Monday, October 31, 2011
Giants can't run it, can't stop the run either
By Mike Mazzeo
The good news? Brandon Jacobs has a family at home and he’s getting “a fast-ass car” delivered Tuesday.
The bad news? The Giants reserve running back isn’t producing on the football field.
On his first series after missing the last two games with a sprained MCL, Jacobs fumbled and dropped a pass. He finished Sunday’s game with four carries for 10 yards and one catch for no gain.
“He needs to play,” coach Tom Coughlin said Monday. “He needs to play and get back to work.”
Coughlin said Jacobs’ performance could be attributed to him being rusty. Makes sense.
So what’s the excuse then for the running game as a whole?
The Giants currently rank 30th in the NFL in both rushing yards per game (85.6) and yards per carry (3.2). And they didn’t even come close to putting up those dreadful numbers on Sunday.
Against Miami they totaled 23 carries for 58 yards -- a 2.5 yard average.
Sure, Ahmad Bradshaw did get an 18-yard run off a draw play, but that was pretty much it.
“Two or three weeks ago, I was pleased where we were headed,” Coughlin said. “Not so Sunday. We didn’t move anybody Sunday, we didn’t block anybody.”
Coughlin said there’s no excuses for the fact that the Giants couldn’t get any yardage off their three basic running plays.
“Frustrating,” Coughlin said. “And that’s the mildest word I can use.”
The Giants know they have a daunting “Murder’s Row” six-game stretch coming up. They know they have to start running the ball more consistently. Of course, it’s easier said than done.
“We know how important it is to get that going each and every week because it’s a new challenges and defenses are doing the same thing we’re doing, trying to gameplan on how to stop us,” David Diehl said.
This Sunday’s opponent, the Patriots, have one of the best defensive lines in football with Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth.
“I might have to eat a little extra this week going into this one,” Diehl joked.
Said Eli Manning: “It obviously depends on what the defense is doing. There’s probably five or six runs that we did have that I should have checked off or checked to a pass. If teams are bring certain blitzes of having seven or eight guys down near the line of scrimmage, you can run it just to get runs in but if you want to have success later in the game, if they are playing two high and I check to a run, we get 12-13 yards.
“So it is my job to put us in better positions to get us out of runs. Sometimes you want to try to keep runs on just so the defensive line knows they can’t pass rush every single time. Part of the reason that we weren’t running, didn’t have the success that we have had, we were running into some bad looks. That is on me.”
• For all the talk about the Giants not running the ball, they’re also not stopping the run.
On Sunday, they let Reggie Bush of all people rack up 103 yards against them on 15 carries -- including runs of 28 and 35.
“Instead of physically taking the runner on, we’re getting caught east and west and not quite getting there,” Coughlin said.
The Giants are allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per game (130.1), while ranking tied for seventh in most rushing yards per attempt (4.7).
Perhaps that’s why Coughlin decided to not play Jacquian Williams -- instead going more with Greg Jones. Deon Grant, who has been victimized for taking some bad angles, also didn’t see the field as much.