The schizophrenic Giants were the Giants we know last night night. The team with too much talent to have any excuses for laying an egg vs the Bengals came out with energy and throttled the Packers 38-10. They played with energy and urgency, something that was lacking for many quarters over the last 4 games. Eli played better. The WRs played better. The OL played better. The DL played better. Chase Blackburn was everywhere. And oh yah, it was the Packers' turn to lay an egg.
We will not take anything away from the Giants. With that said, the opponent was missing Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson. The Giants are back on track.. that is all that matters.
We did research on the Giants playcalling over the break, and found that the Giants called a grand total of 9 screens to their RB and TE in the first 10 games this season. There were 2 playcalls targeted to the Tight End in the CLE game that we liberally assigned as a (mid) screen. So that means that in 10 games there has been an average of less than 1 RB screen called per game. In today's world of passing, and Defensive pressure to disrupt offensive passing, you have to use more of these plays. We mention it specifically because on the 4th play of the game, Bradshaw busted a screen for 59 yards. Two plays later the Giants scored a TD. The Giants attacked on the opening drive and got out to a 7-0 lead because of small ball playcalls like that. The tenor of the game was established and the beatdown was on. The only criticism is that more of these plays need to be called during a game. Only 1 more screen was called, an aborted attempt in H2. We aren't asking for 10 screens per game. But we are asking for more than 1 or 2. They will matter down the stretch and into the playoffs because other teams will use pressure defense more than the Packers did.
The stats will show 5 for 6, but the Giants were 5/5 in the red zone last night (the last one in garbage time does not count). Let's review what happened:
1) TD1- Andre Brown on a 2 yard plunge. And remember that a small ball pass to a wide open FB was missed by Eli, but the prior small ball screen and FB pass are symptomatic of what was missing.
2) TD2- 3rd and 5 pass for 16 yds to Randle. Pretty pass and nice rookie grab. The Giants need their 3rd WR to step up.
3) TD3- Andre Brown for 4 yds and Cruz 9 yd TD pass. Eli's accuracy was perfect. Stars help teams win Super Bowls and Victor Cruz will be needed for passing TDs.
4) TD4- Bradshaw off Right Guard for 13 yd TD. The Offensive Line created monster holes for much of the game, and this one (off an Osi turnover) was huge in many ways.
5) TD5- Hakeem Nicks for 13 yards, and breaks the plane after review. Nicks is hurt and Collinsworth took the time to explain that Nicks is simply not anywhere near 100%. The bye rest had to have helped Nicks.
All this WITHOUT the TE in the red zone. Against better defenses, the TE will be needed too, but everything else was there. The Giants showed up with energy and urgency and delivered a great win. With a two game cushion, if they continue to play at this level that we know they are capable of, the Giants should make the playoffs. And then, as Giants fans know, anything is possible.