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Cowboys beware: Giants offense as potent as their defense

 

 

 

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Defenses, when sizing up the New York Giants offense, are beginning to talk weapons, flexibility and attitude. They are beginning to put this Giants offense in the same family with some of the more versatile offenses in recent NFL history, including the 2007 New England Patriots, the 2006 Indianapolis Colts and the 2000 St. Louis Rams.

 

That is a new conversation.

 

The Giants thus far have not been nearly as good in point and red-zone production as those prolific offenses. The Giants figure they have the second half of the season -- including Sunday's monster matchup here against Dallas -- to keep reaching for that.

 

But when we are talking an NFL offense that features balance, that is deep across the lineup, that forces defenses to cover all areas of the field, that compiles big plays and also sustains long drives, this Giants model and mold is distinguishing itself.

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Eli Manning leads the Giants' third-ranked offense, which averages 27.3 points and 378.9 yards per game.

Comparing 2008 Giants offense to prolific offenses of some championship teams in recent NFL history

Team Yards (Rk) Pass (Rk) Rush (Rk)

2008 Giants 378.9 ( 3rd) 221.6 ( 13th) 157.3 ( 1st)

2007 Patriots 411.2 ( 1st) 295.7 ( 1st) 115.6 ( 13th)

2006 Colts 379.4 ( 3rd) 269.2 ( 2nd) 110.1 ( 18th)

1999 Rams 400.8 ( 1st) 272.1 ( 1st) 128.7 ( 5th)

 

It has not lost a fumble. For two straight games it has not allowed a sack. It leads the NFL in rushing offense (157.3 yards per game). It leads the league in runs of 10 or more yards (37). It ranks third in total offense (378.9 yards per game). It ranks sixth in scoring offense (27.3 points per game).

 

It features three running backs (brute Brandon Jacobs, versatile Derrick Ward and spunky Ahmad Bradshaw), each of whom give a defense something different to handle. It has four receivers (lanky Plaxico Burress, savvy Amani Toomer, crafty Steve Smith and tireless-worker Domenik Hixon), each of whom have double-digit numbers in catches and retain four of the top five slots in Giants receptions. Behind that wave is Sincorce Moss (a two-touchdown receiving game this season), rookie Mario Manningham and Super Bowl XLII hero David Tyree, who has been battling a hamstring injury.

 

Tight end Kevin Boss continues to mature, quarterback Eli Manning is steady to spectacular, and the offensive line is a cohesive, often-times dominating unit.

 

Add it up, and that is not your basic NFL offense.

 

That is an enviable offensive cache. It is an offense with a concrete identity.

 

First, the Giants will try to run the ball down the throat of Dallas to see how it responds. Then it will look for play-action. The Giants offense, due to Cowboys injuries in the secondary, could be facing a trio of rookie cornerbacks (Mike Jenkins, Alan Ball and Orlando Scandrick) for much of the game.

 

Thus, the Giants might be tempted to take more deep shots in this clash.

 

"We're going to try to run the ball, win up front and keep mixing," Manning said. "Overall, we try to get rid of the ball fairly quickly in the passing game. We try to get to second-and-3s in our offense. Simple stuff -- but it's hard to come by. We've got variety."

 

They've got attitude.

 

"Our offense does not back down from anybody," Ward said. "We're not the most glamorous offense or have the name like 'America's Team.' They had 13 Pro Bowlers last year. We had one. But we get the job done."

 

The Giants always privately preach in this rivalry that "T" stands for team with them and turmoil for the Cowboys.

 

Though with Plaxico Burress lately, the Giants have had their share of it.

 

"I'm always thinking about making plays," Burress said. "I'm not upset. I've made some mistakes missing meetings and treatments, but in the games I focus on lining up, seeing what kind of coverage I'm going to get. We line up and have the type of guys that we get the ball to where we have things going. The way we've had it lately, everybody wants to copy that mold. Sometimes bad things come in bunches. But sometimes good things also do. I'm staying loose and up."

 

Dallas plans to double Burress all day, Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said.

