Saturday, September 21, 2013

N.Y. Giants: Offensive Line Must Create Daylight

From the desk of:   DO IT FOR THE DUKE

NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS: Performance Anxiety By The Offensive Line Causing Running Game Impotence.

No carpet bombing is worth the effort
unless followed up with an effective ground campaign.

Kevin Gilbride's "offense from above" is tops in the league.  And so here we go, over the top again - first because the Panthers' secondary is flaky, but mostly because the Giants running game ranks 32nd in the NFL.  I agree, this week's recipe calls for another day of carpet bombing.  As such, the Giants passing game is averaging 390 yards after two weeks.  But that much aerial bombardment hasn't generated any victories thus far.

Even though Eli will be facing a banged up secondary this Sunday, he and Gilbride would be smart to avoid being predictable.  Even in Coach Gilbride's greediest days, the Giants offense was still predicated on balance, with a strong running game that gained first downs on the ground, sustained long drives and consumed the clock.  In return, Coach Gilbride and Eli Manning consistently lead the league in most yards per pass attempt.

You can point to Eli's seven interceptions as the lead point of the Giants troubles, and how ten overall turnovers have put the defense on the field much more than necessary if you want.  After all, they have played two winnable games.  But without a decent running game and continued substandard  blocking by the offensive line, this sort of football will continue to be order of the day.

In the running game's present state, a lack of respect by opposing linebackers, safeties, and defenses in general is only natural.  But this week, the offensive line will potentially be working against a Carolina defense that may not be too interested in committing their depleted safeties to stopping any attempt at running the ball.  Therefore, it is time to give the back field upwards of twenty-five carries, featuring a fresh new unbiased look at David Wilson.  Kevin Gilbride will also have to incorporate catches out of the backfield as well, if only to keep the remaining healthy Carolina Panthers secondary honest.  That may sound simplistic, but the backfield has literally generated little to no offense.

The Giants transition away from the Shaun O'Hara, Ahmad Bradshaw and younger Brandon Jacobs era is not going well at all.  With David Diehl still out, they have few choices but to start maximizing their remaining options on the offensive line.  That means David Baas, working on a troubled knee, would cease to be a starter.  I know, I know, Brandon Jacobs scored a touchdown against the Broncos behind Baas' block.  But something must be done to improve the woeful play upfront.  Let Kevin Boothe, Jim Cordle and Chris Snee fill the space between the tackles, or slide Boothe over to play center while James Brewer starts at left guard.  I'm sorry, the Giants continue to be woeful running between the tackles, and as such, David Baas' free agent contract continues to be money ill spent.

Big Blue's obligatory two week grace period is over.  While only a game separates them from first place in what will turn out to be a parity riddled NFC East, time is already of the essence in Week Three.  Hard decisions need to be made regarding the offensive line, and by now, David Wilson must know how to securely handle the football, and how to effectively pick up a blitz.  It is time for him to perform - no questions asked, and Sunday's game is a good situation for him to take a major step in the right direction.  Heavy doses of a much healthier Henry Hynoski leading the way can also go a long way towards turning around Wilson's season.

If the Giants do not turn the ball over, the defense won't be as taxed, and should able to keep Cam Newton, Steve Smith and the Panthers somewhere between seventeen and twenty-three points.


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