The Giants are currently first in the league in passing offense, which is exciting since passing is all the rage these days in the NFL. A passing game is only effective, however, if you have a capable running game to compliment it.
Right now, the Giants are dead last in the league in rushing, gaining only 73 yards on the ground in the first two weeks. Tom Coughlin was asked if his team could back to an equitable balance on offense this season.
“We’re going to work towards it, for sure,” the coach said. “I believe we’ve got a lot of work to do to get there, obviously, but it’s something that we have to have. That’s critical to the ability to be in position where we can at least hold the defense at bay in terms of what we’re going to do. It’s very important. We’ve understood that. We have not had a lot of success. That means we really do have to put more emphasis into it.”
Coughlin then explained the process of run blocking to the laypeople of the media. It takes all eleven players doing their jobs for team to successfully run the football in the NFL:
“It’s a mentality, but it’s also a physicality. And you have to communicate well, you have to recognize in split seconds, you have to be physical enough to reject the fronts and the linebackers as they attack the line of scrimmage,” the coach said yesterday. “You have to knock a hole in the defensive front. You have to break an arm tackle, which very few have. So you have a lot of things. You’ve got to block down field. Your receivers have got to get their faces in front of somebody down field, push toward the opponent’s goal line. You have a lot of things you have to do very, very well.”
RB Brandon Jacobs, who was part of the Giants’ Earth, Wind and Fire trio that averaged a league-leading 5.0 yards per carry in 2008, feels this group has the ability to get the required balance back:
“I think we have a good line, no question about it. We have some talented guys up there, young guys up there. We have good backs, we have a mastermind behind it all. We have to put fourth our best foot forward and run with it. It’s not going to be easy but we can’t lie down and run from the challenge. We have to answer the challenge and meet it halfway.
Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera knows all it takes is a few adjustments and a bit more focus for a team to reverse their fortunes.
“I think they’re on the verge of a breakout. I think they’ve got a solid running attack,” said Rivera. “They’ve had a very good attack for years. I think the thing that everybody has to look at is that there’s a lot of things that go into having success on the football field. They’ve been in some tough situations, they’ve played two very good football teams to begin with. They’ve been in battles all the way up. I think the big thing is that they’ve had some unfortunate things. (David) Wilson’s dropped the ball a couple of times and he’s a solid football player. He’s explosive and he can make plays.”
Wilson has yet to show that explosiveness in 2013. He had an 84-yarder in the preseason vs the Jets, but he’s been only able to muster 36 yards on 14 attempts. Take away his 13-yard run in Week One and Wilson is averaging only 1.7 yards per carry. He also feels things may be about to change:
“We had a lot of close ones. Everybody has to do their job and prepare and come on the field with confidence and be prepared. It comes down to execution. Everything, you can be close in so many areas, the running back could have been faster, somebody could have held a block a little bit longer, until it all comes together and work as a team, that’s when you get points on the board. “