Monday, October 26, 2015

N.Y. Giants: Coach McAdoo Flicks On Orleans Darkwa, Then Turns Him Off

From the desk of:  DO IT FOR THE DUKE

First Place

NEW YORK GIANTS: Two games against the Cowboys brought out the best in Big Blue's running game.  See you again this time next year!

In the one hand, Sunday was refreshing.  On the other hand, maddening.

Do the Giants need to play Dallas every week?  Is that what it takes for Ben McAdoo to incorporate more running?  In any event, I guess he indeed wound up watching Game One's game film after all.

Let's rewind to the season opener in Dallas for a moment:

Right up until the Giants last, and fatal 4th quarter drive, Ben McAdoo called for a mere 16 rushes all game.  Then, during the Giants final drive (before handing the game to Dallas), McAdoo called on Rashad Jennings 7 times, and specifically targeted the Cowboys' middle 5 times.   In return, Jennings pounded out 38-net yards.
  • middle: 3 yds.
  • middle: 27 yds.
  • middle: 7 yds.
  • middle: 2 yds.
  • left: minus 4 yds.
  • middle: 2 yds.
  • left: 1 yd.

In all, the Giants rushed 23 times for 91 yards that game.  Ponderously, this remained their best single-game output through the first six weeks of the season.  Eli went 20/36 for 193 yards that game, marking the only time this season to date Eli has thrown less than the Giants elected to run.

Otherwise, the Giants averaged 23 rushes for 80.1 yards, while Eli has averaged 39 attempts for 267 yards per game through the first six weeks of the season.

Cowboys   20

The Dallas Cowboys amassed 460 yards of offense against the Giants, while Big Blue managed just 289 total yards.  

The Cowboys, however, insisted on turning over the ball four times, and it cost them the difference in Sunday's game.  Dominique Rogers-Cromartie had a pick-six, and a subsequent Matt Cassel INT (one of three) led to one of the Giants two field goals on the day.

Even then, Dallas still tied the score 20-20 with 7:14 left in regulation.  It took a 100-yard touchdown return from Dwayne Harris on the ensuing kick-off to seal the victory.

Now back to the business at hand.

Week One still remains the only game in which Ben McAdoo wound up calling more run plays than passes, although Week Seven came close.

This past Sunday, Eli went 13/24 for 170 yards.  Meanwhile, Ben McAdoo dialed up 21 rushes for a season high 128 yards.

Congratulations Orleans Darkwa on getting into his first game of the season.

And to a lesser degree, congrats to the Giants on hitting the century mark for the first time all year, and for topping 90-yards for a third time.  But, they shouldn't go patting themselves on the back just yet.

Here's the rub...

Ben McAdoo called on fourth string running back Orleans Darkwa during the Giants 2nd quarter scoring drive that went seven plays for 79 yards, putting them ahead 7-3.  He called on Darkwa four times (plus one uncompleted pass attempt):
  • Left: 7-yard gain.
  • Middle: 9-yard gain.
  • Left: 10-yard gain.
  • Final play of drive: 15-yards, touchdown.

All told, that was four rushes for 41 yards, or, 7.7 yards per carry.  Subtract that from the overall effort, and the Giants rushed 17 times for 87 yards.  That's a good day by their standards, but hardly anything that makes me feel better about the situation.

Furthermore, subtracting this drive means Darkwa only made 4 other touches all game.  If he was running like this to start the 2nd quarter, my next question would be, why stop?

Six touches for Shane Vereen likewise seems hardly enough.  Ben McAdoo's odd utilization continues.  If Shane Vereen rushed 4 times for 56 yards (one catch for six yards), why not give him more touches?  He's been limited, and I do mean limited, to just 3 receptions and 5 rushes per game.

Rashad Jennings is averaging just 11 carries and 2 receptions per game; Andre Williams 8 carries a game.

How is a back supposed to establish any kind of flow, or at the least gain a feel for the game, with that kind of indifferent, or dare I say ambivalent utilization?

Somewhere along the way, coaches forgot these players thrive on contact, and must negotiate their way through games with intelligence, but with physicality as well.  At some point, attempting to out-cute the competition will only garner lessons in concussion protocol.

To that I say, this generation of life coaches is too busy outsmarting themselves.

ICYMI: Running Game Making Me Green With Envy

Stop the madness and just continue running with power.

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