The New York Giants offense can be summarized in a few short statements: The running game is non-existent. Eli Manning is facing more pressure, and as a result his interception total is quickly skyrocketing.
The Giants currently rank last in the league in rushing offense, and last week David Wilson had just seven rushing attempts. Expected to be a workhorse this season, Wilson has had a reduced role -- largely due to his fumbling tendency and because the team has been playing from behind.
Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride expects the running game to pick up this week, but wouldn't place the blame solely on Wilson.
"Everything running back is a little different and you've got to try and find the niche for him and the things he can do well," he said. "We lost Andre (Brown), and now you're trying to find someone that can complement (Wilson) and allow him to do the things he does most successfully. But in order for that to happen he's got to make the right decisions, the line has to block better, the tight ends have got to block better, it's got to be called at the right time.
"We're all responsible for it -- the coaches, players alike."
This week provides an interesting challenge: the Carolina Panthers' secondary is nicked up, with cornerbacks James Dockery, D.J. Moore, Josh Norman, Josh Thomas, as well as safety Quintin Mikell, dealing with injuries.
While Gilbride wants the team to discover its running game, the Carolina front seven will prove to be a difficult exterior to crack, which may leave more opportunities for Manning and the aerial assault.
"You've got to try and take advantage of the thing that is a match-up maybe in your favor," GIlbride said. "We're definitely going to make an effort to run. We're going to do whatever we can to be as balanced as we can, but most importantly of all, we'll try to win the game."
Relying -- or depending, rather -- on the passing game has produced mixed results in recent weeks. In Week 1, the offense set a franchise record when Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle each topped the 100-yard receiving mark, and overall, the passing offense ranks first in terms of yardage.
The pass-heavy offense has also led Manning to throw seven interceptions, though, which is the worst mark in the NFL. According to Gilbride, it's simply a matter of trying too hard to rally the unit, which will clear up when they can find that aforementioned balance.
"It's hard enough to win when you're not helping and aiding the energy, so we've got to cut down on those things and get the running game better, (which) will improve the odds of us doing that," he said. "If there's ever a guy you're not going to worry about (losing confidence), it's (Manning)."
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