Five Things We Learned About The Giants against the 'Niners
1. The Giants' offensive talent masks Gilbride's incompetence.
The individual talent of the players on the Giants' offense is near the top of the league, if not at the top, so it comes as no surprise that most of the play calls go smoothly because of how good the players really are. However, the play calling is very, very poor.
For example, the Giants went to shotgun for an entire drive after effectively running the ball. They also threw a fade to Burress on 3rd-and-goal instead of giving Eli Manning some options. These mistakes are inexcusable, and Gilbride needs to be replaced.
2. When in need of a spark, Bradshaw needs to touch the ball, not Burress.
This kind of goes back to my last point about Gilbride. Burress doesn’t seem to provide that emotional and energetic spark, mainly because if the play doesn’t go well, his attitude sucks the life out of the team more than anything. Bradshaw, on the other hand, is a spark plug.
He is energetic and seems to get the team around him going, not to mention the fans. To barely allow him to touch the ball this season is a crime, regardless of how many running backs are on the team. Bradshaw should, at the very least, be involved in some passing plays and screens similar to the way the Saints use Reggie Bush.
Even after the two carries by Bradshaw which seemed to ignite the team a little, Gilbride did not go back to him for three straight plays, which led to a field goal attempt. Again, inexcusable!
3. The Giants are a more efficient passing team without Burress.
This is not to be confused with an "explosive" offense. Without Burress, the ball is not forced to him and the distribution is excellent. When Burress is in, guys like Domenik Hixon, Sinorice Moss, Kevin Boss, and Ahmad Bradshaw don’t see the ball at all. That leaves Burress, Jacobs, Ward, Toomer, and Smith to get the ball, throughout the game. Inevitably, the ball gets forced to Burress.
4. Mathias Kiwanuka needs more coaching.
I thought he would have a big game, but I was dead wrong. Joe Staley shut him down for the most part one-on-one. Kiwanuka seems to have one move and one move only. Run around the offensive lineman.
He has not shown a bull rush, swim move, or anything that would allow him to get pressure inside, rather than outside. He needs to improve this if he wants to help this Giants team.
5. Fred Robbins is as valuable as Justin Tuck on the defensive line.
He stops the run and rushes the passer, and has been the most consistent lineman this season. He is playing at a Pro Bowl level and no one has proven to be capable of stopping him. His counterpart, Barry Cofield, has been a trusty sidekick, as well.
Bonus point: Madison Hedgecock is a tremendous actor!
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