Jim Mancari, ContributorSan Diego is a city known for its military base, and according to Giants’ offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, the Chargers’ defense mimics the area’s troops with its “camouflaged” schemes.
Gilbride said the Chargers’ defense does a terrific job of disguising its formations.
“More than anything, they’re a pressure-oriented team that would like to do anything they can to keep you off balance,” he said. “They probably have as wide an array of blitz packages of anybody that we’ve faced. I think they’re getting some players back that were injured that will help them.”
Eli Manning has studied these schemes well, Gilbride said, but the Chargers’ defense is willing to take chances. The defense gambles that the opposing offense will not know where the pressure is coming from.
But if the Giants can guess right, they are in store for some big plays, which they have struggled with all season. He said the offensive schemes are constantly changing game-to-game and even within the context of a single game.
“There’s no question it’s an evolving thing, and it’s evolving on a season long basis, but it’s also on a game to game,” Gilbride said. “You always hope that certain opportunities are going to present themselves in the game, that maybe you weren’t able to take advantage of the previous weeks. You’re always hoping those big-play chances are going to be there.”
Hakeem Nicks’ performance has still been a concern, but Gilbride said that the lack of “fortune and good luck” has been a factor in not being able to get Nicks the ball consistently.
“Sometimes I think the opportunities haven’t been there quite as much,” Gilbride said. “When he’s had the opportunity, we haven’t always capitalized on it, and sometimes the ball has gone other places.”
If Eli can spread the ball around to his weapons, it will make the Chargers’ task of jumping a particular route that much more difficult. Of course, a strong running attack can also neutralize any sort of complex blitz packages.
We’ve been waiting all season for the Giants’ offense to really click on all cylinders. Will this be the week?
With four games to go and playoff hopes looking bleak, there are still several offensive pieces – Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Myers, etc. – that all need to prove that they can be relied upon to contribute to next year’s team.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.