The New York Giants are back to work after their bye week, preparing for a Monday Night Football clash against the Indianapolis Colts. As we begin to look forward to that, here are this week's 'Five Things I Think I Think' about the Giants.
I think you can't have your cake and eat it, too. GM Jerry Reese has joined the chorus of those saying the Giants have been too cautious on offense. If you have been reading closely you also know that head coach Tom Coughlin has been saying for a few weeks now that the Giants, 27th in the league with only 18 passing plays of 20 yards or more, need to generate more big plays.
You can bet that going forward you are going to see some deep shots, some riskier throws, some passes called when Ben McAdoo's first instinct might be to play it safe, run the ball and punt.
I continue to believe that game situations and personnel have dictated much of the Giants' 'keep it safe and short' philosophy thus far. The Giants probably need to, and most likely will, look for more opportunities to get the ball down the field in the coming weeks. They will have to get big, game-changing plays somehow to defeat teams like the Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys -- their next four opponents.
Thing is, that is a risk-reward philosophy. If the Giants do force the ball down the field more often they will reap some rewards, but there will also likely be consequences as well. They, and the fans calling for more risks, need to be willing to accept those.
I think the Colts are a horrible match-up for the Giants. If you are rooting for the Giants to win Monday night, you have to wish the Pittsburgh Steelers hadn't just embarrassed the Colts with a 51-34 victory. That is only a small part of why this seems like a bad match-up for the Giants. Offensively, the Colts have so many weapons in the passing game there is no way the wounded Giants secondary and linebacking corps can handle them all. Pressure is the only answer and selling out to blitz almost every play like the Steelers did Sunday vs. Indy is simply not Perry Fewell's style. I see this as a game that is going to take 30 or more points to win, and I don't know if the Giants can match the Colts in a shootout.
I think the Giants won't make any trades. We have covered the trade deadline extensively, tossing around a slew of names. I doubt, however, that GM Jerry Reese does anything. Offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, working his way back from a dislocated toe, is sort of like a mid-season trade acquisition. The biggest change we might see, and one I know many will welcome, is increased snaps for many of the younger players during the final nine games.
I think it's time to turn the page, especially on defense. This is sort of a continuation of what I said about not making any trades. Defense was supposed to be the strength of this team. Frankly, it has not been as the Giants are 27th in the league in overall defense. Yes, there have been injuries to Jon Beason and at the cornerback spot, but that isn't the whole story. Too many veteran players who aren't getting the job done any longer have been playing too many snaps. Reese is right that Damontre Moore needs to play more. So does Devon Kennard. Jay Bromley and even safety Nat Berhe should also see some snaps the rest of the way. Some of that will happen because of the injuries to Beason and Cullen Jenkins. Regardless of how or why, it needs to take place. The Giants are not going to get better by continuing to play the same tired, ineffective veterans. The young guys will make mistakes, but hopefully they will learn from them and make the Giants better in the long run.
I think Ahmad Bradshaw is amazing. I have to admit I have enjoyed watching Bradshaw's renaissance with the Colts this season. Even after all the foot and ankle injuries, and after a 2013 neck injury nearly ended his career, the guy is still an incredible player. He leads the Colts in rushing yards (371) and yards per carry (4.9). He already has 31 pass receptions, six for touchdowns. Did anyone think Bradshaw, 28, had this much left? I know I didn't.