When the New York Giants lose, there is one theme that is almost always the same. Even if penalties, turnovers or mental mistakes have something to do with losses, you can almost always point to the offensive play-calling as a reason why the Giants lose a game. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has his moments, but most decent defensive coordinators figure him out, and when they do, Gilbride never makes proper adjustments.
In the first half of the Giants’ loss to the Washington Redskins, Eli Manning and the offense moved the ball with ease. They consistently got into Redskins territory, but penalties forced them to settle for field goal attempts on two of their first three drives. The Giants were working the middle of the field well in the passing game with Martellus Bennett. He had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown in the first half.
However, in the second half it was a different story. Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett figured out what the Giants were doing, and had made good adjustments to stop it. I don’t want to take anything away from the Redskins’ defense, but Gilbride was so predictable it was ridiculous.
For example, rookie David Wilson was in on four snaps in the game, and all four were called run plays. After the first couple, the defense starts to realize what’s coming. I don’t know how anyone can be so predictable and keep their job.
While the Giants had some success with the run in the first half, Gilbride should have realized the Redskins would catch up. They had the third best run defense in the league coming into the game. Despite that fact, Gilbride stuck with the run and the Giants only managed 27 rushing yards in the second half.
Possibly the worst decision of Gilbride’s was the 3rd-and-20 screen play with about four minutes left in the game. The play only netted four yards and the Giants were forced to punt. They wouldn’t see the ball the rest of the game.
Some have told me Gilbride was just trying to make fourth down manageable so the Giants could go for it. Even if that is the case, how can you justify running a play that a defenses’ front seven is supposed to stop? The Redskins have one of the worst secondaries in the NFL and their linebackers struggle in coverage. Bennett had been killing them all night and Victor Cruz had over 100 yards receiving. Put the ball in Manning’s hands and give him an opportunity to go win you the game. He’s done it so many times in the past.
Gilbride’s ineptitude is too often a reason the Giants lose games. He’s far from the worst offensive coordinator in the league, but his inconsistency continues to plague the Giants in the regular season. Would Tom Coughlin ever fire him? I doubt it, but I can dream, right?