The Achilles Heel of the New York Giants

Jared KarlebachContributor IOctober 14, 2008

I admit it, I was dead wrong in my analysis of the New York Giants defense against the Cleveland Browns. I don't think anyone saw that coming, anyone honest at least. With that said, there is one thing I am not dead wrong about, and that is Kevin Gilbride. I hold him accountable more than anyone else on that team, more than Eli Manning, more than Plaxico Burress, more than the entire defense. I could harp on Tom Coughlin here for keeping Gilbride around, but that is a story for another day.

Let me start by saying, Gilbride has got to go! This Giants offense has all the talent in the world right down to the last running back and receiver on the roster and because of that, the absence of Burress the week before against Seattle was not felt. Yet the talent of Burress must render Gilbride blind, because that talented depth seemed to disappear this week against the Browns. Let me make my point through numbers here for a moment. Last week against Seattle, Manning completed passes to about ten different receivers, spreading the ball around, incorporating just about everyone from Hixon and Manningham to Moss and Boss. Needless to say, the Giants were studs.

This week it seems as though because Burress was back, there was no need to include the whole team. No one saw Moss, Manningham, very little of Hixon, Toomer was not included, and the one man who may have juiced the team up a little and provided a spark, Ahmad Bradshaw, did not touch the ball outside of kick returns. Result: An embarrassing game to be forgotten. Six guys caught balls, but don't let that number fool you by saying well six is a lot! Steve Smith caught nine passes, Burress caught four, and after that Boss, Mathews, and Hixon each had one, while Ward had two for a total of one yard. That is not, IS NOT, spreading the ball around.

So what is Gilbride thinking? I have no clue to be honest. When one week you have a break out game for just about every receiver and player on the team and the very next week you don't call plays for any of them, something is wrong. With a real offensive coordinator this team could be unstoppable, but when you have a guy who is calling a gameplan that is not working and sticks to it regardless, you are asking for games like these.

I want to make this very clear. By ridding the Giants of this one Giant pain, they can get better. The offensive plays will be the same, but called differently under a different coordinator, so don't think I am calling for a new playbook here. So why not make the change instead of sticking with a guy who feels he has to feed Burress the ball so often it is predictable, hence the play action deep interception to Burress on the first play of the second half. WHO DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING!!?? Well the interception maybe not, but the play call to any Giants fan was obvious. I hate to brag here, but I did call that play by Gilbride and called it with confidence. Why? Because he is predictable more often than not.

The hurry up or lack there of at the end of the game was also a curious thing to see. Yes the Giants drove down the field, but minus the clock management needed to do so properly. Was it Gilbride calling the show there to? You would have to think so.

So please to all those readers thinking I am overreacting after a bad loss and all of that jazz, save it. I have been saying this since he took over the play calling, yes that includes through the playoffs last year, because frankly it was Steve Spagnuolo who won that Superbowl not Kevin Gilbride. Please New York Giants management, do yourself a favor and hire an offensive coordinator who is consistent in their play calling week to week and not the roller coaster that Gilbride is. Manning is a better quarterback when the play calling allows him to spread the ball around, plain and simple, it doesn't take an NFL offensive coordinator to tell you that one, or in Gilbride's case, maybe it does.