While many teams in the NFL do not have quarterbacks with the same skill set as Robert Griffin, one would have to ask how a rookie quarterback, with an average line and an average group of receivers has out dueled Eli Manning for the second time this year.
At times it really feels as the Giants coaching staff goes on a “mental vacation” and the result are immediately noticeable on the field. Monday night the New York Giants had a terrible game plan and they were unprepared to do what was necessary to win.
This does not mean the coaching staff was not working hard; however, as NFL teams evolve…working SMART and not hard is the answer.
Stopping the run – How committed were the Giants to stopping run? The Redskins rookie running back, Alfred Morris from Florida Atlantic ran through and around the Giants defense…AGAIN!!! He had 124 yards rushing with a 5.6 average which propelled him over the 1000 yard mark for the season.
Impressed? 244 of his 1106 yards were against the Giants this year. The Giants “crash the passer” mentality burned them again and exposed them to more athletic teams.
Against average backs like Alex Green/James Starks from Green Bay and BenJarvus Green-Ellis from Cincinnati the Giants do well; however, against young, powerful and fast running backs the Giants struggle. They do not have the speed and/or athleticism at linebacker to stop today’s star running back like Demarco Murray(Cowboys – 131 yards), or LeSean McCoy(Eagles-123 yards).
I love Chase Blackburn but he is too slow in the hole and has NO sideline to sideline ability. Mathias Kiwanuka is just not a linebacker. He is a defensive end and when he plays with his hand in the dirt like against the Packers Kiwi is successful(2 sacks/6 tackles.) He cannot open up his hips and run with tight ends or backs like Michael Boley, nor does he has the speed/explosion to shed blocks at the second level and stuff the run.
The New York Giants needed to stop the Washington Redskins running game to force Robert Griffin to throw the ball. The game plan should have been to force the young quarterback to throw the ball 35 times, contain and stop the run. Period!
Instead while the world was busy praising the talents of RG3 at nausea who was helping Eli Manning carve up the Redskins defense? Gilbride?
Who was helping the defense with “keys” what to look for when trying to stop the “read” option? Fewell?
While many agree the read option is polarizing like the “wild cat”, was I the only one who realized that during play action if Griffin “set” both his feet equally, he always came up throwing from a 3 step drop. Never did the Redskins quarterback set his feet and actually hand the ball off or flip it out to the back.
This had to be brought up in a film session.
Alford Morris is a great back; however, the best linebackers in the game do make a difference. Patrick Willis, Brian Cushing, Luke Kuechly, James Laurinaitis, Jasper Brinkley and Sean Lee are all game changers. Jason Pierre Paul can not due everything.
The read option and the new buzz word “pistol” formation is hard to defend, but Kyle Shanahan did not re-invent the game. The New York Giant defense has gotten older and the coaching staff and their dated ingenuity even older.
– Craig J. Santucci / Giants Rush Senior Editor