Carl Banks on WFAN Tuesday gives his take on the Giants’ dominating performance and their un-noticed improvement.
Many followers on this blog, however, will take offense to what he calls schematically an “un-noticed but biggest improvement by this offense with Eli Manning up and under center on 1st and 2nd down .” Carl goes on to explain that “it helps for 2 reasons when you have a young group of offensive linemen (Beatty and Boothe). They need to get into an aggressive run blocking mode. You don’t put them in ballerina (pass blocking) mode” you “get them in run stance even in play action pass (with) them moving forward” in the end the “biggest improvement to this offense by Gilbride.” He expands upon his point as “you make a team have to honor the run on 1st and 2nd down then you have your choices of plays…in shotgun you become predictable” and “also leave your guys vulnerable.” Banks also believes perhaps Gilbrown has finally gotten a clue as “ you get the sense that Gilbride understands you can still give Eli the type of passes down the field – operating under center” and “you don’t have to in a spread formation” (or shotgun formation). His take on screen passes confirms points we heard on this blog last year about countering the aggressiveness of the Eagle’s linebackers: “safety Landry (plays) up like a linebacker (and) you are either going to hit him with play action or a screen – anything to take their aggression away.”
Banks gives kudos to the defensive line and linebacker play but “Levi Jones (could) be the worst left tackle in football” and they were “literally drawing straws to go against the guy.” A lot of what we have seen in the past but was a big difference to Banks was that “you never saw guys that weren’t on the same page- you didn’t see (plays) with everyone with their hands up and looking at each other on whose fault it was.” Bottom line “they all were on the same page” and were “concentrating on the little things.” The rush according to Carl was primarily a “4 man front” and “occasionally Jonathan Goff” and “they can’t afford to do a lot of blitzing because they don’t have a lot of guys who can cover.”
Motown here, whoever said Gilbride’s play calling is predictable? Why have we witnessed an improvement in the play of Eli Manning and more dramatically the offensive line? As Banks succinctly stated it is because a change in formation under center makes a defense “honor the run”, allows you to “have your choices of plays” and limits leaving “your guys vulnerable.” Manning techniques and command were very sharp Monday and perhaps he possesses confidence due to a) the playcalling and/or b) has the advantage over a defense by keeping them guessing and buys him time to step into his throws. On defense Banks points out the absence of communication problems which perhaps is due to simplifying the play calling. But a point to ponder is why did the Redskins defer the kickoff and keep the Giants’ weakness, their defense, off the field immediately? How many times recently has the offense been asked to work with a deficit in the beginning stages of a game?
When you look at all the playoff bound teams there is not one dominating much less impressive defensive unit. All teams rely upon their offense to win and their defense to manage. This offense has the capability to many points on the board against any team but until we see consistent performance from the defense in limiting big plays they will be booking tee times in January.