If you did not see the game today featuring two of the most exciting players at the quarterback position, you missed a good one. Eli Manning of the New York Giants and Robert Griffin of the Washington Redskins went blow for blow like a heavyweight bout, with Manning getting the final counter-punch and the last laugh.
With an unbelievable 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, Manning saved the day for the Giants who ended up winning 27-23. However, it was not all good for the Giants offense, and specifically offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who I’ve decided is taking years off my life with some of his play calling.
It’s become common place in just about every single game for Gilbride to make a head-scratching play call that makes no sense in any universe. He made more than one of those decisions today, and two of them on the same drive.
Three very dumb decisions today nearly cost the Giants the game. The first came after the Giants forced a turnover on their own side of the field. The Giants were up by seven and there was still 7:21 to go at the time, and instead of trying to run out some clock, Gilbride called a pass play on first down. Manning threw a terrible interception and gave the ball right back to the Redskins.
It was a very awful throw, but you have to run the ball there. The Giants were opening up some holes and becoming more effective in the running game, while Eli was not having the best game. Gilbride needs to understand what’s working and what’s not, and sometimes I question whether he’s even watching the game he is calling.
After the Giants got the ball back with 5:21, up by four this time, Gilbride AGAIN decided to throw it on first down. The Redskins sacked Manning for an eight yard loss and put them deep in their own territory. Luckily the Giants were able to get out of a 3rd and 15 when the Redskins failed to cover a screen properly.
Later on that same drive, the Giants had a 3rd and 1 at their own 38 with three minutes left in the game, and instead of running the ball, likely picking up the first down and continuing to move the clock, Gilbride calls a pass and Hakeem Nicks could not haul in a back shoulder throw. Even if they do not pick up the first down, they would have forced the Redskins to use their final timeout.
I about lost my mind. How do you not trust your offensive line enough to pick up one yard, especially when they have been running the ball effectively in the second half?
The Giants consistently have a good offense, but it says more about their talent then the play calling, which is questionable on a weekly basis. Gilbride has his good games, but he needs to be more consistent. There is a reason he has the nickname Kevin “Killdrive.”