Football is a game that’s won in the trenches, but possession of that rock is an asset that anyone would agree is one to have in your team’s favor, every time. Basic philosophy that has, for some reason, gone out of bounds in the first two games from the New York Football Giants. With 21 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles, the Giants were 4th overall in turnover ratio in 2012 with +14. So far in 2013, they’re worst in the league with -8. No time like the present to make that one-eighty, right?
10 literal giveaways in two games is a horrid stat and far from the type of Big Blue football that’s preached in East Rutherford. Sadly, it’s all on the offense which should be blowing teams away with the paper potential there at skill positions. Seven interceptions and three fumbles should be defensive statistics coming out of week three, not entering it offensively.
The offensive line is still out (apparently in different areas) looking for each other in order to finally “gel.” The running game hasn’t much of a chance until that offensive line all congregates in the proper meeting room and attains their talents from a few years ago. This running game — as well as quarterback Eli Manning — are both again trying to force plays in order to compensate, resulting in most (if not all) of the turnovers. Frustration all over this side of the ball sets in and eventually, trickles down to the other two sides.
Areas that are usually playing “free” are now over-thinking and missing key plays that would otherwise help the team. Knocking the ball from a fellow player’s hands, missing a live ball on the field, and guys trying to do two things at once instead of just one assignment. Reaction times aren’t real due to players trying to overcompensate for one area. Discipline is hard when these guys are out of sync.
While many are pointing fingers at the defensive line, they are a unit that’s coming together with several new defensive tackles and recovering from injuries. They’re also getting closer to opposing quarterbacks — even against two offensive lines that were intentionally put together to protect their respective signal-callers (Tony Romo and Peyton Manning). Unfortunately, they, as well as the entire speed-driven unit, will tend to get gassed by the fourth quarter if they are forced to play 75% of the game on the field and from behind.
Whatever needs to be fixed in Pat Flaherty’s line needs to be done now. The talents of some here (Will Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee, Justin Pugh) are apparent, but their lack thereof is more apparent as of late. Even the strengths in the trench cannot compensate for a fellow 300-lbs. lineman that isn’t 100 on his own gap(s). Blaming the running back or “being out of sync” isn’t the correct answer from this group of veterans, especially when the first-round draft pick is the bright, shining star so far. There’s only so much time that’s allowed for excuses — especially with more aggressive defenses coming up on schedule.
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