Giants Have to Remember Who They Are
John Fennelly , Executive Editor
I’m not going to get into a long-winded analysis to show everybody how smart I am. You don’t have to be smart to figure out what the Giants need to do the rest of this season. They need to get back to doing what they do best.
Pressure. Pressure on defense. Pressure on offense. Plain and simple.
The Giants’ defense is predicated on the pressure provided by their four-man pass rush, which is in a much longer slump that Eli Manning is, by the way. Last week, they had no sacks again. They rarely got see Andy Dalton’s red mane up close. Unacceptable. They can’t let QBs get too comfortable back there.
They need to start winning some battles in the trenches. My take is twofold: opposing QBs are using three-step drops and releasing the ball more quickly, and RBs and TEs are getting too big a piece of the Giants’ edge pass rushers, slowing them down.
What can the Giants’ do? Be less predictable. Shift personnel around and give QBs looks they haven’t seen on film. That could get an Osi or JPP in a one-on-one battle they can win. Keep the opposing O-lines and chippers guessing every play. It also forces QBs to audible, which is something many don’t do well in today’s game.
Tom Coughlin said they would take a look around the league to see if they get a few new ideas that could help them. Look no further than Houston. DE JJ Watt is playing at a level the Giants’ DEs used to play at.
If Watt doesn’t get a hit on the QB, he at least forces him to get rid of the ball sooner than desired. He also knocks down a lot of passes by keeping his arms up to close down passing lanes. The Giants should get those arms up if they can’t get to the passer. Don’t see enough of that.
Without the pass rush turning up the heat, the responsibility of stopping the pass shifts to the back seven. That’s a recipe for disaster. This team is not built to play that way. They are too giving on the pass by not playing press coverage on the corners. That is one reason why they give so many yards and big plays down the field. The other, of course, is talent.
On offense, they have always relied on mismatches to keep defenses at bay. They don’t have freaks like Plaxico or Jacobs anymore so they use their vertical passing game to back off the defense. Only problem is, they’ve stopped throwing the ball down the field. Time to get back to that.
Now that Hakeem Nicks is healthy again, the Giants’ offense can resume scoring in droves. They can jump start things by going four-wide with a no-huddle, too. Let me ask you: what would a defense do if the Giants came out in that formation? Call timeout or get beat, that’s what.
So why not run the no-huddle? Why not go four-wide? Put some pressure on these defenses again. Make them earn their money. Eli is also better when he’s pressed for time. Hurry him up and you’ll see that his arm is far from dead.
The Giants have to remember who they are, get their identity back. Their problem was they worked too many days without a vacation. Just like anyone else in any walk of life, they have to take some time off. When they come back, they should get back to doing what they do best: put pressure on opponents. That is who they are.