Running To NowhereSeptember 12th, 2012
In what Paul Schwartz of the New York Post calls “the time-honored dance of the beaten,” the Giants claim they can correct their rushing woes, which led to an opening-game loss to the Cowboys.
But panic seems to be setting in in Gotham, Schwartz writes. The Giants haven’t been able to run the ball consistently for a season, and now facing the sudden new rush defense kings of the NFL, the Bucs, Big Blue followers are worried that an 0-2 start may mean no Super Bowl title repeat in the Big Apple.
The caution flag goes up with the rushing attack, as the only background information is of the indicting variety. The Giants of 2011 were first in the hearts of their fans and last in the league in run offense and, until otherwise, not much has changed. Even the 82 yards gained against the Cowboys comes with a disclaimer that should read, “Caution, objects under this stat column are not as acceptable as they appear.’’ The Giants were swarmed up front and the 33-yard run Ahmad Bradshaw ripped off in the fourth quarter came with the Cowboys leading 24-10 and more than willing to trade yards on the ground for time off the clock.
The Buccaneers on Sunday represent the league’s top-rated run defense, a Week 1 designation based on the 10 — yes, that’s correct, 10 — rushing yards they allowed to the Panthers. Sure, Jonathan Stewart did not play and, no doubt, the Panthers gave up even trying to run it with only 13 attempts all game in their 16-10 loss. But still. When DeAngelo Williams gets the ball six times and comes away with minus-one yards of production, it’s worth noting. Ten yards is nearly nothing, or, as Bucs safety Ahmad Black told Tampa reporters, “Ten yards rushing … that’s Pop Warner.’’
“They had a great game defensively against a very good Carolina team that usually puts up a lot of yards rushing,” Giants guard Kevin Boothe said. “That’s impressive. I think that definitely raises eyebrows around the league.’’
It’s not just scribes and fans of the Giants that are worried. Giants headmaster Tom Coughlin admitted as much in his conference call with Bucs beat writers today.
“Any time you don’t have success you have concenrns,” Coughlin said. “We need to move people off the ball.”
One can see where this is going. The Giants’ front line is not moving defenders, the rushing game is stagnant, and the Giants will be facing what could be a strong rush defense by the Bucs led by Gerald McCoy, who Coughlin lauded as a budding NFL star.
“He’s very explosive,” Coughlin said of GMC. “He does a nice job rushing the passer and plays the run hard.”
Joe can see where this is headed: The game will break down to Eli Manning’s arm vs. Doug Martin’s legs. And since Joe is in a good mood, here is an oldie but a goodie song to send you into the evening.