From the desk of: DO IT FOR THE DUKE
NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: The Gilbride Watch; His Week Four Grade.
LeSean McCoy rushed 24 times for 128 yards against the Giants in Week Three. In Week Four, Beanie Wells rushed 27 times for 138 yards against us. They say more and more this is fastly becoming a passing man's League. Yet, I see teams running the ball in most traditional manners with great success. Or, is that success just coming against the Giants?
It's called smash-mouth Football. Rex Ryan calls it, Ground and Pound. But all it means is letting your fullback lead the way and giving your feature back the ball; letting him find his way; getting a grove established behind the O-Line; and letting him run to daylight. The key part of all that is to let him do it, repeatedly.
LeSean McCoy and Beanie Wells both averaged roughly twenty-five rushes each. Many times; too many times; Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw don't even total twenty rushes combined. In Week Four against Arizona, Ahmad rushed 9 times! Jacobs ran the ball twelve times.
Although the tandem of Jacobs and Bradshaw have been successful within Gilbride's prescribed system before; actually sometimes running wildly successfully at times; the chances of either Jacobs or Bradshaw handling the ball 22; 24; 26 times a game are virtually zero. And after two or three rushes for no gain, Gilbride runs away from the running game like it had bed bugs. He has no fortitude (or is it patience?) to stick with the run when it's not moving at his pace. He only likes the run when it pops and shocks, and is going his way. And even then, it's only a stall tactic for his next glorious pass call.
It all goes back to the unconventional, if not frustrating, way Coach Gilbride views and utilizes the running game and how it ties in to his Offensive clock management. Just saying.
The Giants actually did well this past week to get themselves out of the trouble they created for themselves in the first place thanks to two turnovers. Coach Gilbride and Eli dialed up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. And that's great. We've demonstrated a quick strike capability.
But I'm talking clock here. We had three drives in particular that were nine plays; ten plays; and thirteen plays long. The first two early game drives mentioned ended up in a punt and a touchdown. The third drive came in the fourth quarter. All three drives ate up an average of 5:27 minutes each.
Ten plays and only five minutes off the clock? See my point? All three drives were designed the same way and the clock bears that out. It didn't matter the Giants were in a hurry in the fourth. They were only going to take five minutes. Then throw in my last posting when I mentioned about how much time we gave the Cardinals to work with after making the score 31-27.
But the game worked out for us, so I'm going to give Coach Gilbride a more than favorable grade for Sunday. As far as the Cardinals, on the whole, time of possession got back within reason when compared to the Philly game. But playing a frustrating game from behind called for Eli to throw the ball nearly twice as many times as the Giants ran the ball. But then again, the fourth quarter demanded that. Eli wound up 27 for 40; good for 321 yards. Two more touchdowns and no interceptions was a fine follow-up to last week's game.
I'm cool with that. I'm very happy with the win; just not what it took to secure it. Remember, my differences with Coach Gilbride are philosophical.