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Giants need to embrace a new identity, their old one (long)

Matt in SGS : 11/11/2013 8:58 am
I was listening to the post game show on the radio for a bit, and Carl Banks made a point that I think it actually very accurate, the Giants won this game today similar to how they used to win in the 1980s. They kept the ball on the ground, didn't throw as much and played defense. This is NOT to say that this Giants team is of Parcells vintage. They are not nearly as good.

However, even though the 2013 NFL is a passing league, you can still win games by playing more old style football. Run the ball, control the clock, play defense, and take your shots downfield when they are there.

If you take a step back, let's look at where the Giants are

- The offensive line is not good enough to run the updated variation of the Run and Shoot that Gilbride wants to do and has been doing for years. They can't pass protect well enough. The Panthers game should have been the wakeup call that this team, right now, isn't built to do this. You add in a weak interior line and a rookie in Pugh (who is playing better each week), you simply can't run it. As a result of a poor offensive line you get...

- Eli is having a bad season and looks like a QB who is now rattled by pressure. Eli is a Hall of Fame QB and has won 2 championships, but the 2013 version isn't good enough. It's not all his fault. A bad offensive line. Some bad routes by his receivers. Rushed throws. It's all there. It's time to reign in the offensive scheme and reduce mistakes. The old adage, when you throw the ball, 3 things happen, and 2 of them are bad. You can add in another point, the QB is getting drilled back there.

- The defense has been playing very well for most of the season actually, they have been hindered by poor field position thanks to the turnover prone offense and also by bad special teams.

That all sounds pretty bad, but there is hope

- The running game really started going in Chicago. The fact is, the offensive line transition, and the spotty at best play by Wilson and Scott in expecting them to be able to run the ball consistently, not to mention all the early turnovers, forced the Giants to pass and right into their weakness. But now when you look, and assuming Jacobs gets healthy, the Giants running game is now set up with a group of pounders who should be able to wear down defenses. You've got 230 pounds (and fresh legs) for Andre Brown. 240 pounds and fresh legs for Hillis. And 250 pounds and not so fresh legs in Jacobs. Leading the way is Connor, who is a damn good blocking back in his own right. This group will not rip off the 50 yard breakaway score. But they will churn out 4-5-6 yards a pop.

- The offensive line is playing better, but the moment that Gilbride gets the itch to go up top and thinking he has the 2011 passing game, the Giants (and Eli) fall on their ass. The best way to get this unit to gel, run the ball. Don't make them pick up these blitzes and get pressure on Eli. Eli looks like he's in chuck and duck mode now and the picks are no surprise. Set up more managable 3rd down conversions, think 3rd and 4 or 5 rather than the 3rd and 10 we've seen. In the past the Giants could convert them. They can't do it consistently anymore

- The defense has come around thanks to the play of Beason and Rolle. In the past, the DL was expected to pick this team up, both in play and leadership. Tuck isn't a dominant force anymore. JPP is rounding into shape. The DTs are holding their own against the run. But we are starting to see a pass rush emerge. The coverage has gotten better. All in all, this defense is playing good football against bad teams, it's a start.

So, what should the Giants do? I think they actually pattern themselves, if not the late 1980s Giants, maybe the late 1980s KC Chiefs. That team had DeBerg as QB and took their shots with the passing game sparingly, but pounded Okoye and Barry Word against teams and played strong defense. The Giants have weapons at WR so when they do take their shots, they should have a chance to do damage. But keep it simple, run the ball, keep Eli from taking shots and making mistakes and when the time comes to throw it, you'll have defenses worrying about the run and tired out, so those shots to Cruz, Nicks, and Randle have a better chance of working. Don't put the defense in position to defense a short field.

The one thing I don't have an answer for is Special Teams. Quinn is making us yearn for the days of Larry MacDuff. At the very least, they need to play to a stalemate. I've given up them being a great unit or even a good unit. Right now, they are a detriment. Help this team with the field position game. That's on Weatherford, who has been up and down all season. That's on the coverage teams making tackles. The blocked punt was nice, but ultimately and abberation.

