Kevin Boothe had a decent game against the Bills and the OL pass blocking was really good. Overall the OL was still a little iffy on run blocking, though there is definite improvement. On that winning 4th quarter FG drive, the run blocking was really good. On Bradshaw's first run of 11 yards, the right side of the OL was really good at blocking the man in front of them and Pascoe got out into the hole to push the LB about 3 yards back. Bradshaw hit the hole quickly right behind Pascoe and made a really nice gain. It just proves the point I have been making tirelessly on this blog that the problem with the running game is more with the blocking from the TE and FB position than it is with the OL. When the Giants get a good block from the TE, they make a good gain.
Right after Webster's first INT, Giants had a 3rd and 2 on about the Bills 40. From the shotgun, Eli pitched it to Ware on a little toss and he made the first down. (Next play was the almost-TD to Manningham). On that first down run behind Beatty and Diehl to the left side of the OL, the blocking from the OL was almost perfect, except for Boothe. Beatty drove his man to the outside while Diehl and Baas sealed the DTs well to the inside. The Bills had only a LB in the middle and DBs on the play side of the field. Boothe's assignment was to fire out from his RG position and block the MLB. He got to him in great shape, had good position because he was inside of him, i.e. between the LB and the intended running lane, so all he had to was get in his way to seal him from filling the hole. He didn't make the block. He kind of stood there watching him and the MLB ran right past him towards the hole, tackling Ware. Giants made the first down anyway, but the play was wide open and if Boothe had made the block, Giants could have gained 10 or 15 on that play; maybe more if Ware had been able to make someone in the secondary miss.
Boothe was also the culprit who missed the block at the goal line when Giants had 2nd and 1 at the end of the game. After Boothe missed the block, Bradshaw was dropped for a 4 yard loss. Overall, the run blocking is improving and if the OL continues to improve, Giants will have a good offensive team this year.
I have to give Gilbride credit for reshaping, if not totally remaking the Giants offense. There are very few comeback routes, except for Cruuuuuz. Giants are throwing to Manningham and Nicks on the move, which plays to their strength and gives them more opportunity to slip a tackle and make some YAC yards. The run game has a little more deception in it, with Giants using some counters and fooling the defense with blocks that influence them to go to the wrong side of the field.
It also looks like the opponents are starting to respect the Giants passing game, if last Sunday is any indication. Bills rarely had an extra safety dropped down to the line of scrimmage. They stayed mostly conventional with 7 at the line of scrimmage. This gives the running game a better chance. I guess you could say that they respected the passing game, or perhaps they were not afraid of Giants running game.
Bradshaw has really improved his blitz pickup. He was never really bad at it, but he has become really excellent recently, with a few great blocks on Sunday against the Bills.
I have been crowing about the young LBs. While they are really talented, fast and will be good players in the future, Williams made a couple of bad plays on Sunday - mental errors showing his inexperience that hurt the team. On Jackson's 80 yard run, he closed to the wrong hole and allowed a gaping hole in the middle. It's true that the interior of the Bills OL made a crease between the Giants two DT's but Williams should have held it to a respectable 5-10 yard run instead of letting it go the distance. I want to Herzlich get on the field. Aside from the bringing the feel good story full circle, it would really benefit the Giants on the field. They could use Kiwanuka more at his natural position of DE. With Tuck injured and Osi still gaining strength from his knee surgery, bolstering further a position of strength is not a bad thing. Osi may be a better pass rusher than Kiwanuka, but Kiwanuka is much better against the run and knows how to get to the QB also. Go Herzlich.