When a NFL fan typically think of the four-time Super Bowl champion New York football Giants, they generally visualize a conservative run-based ball-control offense with a physical and brooding offensive line and skill position players such as Mark Bavaro, Phil Simms, Mark Ingram, Joe Morris, Ottis Anderson, Jeff Hostetler and Maurice Carthon.
While Big Blue—like their AFC counterpart, the Pittsburgh Steelers—have always been known for their fabled “Big Blue Wrecking Crew” defenses of yesteryear in Hall-of-Famers such as Lawrence Taylor and Pro Bowlers such Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, the words “Big Blue” and ”high-powered West Coast offense” are two words that even the most knowledgeable non-Giants fan such as this writer would ever think of typing in a blog.
Fast forward to the present and two Super Bowl titles later, Manning—who under the longtime tutelage of offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride are no more, enter former Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach, Ben McAdoo and his quick-strike, timing-based West Coast offense that helped 2011 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL today.
In what some may consider an adjustment period for even a two-time Super Bowl champion and MVP in Manning, in the Giants first two losses of the season to the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals, Manning passed for 440 yards(220.0 yards per game), threw three touchdowns, four interceptions, a QB rating of 68.0 and averaging 14 points a game.
In their current three-game winning streak which includes wins over the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, Manning has passed for 734 yards(244.6 yards a game), eight touchdowns, one interception, a QB rating of 115.2 and 35 points a game.
Whatever proverbial light switch inside Manning’s brain has come on at the right time, as the Giants travel down U.S. Route 1 to renew their annual bitter grudge match with the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that will decide early NFC East supremacy.
In their three wins, former Super Bowl hero, Victor Cruz has re-emerged into arguably the best slot receiver in the NFL in leading New York in receiving yards, rookie running back Andre Williams has stepped up in pace of starter Rashad Jennings and two new playmakers have come out of no where in rookie wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Larry Donnell.
Giants101.com staff writer, Doug Rush recent stated that the reason for the Giants turnaround is due to a variety of factors ranging from the offensive line to the emergence of Jennings, Williams and Donnell, “ The offensive line has protected Eli, Will Beatty has completely turned it around and is also healthy for the 1st time in a year, the run game is being established, whether it’s Jennings or Williams, guys are having trouble stopping them in the 4th quarter. The emergence of Larry Donnell at TE, last week, the Falcons triple teamed him, which allowed others to get catches,”
Rush would go on to state that the emergence of the defense, Randle and Beckham Jr has also been a factor, “Rueben Randle is finally on the same page as Eli, not botching plays, making touchdowns when needed. The presence of Odell Beckham is only going to make the offense even better.”
Lastly, the Giants defense—a long-time staple has also stepped up their play in recent weeks, “The defense, already a top 10 one from last year, is creating turnovers every game, mixing up coverages, getting pressure, along the quarterback uncomfortable; and it all starts with taking away the run; they don’t allow guys to run for over 100 yards,”
Based on Rush’s analysis, whatever the Giants are doing now, fans of Big Blue nation hope that the Giants continue what they are doing.
Grounding the brash and loud-mouth Eagles would just be proverbial icing on top.
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