I think for this Giants team to win, we are going to need to get used to more games like yesterday and like in Philly. Lower scoring games, no aerial circus, play a power game because that is what your team has now become. And if you were too young to remember the 1980s types of teams, you are looking at that same style of play in this "ugly" 3 game winning streak. For the Giants to be relevant in December, we are going to need to see more of the same, at least for this season until they can fix the offensive line next year.
someone better remind Gilbride of that.  
Victor in CT : 11/11/2013 9:01 am : link
Against teams with real offense, the style from yesterday and Philly  
Riggies : 11/11/2013 9:06 am : link
isn't going to end in anything but a loss.

The Giant don't have an ugly offense, even with Brown. They have a terrible one that downright sucked in all three wins and requires the defense pitching shut-outs just for them to beat bad teams (and the Eagles with Vick/Barkley were a bad team that day). For this ground and pound stuff supposedly wearing down defenses lik everyone keeps declaring, the Giants' offense has been LESS productive (scoring really only when the defense is handing them the ball on practically the goal line) in the second half of all three wins.

I get why people are grasping, but this formula isn't anything but a recipe for something like 5-11 instead of 2-14, 3-13, which isn't a good thing, as if you're going to suck, you're better off really doing it.
points come out of the passing game but wins come out of the running  
robbieballs2003 : 11/11/2013 9:10 am : link
Eli doesn't get rattled.  
Big Blue '56 : 11/11/2013 9:10 am : link
you don't perform before a billion people worldwide on sports' biggest stage the way he has and get rattled. I assure you he'll straighten things out before all is said and done, even if his stats don't reflect that..

His mechanics seem off and he's slumping, but Mannings have ice in their veins, they don't get rattled and they always bounce back..

You will see...
If they start relying on the D  
NNJ Tom : 11/11/2013 9:12 am : link
They are doomed. I was at the game yesterday. If Oakland had a QB, they would have killed the Giants. There were guys running free all over the place. Pryor was really bad.

The only chance the G-Men have is if the "Good" Eli starts showing up.
AcidTest : 11/11/2013 9:12 am : link
have beaten three teams with bad QBs. And now comes GB, with no AR, and presumably no Seneca Wallace either. Nobody QBs have lit us up, but we have a much better chance against GB now. And then Dallas. I like Romo, but their defense is terrible.

Our OL is the weak link. Better teams will be able to get pressure with just their front four, meaning they can drop six or seven into coverage. Brown increases the chance we can make them pay, but probably not enough to make a difference because Cruz is the only WR really doing anything. Nicks has largely been AWOL. Randle gives us a few plays, but it's clear that Eli doesn't really trust him. The TEs are absent in every phase of the game.

The bad OL also means we have no downfield passing game, so ten to twelve play drives are necessary to score. That is hard to do on a regular basis.

All of this puts too much pressure on our defense.

Our ST are a disaster.

My guess is we do get to 5-6. Once there, we'll really be playing meaningful games, but I can't see us beating SD or Seattle. 8-8 looks like the best we can do, which would be quite a turnaround, and might be enough to win the division. But we will be gone in the first playoff game in all likelihood.
Hall of Fame QB's  
djstat : 11/11/2013 9:13 am : link
Do not have back to back abysmal years. Eli is careless and makes way to manny mistakes. He needs to b a leader and step up. Winning two Super Bowls does not make him a hall of famer.
One more thought  
NNJ Tom : 11/11/2013 9:14 am : link
Maybe they shouldn't have promoted the copy room boy to QB Coach. Eli needs someone who knows whats going on during the game.

The brain drain, on the staff, is painfully obvious.
RE: One more thought  
Optimus-NY : 11/11/2013 9:19 am : link
In comment 11331298 NNJ Tom said:
Maybe they shouldn't have promoted the copy room boy to QB Coach. Eli needs someone who knows whats going on during the game.

The brain drain, on the staff, is painfully obvious.

Don't forget the WR coach, Gilbride the younger.
RE: points come out of the passing game but wins come out of the running  
Kyle : 11/11/2013 9:23 am : link
In comment 11331287 robbieballs2003 said:

It's not "but", but "and then".

As in you pass the ball to score, and then run the ball to win thereafter.
Our red zone  
AnishPatel : 11/11/2013 9:23 am : link
woes still anger me. Run, Run, Pass (obviously 3rd down), then our favorite, FGGGGGG! Yay, another one.

Brown played well. Let's see if he can stay health now. The passing is god awful and you can tell Eli is frustrated with his OL with rushed throws and now teams sense it.

