With quite possibly the biggest game of the year looming for the New York Giants -- although if things go well, it could be their second-biggest game of the regular season -- the focus of Ben McAdoo's weekly press conference was rightly on the upcoming match with the New England Patriots.
Preparing to play Bill Belichick and the Patriots brings a unique set of challenges for every team that plays them, and it is unique from week to week. One of the hallmarks of the Patriots is that they tailor their scheme to take away what their opponent does best, take away their best player.
"Yeah, well, we need to come out and play our game, be comfortable in our own skin that way, see how the game unfolds. They have some good players over there, they have a good scheme, and they'll have something new for us, there's no doubt. We'll have to be ready to adjust and improvise as the game goes on," McAdoo said.
"They seem to give some talented players some extra attention. I wouldn't be surprised to see that on Sunday. We'll see how it unfolds. I imagine they'll change it up as the game goes on and, based on their tendencies, try to change up who they're paying attention to."
The Giants needing to play "[their] game" and be "comfortable in [their] own skin" is a theme that cropped up again and again throughout McAdoo's press conference. The Giants are obviously committed to not letting New England take them out of their game.
"It's a good question [whether teams get away from what they want to do to match the Patriots]. I would say there are probably some teams that like to do that. I think you have to be comfortable in your own skin, your own version. You have to do what you need to do situationally to win. You put a lot of time and effort into situations and you see that creep up in the tape. But you need to do what you do best and work on what you need to work on each week and find a way to improve,"
"We want to play balanced. We want to play balanced football, we want to run a little bit, we want to throw a little bit, and, again, situationally we have to do the smart thing to win the down and move the chains and keep the ball in our hands. When we get into the green zone, we have to execute, we have to try technique and trust our training, not chase anything that isn't there. You have to be smart with the ball. We understand that they're good on offense, but we need to play good team football, good smart team football, and we need to do our job on offense."
Since Odell Beckham is the Giants' best offensive weapon, the Patriots will likely try to take him away from Eli Manning.
"He's [Beckham] being productive. Yeah, he's having a productive year. He's getting a ton of targets, a lot of opportunities. I talk to Odell and I talk to Eli, you know we're throwing him the ball a bunch, but I'd like to see that completion percentage go up. It's not high enough. It's going to be hard and challenging to get him the ball as the season goes on and each and every week is going to be a challenge. He's going to get a lot of attention and rightfully so. We're going to have to cash in and be detailed with it and focus on the details and get our completion percentage up," McAdoo said.
"Yeah, we're going to target Odell a bunch and it's up to me, it's up to Eli, it's up to Odell, it's up to the guys blocking for him. We have to get that completion percentage up. If you're going to get a lot of targets, then we need to complete a lot of balls."