NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: Big Blue Takes Giant Strides Towards Daylight.
WEEK FIVE FINAL
Hush your mouth! Who's talking about the demise of Ahmad Bradshaw now? It has been a long time since a Giants back pounded the ball like that. Coach Kevin Gilbride called Ahmad Bradshaw's number thirty times in Sunday's game. He only charged Eli to throw the ball five more times than the Giants rushed. Ahmad Bradshaw responded by rushing for two hundred yards. He averaged over six yards per carry. Throw in another twenty nine yards on four catches, and I would just like to thank both Ahmad, and the offensive coordinator for a job very well done. I'll take it a step further. Kevin Gilbride should be applauded. How often have I said that?
In fact, Kevin Gilbride made multiple in-game adjustments during the first half that caught my attention. And one of them was indeed throwing to Bradshaw out of the backfield early while the Brown still had a lot of spirit against the run. The few change-ups out of the backfield sort of unlocked the overall running game for the rest of the afternoon. The Giants actually ran for more first downs (14 versus 12) than they achieved via the pass. But of course, no one, particularly Coach Coughlin, was all too pleased with Bradshaw's first quarter fumble.
If anything, Bradshaw's fumble could serve to lessen the severity of Tom Coughlin's punishment of David Wilson. The rookie was allotted two rushes all day. In the second half, he unleashed one for forty yards, and a touchdown. He busted through Cleveland's front seven unmolested. But his speed was once again impressive. On this particular rush, he ran by defenders like they were standing still. Does this finally get David Wilson out of Coach Coughlin's dog house? While a fumble, a dropped pass, and a botched shovel pass landed him in Coach's kennel, David Wilson is racking up yardage in the meantime at a hefty pace. He is bouncing back from adversity well. The way coaches think, Coach Coughlin just might want to keep the pressure on him.
Don't forget, somewhere in this, save credit for the offensive line. After just four games heading into Sunday, the unit is already battered, bruised, and depleted. Together, they kept Eli Manning untouched yet again. They corrected costly penalties from last week, drawing no penalties against the Browns. Most comforting to me, they helped the Giants possess the ball for over thirty five minutes by opening large swaths of field for Bradshaw (and Wilson) to run through. David Baas and Kevin Boothe blocked particularly well together.
When the Giants fell behind early in the first quarter, Kevin Gilbride went old school to dig the Giants out of their predicament. He then stuck with his horse for the rest of the game. That, above all else except the final outcome of the game that is, made me happiest. Ahmad Bradshaw needed a game like that. His performance comforted and reassured a lot of Giants fans. Me included.