On Running Like Giants..
New York Football Giants: Without a quality offensive line and effective running game, Eli Manning and OBJ will simply continue throwing into the wind.
The Giants woeful running game is a product of poor drafting. That's on Jerry Reese.
Specifically, the Giants offensive line is not a weakness. It is a liability. Sunday withstanding, their run blocking is obviously very poor, and their pass protection is not much better. The latter inevitably increases the chances of Eli Manning getting hurt.
It has been in full decline since Shaun O'Hara's retirement. After which, Jerry Reese paid this unit little more than reactive attention. The ramifications of his neglect are now coming to pass.
I find last year's three and four-man running back by committee infuriating, and feel Shane Vereen has been similarly misused. Regardless, Rashad Jennings or whomever still need somewhere to run.
The Giants ranked 6th in the NFL last year in total points 6th in points per game, and ranked 8th in yards per game. On the ground, however, they ranked 16th in overall rushing yards, and only 19th with (an improved) 100.6 rushing yards per game.
But what good is all that aerial yardage and all those points, if you have no running game to help control the clock and keep opposing offenses off the field?
The season opener in Dallas experienced five lead changes. In other words, ball control and first downs matter.
Clinging to a precarious 20-19 lead, they Giants tried imposing the run with Rashad Jennings late in the 4th quarter until they ran into a 3rd and 12 situation at the two minute warning. They handed off to Rashad Jennings again who came up one yard shy of a first down. Not a bad effort.
But faced with a 4th and one with 1:12 left in the game, the Giants were forced to punt.
Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen were the only members of the backfield to touch the ball Sunday.
That's a good sign.
They combined on 24 rushes for 113 yards (4.7 average). That's a good start.
LOST in a LEFT COAST STATE of MIND
Run to daylight!
Run like Giants ... like Joe Morris, Otis Anderson, Dave Meggett once did behind superior offensive linemen anchored by center Bart Oates.
Run to daylight and find glory ... as the Giants of 1986 did in Super Bowl XXI, when they ran 35 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns. As was necessary to control the ball for 34:39 and keep a frustrated John Elway relegated to the sidelines.
Run to daylight and find glory ... as the Giants of 1990 did in Super Bowl XXV, when they ran 33 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. As was required to maintain control of the ball for an incredible 40:33 and keep Jim Kelly and Buffalo's high powered offense mired on the sidelines.
Run like Giants again ... like Tiki Barber, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw did behind a record setting offensive line in their own right, anchored by center Shaun O'Hara.
Run to daylight and find glory ... as the Giants of 2007 did in Super Bowl XLII, when Coach Gilbride elected to run 26 times for 91 yards (4.0 avg.) in order to both maintain possession for 30:27 and balance Eli Manning's 34 pass attempts.
Find glory ... as they did again in 2011, when the Giants controlled the ball for an impressive 37:05, rushing 28 times for 114 yards (4.2 avg.) and a touchdown.
In each instance, a strong running game played an instrumental role in keeping Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense off the field.
The list of opponents is impressive. The Giants turned back best-of-the-best en route to becoming Super Bowl Champions.
- Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers
- John Elway and the Denver Broncos
- Bret Favre and Aaron Rogers, Green Bay Packers
- Tom Brady and the New England Patriots
None of the aforementioned teams necessarily ran offenses predicated on the run, where the Giants could, and did.
So, my question is this ... if smash mouth (to varying degrees) was good enough for defeating teams more generally associated with running West Coast style offenses, then why on earth are the Giants trying to adopt a West Coast style offense?