The New York Giants didn’t make the playoffs this season but it certainly ended on a high note with the Giants crushing the Philadelphia Eagles 42-7 behind Eli Manning’s career-high five touchdown passes. Heading into the Week 17 matchup, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride was thought to be on the hot seat after the Giants failed to show up on offense the past two weeks. However, after this performance by the Giants, Gilbride’s job might be safe, at least for the moment.
The Giants offense never seemed to click. There were some big games but number one receiver Hakeem Nicks missed a significant amount of time and was never healthy even when he was on the field. The running game saw Ahmad Bradshaw miss time with foot and neck ailments and it seemed he missed more practice time in a single week than he participated in all year. Andre Brown, the Giants number two running back also went down with injury. Things got so bad for the Giants running game they were forced to sign Kregg Lumpkin and Ryan Torain off the street to back up Bradshaw and David Wilson.
With Nicks missing so much time opposing teams were able to guard against Victor Cruz and nobody on the Giants was able to step up to take some of the pressure off of Cruz. Ramses Barden had one huge game against the Carolina Panthers but quickly faded into obscurity as inconsistency buried him on the depth chart. Domenik Hixon wasn’t the same player he was before suffering ACL injuries in back-to-back years. Rookie Rueben Randle took time to learn the offense and came on in Week 17, scoring two touchdowns and giving Giants fans a glimpse of what might come.
Kevin Gilbride was often an easy target for frustrated Giants fans who expected a high-octane offense and often saw a sputtering jalopy. The Giants had enormous difficulty scoring in the red zone. Some of those struggles can be blamed on poor play calling but much of it can be blamed on the players who often failed to execute.
Dropped passes, turnovers, poor blocking, and missed assignments all played a role in the Giants’ poor showing in the red zone this season. The ground game really missed Andre Brown in the red zone where he became a threat on the goal line the Giants have lacked for a few years.
Kevin Gilbride will get another year to prove he is still a very good offensive mind. After all, he did oversee one of the best offenses in Giants history last season and deserves another shot to try to get this offense firing on all cylinders again.
The Giants are very loyal to their coaches and Gilbride has done enough during his tenure to warrant another chance. The Giants offense will be better next season and everyone will try to forget they wanted Gilbride gone.