 

Thus, Burress helps open the door for others on the offense and the rest of the Giants this season have been bolting through.

 

The Giants have a balanced offensive system and an intelligent approach. They feature a hybrid mixture of running the ball and mixing short and deep passes off those runs. Their drop-back passing game is more than adequately sophisticated.

 

Kevin Gilbride, their offensive coordinator, has early coaching roots in the run-and-shoot, four- and five-receiver-set, whip-it-around offense. It is part of his nature to open any offense up and win with the passing game first. Gilbride has effectively acquiesced to the Giants style, the Giants system, the Giants players.

 

His career signature achievement is matching wits with Bill Belichick in Super Bowl XLII and winning. With the Giants 6-1 now, Gilbride's teaching and play-calling are important Giants staples and strengths.

 

 

NFL Classic Games will re-air the Giants' 21-17 win over the Cowboys in the NFC divisional playoffs last season on Friday, Oct. 31 at 9 p.m. ET.

 

» Highlights: Giants upset Cowboys

» Video clips from NFL Network

 

Fans, want to get NFL Network? Cable operators, want to carry NFL Network? Click here for more information.

 

"This is a very proud and spirited group that believes strongly in being physical," Gilbride said. "The ability level of them able to do that has influenced us. It's something now we set out to do. We try to be a balanced-driven football team that is difficult for people to handle. Do that whether you run it or throw it. We try to keep the numbers as even as we can and balance that against the flow of the game. But when we have to throw it, we can, whether it is a two-minute scenario or playing from behind. We can be a risk-taking offense with the ability and confidence to do that."

 

The Giants have run the ball 216 times this season. They have passed it 224 times.

 

And though the Giants have become known for their game-changing defense, their offense leads the league in possession time at 33:21 per game. That helps protect the defense. That helps keep it fresh.

 

"I've been working on the scout team against the offense," rookie cornerback Terrell Thomas said. "Our offense has so many players getting their number called who are showing up. You don't know where the ball is going. It's something different every practice, every week."

 

Veteran safety Sammy Knight added: "Balance. All offensive teams want that identity. We have coaches who have delegated roles to our offense. I see those guys playing off each others' roles. I see guys on offense giving their coaches more to trust and those roles growing."

 

Gilbride said the Giants offense, with a Super Bowl championship already in tow, is aspiring to be like some of the best in pro football history. That is the goal, he said. He is concerned about the Dallas pass rush. He is concerned about Dallas' speed and quickness on defense.

 

But like Giants center Shaun O'Hara, Gilbride knows that this Dallas battle, alone, will be defining for his offense.

 

"Your identity is defined weekly by your actions and your performance," O'Hara said. "That is why this is the greatest sport and league. You've got to prove yourself every week. We have to be just as physical in the pass protection as we are in the running game. We have to keep relying on each other and the things we know about ourselves."

 

 

 

 

 

I love D Wards line up there, its what alot of us say about the cowgirls. Good read.

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Man I really hate these articles that make us out to be some indomitible force. Seems we usually shit the bed after we get any kind of praise. :knockonwood:

 

the opening line is Giants -7.5

 

Under is 10-1-1 in DAL last 12 games in Week 9.

DAL are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in November.

DAL are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 vs. NFC.

 

NYG are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on grass.

NYG are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall.

NYG are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 vs. NFC

 

 

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Man I really hate these articles that make us out to be some indomitible force. Seems we usually shit the bed after we get any kind of praise. :knockonwood:

 

the opening line is Giants -7.5

 

Under is 10-1-1 in DAL last 12 games in Week 9.

DAL are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games in November.

DAL are 2-9 ATS in their last 11 vs. NFC.

 

NYG are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games on grass.

NYG are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall.

NYG are 21-8-1 ATS in their last 30 vs. NFC

 

Yeah, I used to never like to get hyped up, but we dont seem to suffer from that as much anymore. Nice stats you posted, it just seems that barring some unfortunate accident, or just a fluke game by us, we win this game.

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