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Break Out The Thermals! Fast!

When Plaxico Burress shot a hole in his leg he didn’t just hurt himself, he also shot a hole in the Giants offense. Except for a garbage time TD last week against the Eagles, the Giants ‘O’ hasn’t generated a touchdown in two weeks. The opposition isn’t worried about the Giant’s wideouts anymore and don’t double them. That allows more defenders to stuff the run and/or blitz. No other Giant wideout demands the double-team respect that Burress did and it hurts them.

The Giants look tired. There used to have a, “we-don’t-know-we’re-supposed-to-lose” attitude. Now it’s a, “Maybe-we-can-afford-to-lose” attitude. And, they’re right, even if they lose the next two games, they’re still in the playoffs — with maybe a game at Giants Stadium. And if the visiting team is some warm weather bunch like the Cardinals or a domed group like the Falcons, the cold winds at Giant’s Stadium could help the Giants pull out a playoff win. But, after that, what?

Attrition has taken it’s toll. What were strong suits a few weeks ago have been weakened by injury and suspension. Hixon replaces Plaxico but now the return game and field position suffers. Robbins is out and while Alford fills in well, the rotation suffers and guys aren’t as fresh. Jacobs is out and Ward and Bradshaw run hard — but against 8 and 9 guys in ‘the box’ — without much success. And, for some reason, the Giant’s don’t adapt to the new realities.

Last night Eli got mugged by a Cowboy’s ‘D’ line that overwhelmed a very good Giant’s ‘O’ line — that’s being asked to block 8 and 9 guys with 5 or 6. But, still, the Giants don’t change their attack. They can’t run-at-will and pass-deep-at-will any more and they have to adjust to what’s happening because, if they don’t, it’s just going to keep happening.

Why not learn from what other teams do to offset our pass rush? Why keep running into a brick wall and trying to pass deep without enough time to pass deep? Why not employ more screens and dump offs to Ward and Bradshaw? — if nothing else just to get some rhythm on offense and keep the ‘D’ off the field and the ball away from the other guys. The Cowboys and Eagles had great success against us with that — why not use it ourselves?

There’s a very fine line between sticking to a philosophy and being stubborn about it. The Giants seem determined to make work, that which no longer works. Like if they ignore reality long enough, it’ll go away. It won’t and they’re exhausting themselves by banging their collective heads against a stone wall.

Said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s the law of the Yukon and survival of the fittest is contingent upon adaptation. Critters that couldn’t adapt to the Ice Ages didn’t survive them and don’t exist any more. Well, the Giants have entered the Ice Age of this season and if they refuse to put on long underwear, they won’t survive either.

Now, having said that, keep in mind, that back in 1990 the Giants started out 10-0, then lost in successive weeks to the Eagles and 49ers. Then lost to the Bills a few games later — losing Phil Simms for the season. That team went only 3 and 3 in the last six games but, finally, went on to win Super Bowl XXV … in Tampa … which by the way is where Super Bowl XLIII will be played.

Tom! Break out the thermals! Fast!

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