For his final GMC Playbook question of the season, Marshall Faulk wants to know how your team, in our case, the New York Giants, will use an innovative strategy to attack a familiar foe.
For most of the last decade I would have absolutely no way to answer this question. It always seemed like Kevin Gilbride's idea of an innovative play was an end-around to Mario Manningham or Dominik Hixon. They usually fooled precisely nobody and were good for a 10-yard loss.
Not so with Ben McAdoo. He has brought formations, movement, and ideas to the Giants' offense that simply didn't exist in Gilbride's world.
So, what innovative ways should the Giants go about attacking the Eagles?
On defense, innovation isn't needed. Like they have for the previous 15 games, the Giants need to play with discipline. The Eagles' thrive on their running game, and calling an innovative defense just increases the likelihood of discipline or communication breaking down. Instead, they need to stop -- or at least contain -- the Eagles' running game, and put the ball in Mark Sanchez's hands.
That goal, of course, can only be helped by a strong performance from the offense. And this is where innovation can, and likely will, happen.
McAdoo has two objectives in this game: 1) Protect Eli Manning. 2) Get Odell Beckham the ball.
In the first match-up between these two teams, the offensive line (and consequentially Eli) had a rough day. Justin Pugh was beaten like a drum by Connor Barwin. They need to do everything in their power to protect the offensive line and give Eli Manning time to find his receivers.
And that plays into the second objective.
For a few weeks now, McAdoo has been digging into his playbook for new and interesting ways to get Beckham the ball. From a surprising option pass to Rueben Randle, to unbelievably splitting Eli out wide and using Beckham to run the Wildcat. Neither of those plays were successful, but the fact that they have shown a willingness to call them gives defenses something to think about.
It also could be showing the influence that former Oregon St. offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf had in building the playbook.
McAdoo will have to dig into that bag of tricks again.
While Beckham is the Giants' most electric player, Eli Manning is still their best. And while you never want to take the ball out of the hands of your best player, I do think the prospects of using the Wildcat, particularly if Beckham throws the ball, could create some serious confusion on a very aggressive Eagles defense. And besides, who doesn't want to see Eli Manning catch a touchdown against Philly?
Maybe the refs would flag him for doing the YMCA.
Ultimately, football is football, and the word "innovation" gets tossed around entirely too much. However, using the unexpected and Ben McAdoo going "Spanish Inquisition" on Philly's defense could help open up the offense, and force the Mark Sanchez to win the game for the Eagles.
So Giants fans, how would you get innovative in attacking the Eagles?