Are the Giants behind the time in their offensive system? Some say yes, others say Eli and his WRs aren’t on the same page, or that they are secretly injured. Others say Manning is a victim of “collateral damage” — meaning the RBs, TEs, and OL are all not doing their part in blocking.
There is another notion out today that points to the scheme — and offers new and interesting evidence as to why that might be the case.
The Giants have gone three-and-out on 15 of their 54 drives this season, the third-highest ratio in the league, and have punted the ball so frequently that some fans now refer to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride as “Kevin Killdrive.”
“No question, it’s an offense that, when things aren’t clicking, it looks ugly,” said John Lynch, a former NFL safety and now a football analyst for Fox Sports.
And the Giants aren’t operating alone in a vacuum – the offense was exported to Tampa Bay where former Giants offensive coach Mike Sullivan tried to bring Gilbride’s offense further south.
In Tampa Bay, where former Giants assistant Mike Sullivan runs the same scheme as offensive coordinator of the Buccaneers, the results have been so heinous that the team benched starting quarterback Josh Freeman just three weeks into the season.
The Giants and Buccaneers rank 30th and 31st in scoring, respectively, and their collective ineptitude has given weight to criticism that the offensive system both teams employ is getting left behind by the league’s current trends.
This is half the battle here folks. Gilbride’s Run and Shoot adapted system is installed in concert with a power run balanced offense that Tom Coughlin has stood by his entire career. And the proof is in the pudding.
Right now the Giants RBs, TEs, and OL are NOT blocking well for Eli in passing downs, and the Giants aren’t running the ball well although they showed a bigger commitment to it last game against the Chiefs. Time will tell what becomes of the OL – but the more reps David Wilson and Brandon Jacobs get as a tandem – the better. Running the ball well doesn’t all of a sudden just happen though, so this will be a slow progression over the course of the season – especially when the Giants are still signing offensive linemen.
The other thing they can do, as covered extensively here and on twitter, is adjust to the pressure Eli is constantly getting and rely more on the short game. Screens to the RB and TE, wheel routes to the FBs to stretch the defense out — keep them honest, and of course when nothing is there the second option 2 seconds in needs to be a checkdown for Eli.
We’ve said over and over how the key ingredient to 2011 in the face of a 25 INT year from Eli Manning in 2010 was more control of the offense by checking it down. Not forcing it. Eli passed 45% less to his RBs, FBs, and TEs last year in 2012 and the trend has continued this year in 2013 by living and dying by the big play. The Giants need a short game to go with the mid and long range plans… and like New Orleans these short pass plays are an answer to getting better production from your RBs instead of outright running the ball in a non-deceptive formation.
3rd and 15 running a draw play won’t fool anybody either. Let’s just say that play is on a lot of film.
Some of it’s on the scheme – but not all. Eli needs to make smarter, quicker decisions and get the ball out faster than he has been, and instead of David Wilson being 4th in the progression – he should be #2 for a while until the defense gets shredded a few times. It will be amazing to see the rest of the offense open up after that.