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Hooray! A real football post


Let's get back to talking about football. Our New York Giants are, after all, 11-1 and on the verge of winning the NFC East championship.

The Giants are also heading toward what could be the best regular season in franchise history, at least in the modern era. By the way, I am defining 'modern' as since the league expanded the schedule to 14 games in 1961.

The best record by a Giants team since the league went to 16 games in 1978 was the 14-2 mark posted by the 1986 championship team.

I am not going to get into comparing that team to this one, at least not yet. It's really not a fair, complete comparison until this season ends and we know whether or not this team can bring home another Super Bowl title.

It sure is a lot more fun to talk about this stuff, though, than that other nonsense we have been spending all our time on lately.

  • Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is often an object of scorn despite the Giants' record and the fact that they have the league's highest-scoring offense. You guys know I have been a Gilbride defender, and this week KG is getting some love from other places.

From Peter King, who named Gilbride his coach of the week.

The Giants never leave unmade plays out there, and the 23-7 win over Washington had some great examples. Domenik Hixon made three first-quarter catches, rendering Plaxico Burress -- for the moment -- obsolete. On consecutive plays in the first quarter, Gilbride called for a direct snap to Derrick Ward (gain of five) and a brilliant screen to Kevin Boss for 24 against a Washington blitz. Gilbride has learned the strengths and weaknesses of Eli Manning, and he and Manning are one in play calling and execution.

From Washington cornerback Fred Smoot ffollowing Sunday's 23-7 Giants' victory.

"When we thought they were gonna throw it, they ran the ball," he said. "When we thought they were gonna run it, they threw it. They always kept us on our heels. They were always one step ahead of us."

So, Giants' fans I have to ask. I know I have beaten this drum before, but when do we start throwing some love Gilbride's way for the offensive monster he has helped to create?

Gilbride is not perfect. We can all find a couple of play calls in every game that make us shake our collective heads, but when is the last time the Giants had a truly flawed offensive game plan? Last season against Buffalo, maybe.

Gilbride will never be the hot head coaching commodity defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is. He has already had his opportunity to do that, and failed (6-16 with San Diego). There is also other baggage with Gilbride (his sideline fight with Buddy Ryan that will never be forgotten).

Let's give Gilbride some props, though. Sunday against Washington we saw some things from the Giants we had not seen all season. A direct snap to Derrick Ward, a beautiful tight end screen to Kevin Boss, a quick screen to a split out Ward that went for 48 yards.

These things tell you that Gilbride is still expanding the Giants' repertoire, still looking for new, creative, explosive ways to use the weapons at his disposal.

Give him some credit for recognizing what Steve Smith can do and utilizing him. For continuing to find ways to increase Boss's role. For building a creative running attack that does more than plow straight ahead, but one that takes advantage of the athleticism of its offensive lineman with lots of pulling and movement.

Give him some credit for doing what he did to Smoot and the Redskins -- leaving a defense unable to figure out what is coming next.

The results tell you no one is doing his job better than Gilbride right now.

Your thoughts?