The Raiders were more aggressive than I thought. I didn't realize they were a team that was blitz happy. However, playing our offense I can see why they would do that. It would be nice to get some production from our TEs too, especially in the red zone!
22 throws for Manning  
Bake54 : 11/11/2013 9:23 am : link
30 carries for Brown. About 4 minutes more in TOP. Limit turnovers. Strong defense. If we can maintain that, we can go on a nice run.

Eli has only averaged 213 yds per game in the last 7 wins for a QBR of 93.8. In the last 11 losses, Eli is throwing for 241 yds per game with a QBR of 63.3.
Matt - Great post btw  
Optimus-NY : 11/11/2013 9:37 am : link
Spot on.
Johnny5 : 11/11/2013 9:40 am : link
I don't give a SHIT how they win.

Just win baby.
So Matt,  
mrvax : 11/11/2013 9:46 am : link
What if the Giants just simplified the offense?

How effective would ground and pound and defense be  
Ten Ton Hammer : 11/11/2013 9:49 am : link
when you play teams that can fill up a box score like a New Orleans or a Green Bay with Rodgers playing?
A lot of fans were complaining about the wins looking ugly  
dpinzow : 11/11/2013 9:50 am : link
Lots of our 1980s wins were similarly ugly (although they were built to play that style of football). That's why I wasn't first football memories were of the Giants winning games in that manner
Brown is an obvious upgrade  
Dan in WNY : 11/11/2013 9:57 am : link
But this not a ground and pound team. This o-line does not have the skillset or temperament for that. They are a finesse o-line without talent.

This D is also not capable of stopping competent QBs. against a team that can actually throw and score, their D will wear out from the Giant 3 and outs and the Giants will be forced to throw more.

I don't buy a new identity. They are a team that has been unsuccessfully built to air it out and rush the passer. At this point, they can't do either
Ten Ton  
Matt in SGS : 11/11/2013 9:59 am : link
right now this Giants team isn't good enough to match up with them. Simple as that. To win some games and try to be in the conversation to win this crappy division, the Giants need to adjust to their personnel. While not nearly as dramatic as Denver in 2011, think of what John Fox did. He played Tebow, knowing that the guy simply could not run a conventional offense. So he adjusted his game plan to work with what Tebow could do, play defense, keep the games low scoring and take their chances to win late. And they made the playoffs, only to get curb stomped in New England. However, ultimately, that was a one year thing, based on what they had to work with. They knew this wasn't long team, hence going after Manning and getting rid of Tebow. The Giants offense, this type of offense, won't cut it to win consistently in the NFL today, you have to pass and throw down field and make big plays. They just can't do that right now, there are too many mistakes. They need an off season to fix what is wrong here. So, why not do what they can to take advantage of a weak schedule and what they can actually do, which is pound the ball with their stable of big backs, let the offensive line gel more, and with a stronger running game, give Eli a better chance to throw the ball downfield, but in moderation. This was an 0-6 team, they are not in the elite class this year, but with a bad division, they aren't on to 2014 just yet.
RE: How effective would ground and pound and defense be  
AnishPatel : 11/11/2013 10:07 am : link
In comment 11331361 Ten Ton Hammer said:
when you play teams that can fill up a box score like a New Orleans or a Green Bay with Rodgers playing?

Probably not much. You need to run some kind of offense. I'd run that and use play action, screens, and try some 5 and 7 step concepts. However,the issue is this: We can't run screens very well. Our run offense is suspect. Our pass blocking is shaky, and our red zone offense stinks.

So we need to try something. I'd go with that instead of Eli getting killed by running 5 and 7 step drops like we normally do. This is like when Plax shot himself. Did we adjust? Sure. How? We made Hixon X. Did it work? Fuck no, but we needed to do something, and we went with that. We have adjusted finally and the ship hasn't totally sank yet. So let's see if a heavy wind can get this sail boat moving again.
this team needs to run the ball more  
GiantsFan84 : 11/11/2013 10:07 am : link
but it's because they have a bad QB right now and need to protect him (not from a physical beating, but from himself because he sucks right now). Eli played like shit yesterday. I'm not saying get rid of Eli but right now he is clearly a bottom third QB (that may be generous). I'm not saying he's been this bad his whole career but this season he is arguably one of the 5 worst starting QBs in the league.

