The Giants beat themselves. Lack of pocket contain on defense. Gilbride lack of small ball for ~ the first half of the game on offense. ONE RUNNING BACK SCREEN. THE ENTIRE GAME. Underachievement. There were plenty of mistakes all around. The mere fact that the game was within reach down to the very end makes it very clear- considering how sloppy the Giants were, if they simply played more small ball and contained the pocket on defense, they win the game easily. Reread the preview from yesterday. Where was Bennett in this offense? Where was the copious amount of screens, draws and flares? Of course it was play action on the 4Q TD drive that set up those two big plays. The ONE Running Back Screen? It was only successful for 20 yards. But since it is illegal for Gilbride to use more than ~1-2 in a single game, we couldn't dial them up again the rest of the way.
Giants Offense First 28 minutes of the Game: 86 yards. 0 points.
Giants Offense Last 32 minutes of the Game: 280 yards. 17 points.
WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR STUD X (Burress in 2008, Nicks here in 2012) Wide Receiver, small ball goes from being important to being critical. The Giants and Gilbride responded to the loss of Nicks vs Carolina appropriately and we gave him the props. It was not an accident that the Giants offense percolated all game, running up 36 points. Here, they had 0 points for the first 28 minutes of the game because they did not use small ball. No urgency from Gilbride in H1. No margin of error for the Giants in H2. It isn't Gilbride's fault that the Defense could not contain the pocket, that Eli throws a pick in Q4, that Baas flubs the snap, that we get Barden for PI... but you have to play 60 minutes and the Giants offense did not.
86 yards of offense in the first 28 minutes of the game. And 20 of them came on the small ball RB screen. THE GAME WAS LOST IN THE FIRST HALF. The mistakes of the second half only expose them more.