John Fennelly, Lead WriterListening to Mike Francesa the past few days about the Giants’ offensive inefficiencies and he has been driving me nuts with his analysis. When callers broach the subject of play calling, he immediately cuts the caller off, stating “that’s not the problem – personnel is the problem,” and that he thinks play calling is “overrated.”
No kidding, the Giants need to upgrade, but that’s not the point his callers are trying to make. It’s not the plays OC Kevin Gilbride was calling, it was the process of calling them that is in question. He took too long and it hurt the offense.
The point is the Giants weren’t getting the plays into the huddle quick enough for the offense to gain any steam. Eli Manning was consistently bumping up against the play clock. Things went downhill from there.
Gilbride was taking too long to convey the plays to QB Eli Manning. Manning then had less time to pass that down to the other ten players on the field, and no time to make adjustments at the line.
Eli had less time to: check to see if the right personnel was on the field, take/ask any questions (remember, the Giants had a lot of new faces in the huddle), scan the defense and audible, if necessary.
The results were seven delay of game penalties (sixth highest in the league), and the second-lowest efficiency rating in the NFL according to the statistical website Football Outsiders. On the positive side, they had the lowest amount of false starts in the NFL (8), but that could be due they had so little time to set.
Then there was the obvious. Receivers running wrong routes. Eli getting sacked more often. No holes for the running game. The defense was set, the Giants’ offense was not. One has to wonder how many times the Giants got the to line of scrimmage with all 11 players on the same page.
Did everyone know the play – and their assignments – when the ball was snapped? I’m thinking no, and that is why I think the time drag between plays had a lot to do with the Giants’ offensive failures. When they went to a ‘hurry-up’ or no-huddle offense, they looked more cohesive, so personnel was not the issue there.
I’m not sure why Francesa continues to dismiss callers when they bring up this issue to him. As a blogger assigned to the Giants, I can tell you, this was a problem.
Under new OC Ben McAdoo’s up-tempo offense, the communication should be crisper and more timely. The offense will attack and flow and the Giants will be headed back to the playoffs.