When you have a shit QB you run the ball and play good defense and limit the chances your QB takes.
RE: Eli doesn't get rattled.  
Matt in SGS : 11/11/2013 10:08 am : link
In comment 11331289 Big Blue '56 said:
you don't perform before a billion people worldwide on sports' biggest stage the way he has and get rattled. I assure you he'll straighten things out before all is said and done, even if his stats don't reflect that..

His mechanics seem off and he's slumping, but Mannings have ice in their veins, they don't get rattled and they always bounce back..

You will see...

BB, I don't know, I hope you are right, but I see a guy who has taken more hits thus far in half a season than he has in several years. He looks like a QB who is reacting to pressure, and in some cases, it seems as though he's reacting to pressure that isn't there and getting rid of the ball too quickly to avoid the hits/sacks. It's natural and something we've seen the Giants do to some of the best QBs the game has ever seen over the years (Brady and Montana are two examples). It's the Tyson/Strahan adage,everyone has a plan until they are hit in the mouth. That's been happening to Eli as those hits have added up.
Les in TO : 11/11/2013 10:37 am : link
they need to follow the run-first forumla, make good high percentage throws on offense - taking chances when the defense starts to cheat vs the run, let their defense do their thing and STOP THE TURNOVERS (everyone from Eli down to the long snapper needs to be held accountable)
It's been a strange season.....  
Doomster : 11/11/2013 10:46 am : link
Lose 6 in a row.....

Then we face teams with nothing but backup QB's....

Then Romo....but this Dallas team is starting to self destruct itself, with the antics of Bryant....N.O. put two guys on him and took him out of the game, frustrating him, and frustrating the Dallas offense, which wanted use a balanced attack, but fell too far behind to do so....

The way this offense has played, the Dallas game is now a tossup....

But I find it hard to see this team going to Detroit and beating them, or SD for that matter.....I don't see us beating Seattle...I see us with a split with Washington....that's at least 10 losses.....11 if we lose to Dallas...

Reese gambled on an old, injury prone OL, and it cost us this season....he gambled on an injury prone RB and a rookie that just didn't get it, and may now have his career in jeopardy.....
The biggest question mark  
PEEJ : 11/11/2013 10:48 am : link
are the STs. Can't play conservative ground and pound when you're consistently giving up field position
RE: Eli doesn't get rattled.  
Victor in CT : 11/11/2013 10:49 am : link
In comment 11331289 Big Blue '56 said:
you don't perform before a billion people worldwide on sports' biggest stage the way he has and get rattled. I assure you he'll straighten things out before all is said and done, even if his stats don't reflect that..

His mechanics seem off and he's slumping, but Mannings have ice in their veins, they don't get rattled and they always bounce back..

I disagree. Peyton can be rattled. A physical defense doesn't have to shut him down, just disrupt his rhythm so as to take away the easy plays. Then watch his collar get tight and he will force an INT. He has done that many times in big games, usually as the favorite in a playoff game.

On the other hand, Eli has a short memory and will bounce back.

You will see...
RE: How effective would ground and pound and defense be  
Riggies : 11/11/2013 10:52 am : link
In comment 11331361 Ten Ton Hammer said:
when you play teams that can fill up a box score like a New Orleans or a Green Bay with Rodgers playing?

Not even a New Orleans or GB w/ Rodgers.

This formula/identity isn't going to beat Rivers in SD, Stafford in Detroit, Romo and Dallas at home, or probably even RGIII & Co home or away. And they'll get eaten alive by Seattle, wherever and whenever they'd play.
GMANinDC : 11/11/2013 11:14 am : link
I like your initial point and to further it, i will offer the 2007 season as a barometer of a team just trying to win games with a quarterback who is struggling..Now, i'm not saying this team will go on and win the SB, but having a defense that is playing well (regardless of what naysayers are saying about the QB play), and keeping the team in games, it's possible that Eli can bounce back and get back to "normal", like 56 said..

All that being said, it's 9 games in the season..The defense is not going to hold that many teams under 21 points so the offense need to get it's act together against GB. The good thing about the schedule is that, outside of Seattle, the rest of our remaining schedule feature teams with bad defenses.
It probably  
Jerry in DC : 11/11/2013 11:25 am : link
makes sense to implement that philosophy in the short term simply because our QB/passing game has been such a massive liability. But as Riggies said, that's the recipe for 5 or 6 wins this year. You need an elite defense to win if you're coaching around your QB and we don't really have that.

