NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: The Time is Now For Kevin Gilbride to Help The Running Game Get This "RIGHT" Once and for All.
Submitted for Your Analysis:
Offensive Coordinator; Kevin Gilbride's Implementation of the Running Game.
I long ago established the Giants have done their best rushing behind the right side of the Offensive Line. Chris Snee, and more so, Kareem McKenzie have done the Giants best run blocking this season. David Diehl, playing out of position again this season is run blocking admirably at Left Tackle. Diehl and Booth have created consistent but shorter yardage together. Yet with even greater consistency however, the middle; running off Center, has proved fruitless for virtually the entire season.
There is no forward surge being created by the front five; and in particular by the interior Line. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are both continually getting met at the line of scrimmage because there is no forward push. And in my opinion, the problem resides with Center David Baas.
I shared my latest concerns regarding Center David Baas, and his upcoming mis-match against New England's Vince Wilfork in my last posting: Super Sizing the Offensive Line. David Baas is still feeling the effects of a stinger suffered in last week's game. And it remains my hope Kevin Boothe gets the start at Center and Mitch Petrus plays Left Guard. Both men together increase the Giants' size up the middle and have been successful opening up some space when they played together for a few games this season in Baas' absence.
As for the running game itself, I can not fault Kevin Gilbride electing to heave the ball up fifty-eight times. It's what won us the game. And further more, this post can not continue without giving the 49ers their deserved credit. But even with all Eli's heroics, Gilbride still called for twenty running plays. Once again I commend him for staying dedicated to the run even when it seemed to go nowhere. But I don't know if I should call last week's run selections an epiphany or just random acts of Gilbride coincidence. The Giants only ran for fifty-nine yards during regulation time on twenty rushing attempts. And there-in lies the Giants' silver lining. In overtime, the Giants ran five more running plays for an additional twenty eight crucial yards. And once again you'll see, that the RIGHT side of the Line is the correct side to follow towards Daylight.
Against Green Bay-I, Dallas, the Jets, Dallas-II, and against the Falcons, Big Blue pounded the right side of the Line on their way to 100+ yard games. Keep in mind the Atlanta Falcons game's stats:
* The Giants rushed LEFT nine times for thirty-one yards. 3.4 average gain.
* The Giants rushed UP THE MIDDLE eight times for thirty-one yards. 3.4 average gain.
* The Giants rushed RIGHT thirteen times for one hundred-one yards. 7.8 average gain.
Of the Giants' running plays that went for fives yards or more, here is your break down:
* LEFT - Three Plays ~ eight yards; eight yards; fourteen yards.
* MIDDLE - Two Plays ~ ten yards; fifteen yards.
* RIGHT - Four Plays ~ thirty four yards; thirty yards; seven yards; nine yards.
In the Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers, Kevin Gilbride went against everything the Giants do well with regards to running the ball. He dialed-up a complete 180 degree reversal of field and went left side intensive with the running game. Just a few days prior to the game, an article in the tabloids reported Kevin Gilbride - in summary as saying, - Click HERE for full Daily News article.
......Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride believes the “conventional wisdom” that the Giants must run the ball effectively to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ high-powered offense off the field as much as possible in Sunday’s divisional playoff game “honestly doesn't hold much water.”
Then against Green Bay he devised this;
*LEFT - Thirteen Plays ~ for net fifty-four yards. Three plays combined for -9 yards. In the first half, Ahmad Bradshaw started left, then changed course and went *right for +23 yards; setting up Eli's Hail Mary pass. Ahmad Bradshaw broke another +24 yard gain running off Left Tackle. And on the last N.Y. touchdown of the game, Brandon Jacobs once again started a play running left, then turned back *right for a fourteen yard touchdown run.
*MIDDLE - Six Plays ~ for fifteen yards, and one No-Gain. Two plays went for five yards each.
*RIGHT - THREE PLAYS! One play negated by a Holding penalty. Two plays for negative yardage. Only one gain for +4 yards.
I was torn between wanting to punch him in the face or crediting him for having some deceptive plan up his sleeve, as if he had clairvoyance into knowing the Giants would still be playing; and in knowing such, trying to throw everyone off the Giants' trail? Really? Is that plausible?
There was the matter of the 49ers game and an overtime session that reconfirmed every assertion the Giants' run the ball best behind Snee and McKenzie. However during regulation time, the Niners put the breaks on Big Blue's rush with haste.
This is the regulation time break down of running plays called by Kevin Gilbride that amassed all of fifty-nine yards:
LEFT: Seven Plays ~ Twenty-Four Yards. One No-Gain. One Six Yard Gain Negated by a Penalty to David Baas.
MIDDLE: Seven Plays ~ Nineteen Yards. One No-Gain.
RIGHT: Six Plays ~ Sixteen Yards. One No-Gain on 4th and 1; (B. Jacobs).
Then, it hit him. Kevin Gilbride turned to the tried and true method this team has for gaining yardage on the ground. In overtime, the right side of the Offensive Line found daylight for the Giants yet again. And with no disrespect to Eli, they kinda saved the big finish.
LEFT: No Plays.
MIDDLE: One Play ~ Four Yards.
RIGHT: FOUR PLAYS ~ FORTY YARDS!
Against the San Francisco 49ers, in total they ran Left 7x for twenty-four yards; Middle 8x for twenty-three yards; and RIGHT 10x for FORTY Yards.
The question remains why Kevin Gilbride designed such a radical departure from the Giants' strength in the Green Bay game? Yet, the Giants ability to spring two plays back to the right side sealed the game against the Packers. And the Giants' ability to pound out SIX; EIGHT; SIX; and FOUR, yards all behind the right side sealed the game in San Francisco as well.
Heading into this showdown with the Patriots, that's two issues now I believe the Giants need to investigate, with, a) - being the starting status of center David Baas, and b) - will the Giants stick with their strength and run behind their right side and outside their Left Tackle; David Diehl?
My over-riding concern is the potential inability of David Baas to keep Vince Wilfork from disrupting the line of scrimmage. Most specifically, I fear he can dominate David Baas and cause overwhelming chaos in the Giants' backfield; not to mention the pressure he can bring on Eli up the middle.
This is the Big One Coach. Get this one RIGHT and you can shut me up forever. So don't blow it with some goofy game plan. Friggin' egomaniac!