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De-coding Some Press Talk

A question was recently posed to Eli Manning when talking about the upcoming Falcons game, he was bluntly asked:

What do you have to do to beat them?

“Just play well. Protect the ball, we’ve got to score when we get into the red zone, we can’t make mistakes. We have to stay on track and just be patient. Take our completions. When there is time to hit some big plays and change the momentum of the game and change the field position, we need to make those plays.”

His answer was enlightening for me, I’ll tell you why. When he says stay on track and just be patient – what he’s actually saying is:

“We plan on running a lot, and moving the ball with short passes.”

When he says when there is time to hit some big plays… and… change the momentum of the game – that is code for:

“This game is going to be a punishing display of methodical offensive precision, and we’re going to control the flow of the game outright by playing Giants smashmouth football. So unlike earlier in the year, expect two or three big shots down the field after we’ve lulled the Falcons to sleep over the course of 60 minutes. But no more than a few deep bombs.”

And you know what? Good! Eli looked fantastic the last game because he played high percentage passes, moved the ball well, controlled the game well, and the Giants offense should have gotten that win against San Diego.

This statement tells me the Giants have shifted their game plan perspectives back to what they do best, find ways to run the ball. A 60/40 ratio of pass to run was what got the Giants a Superbowl ring — which is a fairly balanced attack. It’s time to get back to running the ball well and utilizing their players as best they can.

Speaking of running and utilizing their best players: enter Brandon Jacobs.

Jacobs recently indicated in an interview that as the weather gets colder, you can expect him to get hotter. When asked if he expects to get more touches entering the second half of the season, here’s what the big man said:

“Oh, no question, it’s going to be nice and cold. The ball is going to be really hard, and we just have to be ready to carry as many times as they are going to give it to me.

I love when you are out playing the game in the outdoors with those elements. It makes it good for us because we can step our game up knowing that our team is going to need us in order to win the game, to move the ball. I like putting everything on my back.”

This is evident in so many ways but the importance of his last statement is undeniable — give Brandon Jacobs the ball if you want to win in a clutch situation. I’m reminded of the Eagles playoff game last year (gulp) when Gilbride’s rotation took Jacobs out of the game when he was gaining 10-12 yards every time he touched the ball. He was a lightning rod that day, he wanted the ball so bad you could feel it from your couch. The point is, Jacobs is one of the big firestarters on this Giants team, so as it gets colder out and you need to spark a fire on your team — leave it to Jacobs and he’ll get the job done.

Note to coaches Gilbride and Coughlin – if the Giants find themselves in bitterly cold atmosphere at the Meadowlands facing a division rival and he’s having a GREAT game, leave him in.

What do you all think, is this game plan going to work?


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