giants need their 3rd WR to step up.
3) TD3- Andre Brown for 4 yds and Cruz 9 yd TD pass. Eli's accuracy was perfect. Stars help teams win Super Bowls and Victor Cruz will be needed for passing TDs.
4) TD4- Bradshaw off Right Guard for 13 yd TD. The Offensive Line created monster holes for much of the game, and this one (off an Osi turnover) was huge in many ways.
5) TD5- Hakeem Nicks for 13 yards, and breaks the plane after review. Nicks is hurt and Collinsworth took the time to explain that Nicks is simply not anywhere near 100%. The bye rest had to have helped Nicks.
All this WITHOUT the TE in the red zone. Against better defenses, the TE will be needed too, but everything else was there. The Giants showed up with energy and urgency and delivered a great win. With a two game cushion, if they continue to play at this level that we know they are capable of, the Giants should make the playoffs. And then, as Giants fans know, anything is possible.
Am I the only one just loving what's going on in Philly ?
It's just sweet.
Manningham still can't locate a 1st down marker on 3rd down btw ...
We need Nicks to be healthy for the playoffs. Sit him and let him heal. Let Randle play and develop until then.
@RussWellen1 Maybe that is something to address down the road in a few weeks if the Giants have a safer "in" to the playoffs. That could begin w/ a win over Washington and a potential 3-game (and tiebreaker I believe) lead in the division. And while Nicks clearly isn't at 100% just yet (and who knows if he will get there this season) he is certainly getting healthier with each passing week and is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was earlier in the season. We should trust the Giants training/coaching staff to know what is best for Nicks and the Giants as a whole going forward...let's not forget they are the professionals. But yes, in an ideal situation (hopefully we get one of those for once) the resting of Nicks does sound like a solid plan
So why are they so reluctant to use screens? It this just Gilbride's M.O.? (what is an M.O. anyway?) It drives me nuts when they waste a 1st down by flinging it deep downfield to see if they can get lucky and catch the secondary asleep. There were at least a couple examples of that in this last game.
The thing that I don't understand and is a little disconcerting is why the Giants can't be more consistent and come up with these efforts on a more regular basis. All teams have a bad game once in a while, but the Giants seem to need to be up against a wall or some other drama to play like this. I love that the boy with Leukemia was such an inspiration to them, telling them to 'play like world champions'. But it shouldn't come to that, should it?
My thinking before this game was the following: "We've looked terrible, they've looked great; we're often garbage at home.... which means we're going to beat the crap out of them." That thought was at least somewhat sarcastic, but thankfully it came true.
Running game was great. Losing Brown is rough, but Wilson will step up. He has to.
Eli still looked a tad off here and there as Arthuro mentioned. Not worried about Eli though.
Was great to see Rodgers harassed all night long. Ryan and Brees will need to get the same treatment.
Skins in seven days. No time for screwing around. Go Giants!
How sweet is that ?
I predicted a 38-21 Green Bay victory … Boy am I glad I was wrong. It looks like the coaches put this bye week to good use.
Too bad for Andre Brown. Either Wilson steps up or Bradshaw will have to carry a heavy load – and who likes the sound of that ?
Gilbride had a good day for the most part, it's not his fault if Manning can't connect on 5y throws …
Red Zone offense ! Whooh !
As I said a few weeks back, Diehl and Locklear are very close in terms of pass protection but Locklear can't run block. And they know it as I don't think we ran behind him other than on this awful "stretch toss" on a 3rd & 1 …
The passing game is getting together but it's not back yet. Manning isn't playing the way it should be. It got better as the game progressed but Bradshaw remained our leading receiver with 61y (screen play baby !) until late in the game … Numbers are good (110 real passer rating, 7,8 nYPA) but we still get drops and a few passes where off.
It's not true in a lot of games, but the running game did set the passing game this time.
4.7 ypc on designed run is pretty good to me.
Defensively the 1st drive (if you can call it that …) was scary !
They did get it together althought Webster's INT was a huge risk. We had some bad coverages but the pass rush had just enough juice to make up for it most of the time.
Osi's $8M forced fumble was just as much a great play as it was a tough reminder of what he should be doing regularly …
Good DL play overall, agressive CBs, I liked that.
Rodgers had a 72.2 real passer rating in the 1st half (8.1 nYPA – thank you 61y TD). Good pass D.
Good ST. Not helping, not hurting.
@Arthuro Great post as always Arthuro. And I just wanted to comment on the Diehl/Locklear thing. I am and have been with you on the premise that Diehl is a far superior run blocker and generally the gap between their pass pro isn't too far off (in favor of Locklear). However in this one BOTH guys played great in pass pro and run blocking and graded out as such. From the second Locklear got his opportunity he seemed to be foaming at the mouth and this showed on several run plays (including the 13-yard Bradshaw TD I highlighted in Jump to Conclusions this AM). In an ideal world both guys are playing excellent and we can use BOTH of them in an extra TE situation much more frequently.