Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

18 Dec 2007

There's No School Like The Old School For Giants

Newsday's Bob Glauber takes a hard look at the playcalling during Sunday night's Redskins-Giants game and suggests that Kevin Gilbride could learn a little something from Bill Parcells. You think?

Posted by: Sean McCormick on 18 Dec 2007

10 comments, Last at 18 Dec 2007, 11:36pm by Kyle


by Fire Millen (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 5:13pm

I was nodding in agreement with the author until he wrote "Yet Gilbride virtually ignored backups Reuben Droughns and Ahmad Bradshaw".
It is correct play calling to avoid bad players.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 5:28pm

I wonder what odds can be had on the Giants losing their last two, and missing the playoffs, because I suspect that is what is going to happen. They sure as hell aren't going to win their last game, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see the Saints win their last two, and the Vikings one of their last two.

by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 5:32pm

In a season of undependability for the Giants, the only thing they do well is win on the road. I expect them to beat Buffalo, barely.

#1... How would you know if Ahmad Bradshaw is good or not?

by Black Squirrel (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 5:40pm

I think the Giants would have been comfortable calling more running plays on Sunday night if they had the 86-87 Giants defense.

However, since Kevin Gilbride was calling the plays, I can't be SURE about that.

Also, it seemed like Manning was taking deep dropbacks and looking downfield on the vast majority of his pass attempts. To me, using some three-step dropbacks would have made more sense in those conditions.

by Tom (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 5:43pm

That chart of play calls is pretty damning. At least for the 2nd quarter. In the first quarter you got 49 yards on 11 carries, and Eli was 2 for 8. Then you call 5 runs to 13 passes in the 2nd quarter.

The whole second half is excusable, but 2nd quarter play calling is simply not being able to identify what is working.

by Travis (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 6:12pm

It wasn't just that the Giants passed more than they ran in the first half; it was that nearly every run that they did call was to the left side. Here is a list of the first half runs:

right tackle (for 17)
left end (0)
left end (1)
left tackle (1)
left guard (4)
left tackle (4)
up the middle (1)
left tackle (9)
left guard (0)
left guard (2)
left end (1)
left end (0)
left tackle (8)
left guard (1)
right guard (9)
right tackle (4)

I realize that the Giants have higher adjusted line yards per carry when they run to the left (and the Redskins' defense yields more ALY to the left), but the difference isn't so great that it means every run should be to the left, especially when it's not working.

by Carlos (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 6:55pm

from a skins fan: I thanked my lucky stars for Gilbride's playcalling. The skins clearly were having trouble w/ Jacobs, at least so long as Jacobs was handed the ball as opposed to being expected to catch it.

Then the skins lost their best run defending LB, Rocky McIntosh, which left the D without him and also w/o a decent run-stopping SS (Taylor's death has moved Landry to deep centerfield FS and Doughty to "Strong" Safety). Given that Smoot -- who is afraid to tackle, and given the horrible, lower-his-head-and-get-knocked-out form the one time he took Jacobs on, who can blame him -- was following Plax, I would have run it to Smoot's side all night until the skins showed they could stop it.

by cottonfever (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 7:08pm

I've honestly wondered for well over a decade why on earth anyone would give Kevin Gilbride a job involving a football. Buddy Ryan should have learned to punch harder.

by Jon (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 7:32pm

1, how many times have you seen Ahmad Bradshaw play? He was dynamite on the returns during that game, but Coughlin simply does not trust him in game yet. It's absolutely ridiculous to expect Droughns to get any carries though.

by Kyle (not verified) :: Tue, 12/18/2007 - 11:36pm

Having hated the Giants OCs since 2004, and having distrusted the replacement for Hufnagel since the moment he succeeded him, I could write a dissertation on why he is terrible.

Instead, I'll just say that I truly despise Kevin Killdrive.