We have a good defense and a defense that's consistently put in awful positions. No matter what the defense does, the opposition is spotted between 7 and 14 points every week courtesy of the offense/special teams. Since the offense doesn't really score points either, that's a big hole to overcome. We've been able to do it because we've played 2 horrible offenses + the Raiders who are just bad (not horrible).

If the offense changes from turnover-punt-turnover-punt to punt-punt-punt-punt, we'd have a better chance to win some games, but the D really isn't at that elite level (say Kansas City) to make that a real winning strategy. Even Kansas City probably isn't good enough defensively to win against good teams with the super-low risk offensive strategy, and they have offensive personnel/system that's better suited for it.
We do have a stable of backs. Let's look objectively at each.  
ktinsc : 11/11/2013 11:39 am : link
Jacobs came to the team looking fresh and he made some plays blocking for Eli and running the ball. Now he's out with a hammy. This could plague him for awhile.

Hillis Has played well and seemed to carry the offense for a game. He did not play or contribute much this week against the raiders.

Cox flashes a nice burst, is young and could develop with time. He is obviously not trusted by the coaching staff. My amatuer observation was that he danced in the hole ( assuming there were holes ) and did not plant a foot and get upfield.

Brown was a godsend yesterday and going forward. How far forward? As others have observed we all hold our collective breath every time he is on the field. If he can stay healthy he could be a young version of OJ Anderson. If he can stay healthy.

Let's see what this stable of backs looks like going forward. If they can get and stay healthy the Giants will compete. As a fan That is really what we watch for.
In each game so far  
vince : 11/11/2013 12:06 pm : link
The team as a whole has gotten progressively better. True they came from such a hole that unless they get help at times from the opposing team the Giants will lose.

However, there is no question in my mind that the Giants will get back to their winning ways. Will they improve enough and improve in time to reach the playoffs?

That is what they're playing to find out.

Now I see an awful lot of posting advocating changes and unhappiness with the way the games were won. A few BBIers indicated they were "Unimpressed" with the way the game was played.. Fortunately, I was ONLY impressed when I saw the results of the game in the WON column.

There's nothing worse in my mind than an impressive LOSS. If they played so good "How come they lost?"

BAck to the team. Are there places that need shoring up? No question but the entire team is getting better with each game.
Yes, in my opinion that includes the entire team including the special teams. Point out what you will and I will agree but overall It's my belief that these players are buying into each other more with each passing game.

I cannot defend the individual areas of improvement because I'm just not that keen but I know improvement when I see it.

I'm a staunch believer in TC and his coaching just like the veteran players on this team.

When people talk about how we're beating bad teams, remember when we lost the other team was playing a "BAD " team. and so the pendulum swings.
OR they can start calling more pass plays  
GmenDynasty : 11/11/2013 12:15 pm : link
that are less heavy read and sight adjustment based where the WRs and Eli all have to dissemenate multiple otpions post snap allowing for way too high risk for miscommunication.
"Stable" of backs?  
Doomster : 11/11/2013 12:16 pm : link
What stable are you looking in?

Jacobs now has a knee problem to go with his hammy....

Cox will not see the light of day, as long as there are bodies in front of him...

Hillis should be split out and then be put in motion towards Eli, so that he can get that extra step start when he runs the ball...

Brown, is one play from having his season over....I hate to say it, but it's in the word could TC overuse this guy yesterday? It's called desperation....

When this line really needs a 3rd and short, do you really think it can deliver, even with a healthy Brown?
When the Giants play better offenses  
Sneakers O'toole : 11/11/2013 2:06 pm : link
they are going to have to go to the air. The rules of this game in 2013 gives passing teams too much advantage. You don't have to be passing 70% of your snaps, but you have to pass. It's too difficult to win playing pure ball control in this league today. Small ball only works against other small ball teams.

Against a good offense the other team will move the ball in chunks, and they will get help from penalties. You can't do the things you have to do to really shut down receivers anymore. Good offenses are going to move the ball. We're going to have to do it too.

That's just the league in 2013. There is too much to be gained in the passing game.
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