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Banks: Game Ball Goes to Gilbride

 Carl Banks spoke yesterday on WFAN and gave some insight on the Giants win this past Sunday.

Banks “give(s) Kevin Gilbride the game ball or player of the game.”  Banks believes he called a game that “should be the blueprint” for the rest of the season.  Bottom line, Gilbride “got so many people involved and didn’t put the ball at risk at all.” It started with the run game, as “in the beginning of the game the Giants were focusing on attempts at the run.”  The “Bills then became aggressive in “trying to stop the run and as a result it opened up other areas for the Giants to take advantage of… you started to see the offense get into a rhythm.”   Remember “all those 3rd and shorts they were in all day which allowed them to find the TE, the backs and some shallow crosses.”

Banks goes on to discuss the big plays given up by the defense in the 1st half.  Banks was “talking to the players after the game (and) they all said it’s just a matter of communication.”  On the 60 yard TD reception to Roosevelt, Banks believes their was a communication breakdown between Rolle and Boley on that play based on their assignments in a “buzz” coverage.  Both Banks and Tuck mentioned that “guys are not playing their natural position.”  Both stated that “Rolle is being forced out of Center Field and is asked to play in the slot as a cornerback.’  They both also feel that “if they get Amukamara back it will help as it will allow Grant to play that shallow linebacker or nickel role” and put Rolle back at FS.

The starters on defense lined up in a 4-2-5 alignment.  The reason for this Banks feels is that “they wanted to play man coverage or bump and run” against the Bills offense.  All season long “Fitzpatrick takes 1 look and then gets rid of the ball.”  Before the game Banks felt the key for the Giants defense was  “to jam (their receivers) at the LOS and make (Fitzpatrick) pull the ball down and look for another receiver.”  As a result the Giants accumulated 3 sacks versus only 4 that the Bills had given up all season.

To conclude Banks feels that “as they go into this bye there are some areas of this team that they really have got to work on.”  The issues are the dumb penalties in “critical game situations and also the FG operation.”  He pointed to the fact that  “we’ve been saying it since preseason when they had them blocked in 2 of 4 games.”  Because if they don’t “that will be the next thing teams start to focus on” when facing the Giants Special Teams unit.

Other highlights Banks touched on:

“Dallas is now entering the Giants’ early part of their schedule with St. Louis, Seattle and Buffalo coming up.  Dallas has a little bit of an advantage over the Giants right now.”

Rob Ryan had a good game plan versus Brady and other teams should pay close attention to what he did.   Banks stated that “Brady really struggles throwing on the run and you have to give credit to the Cowboys for forcing him out of the pocket to get him to throw on the run.”

Paul here.  Gilbride does deserve a lot of credit for his game plan and specifically staying patient with the run.  The run game was solid but not spectacular.  Banks makes a valid point that it opens up more options for the offense but most importantly Gilbride followed through on those options.  Banks stated it clearly on how they utilized the “shallow areas, slants, backs” and, what is not becoming a staple, the tight end Ballard.  Glenn rightfully gave Eli a lot of credit for his performance, but take note of how much more effective Eli is when they implement these lower risk shallow pass patterns as well as utilizing their Tight Ends.

We all have discussed ad nauseum about the neglect of the cornerbacks who excel in press coverage.  Banks alluded to the fact that the Giants pass rush became more effective with the cornerbacks giving them that extra time to get to the quarterback with press coverage.  Is it a coincidence that Webster had one of his best games arguably since 2008?  We all just hope that Fewell sees the light on this but he still needs to pour it on by mixing it in with more disguised blitzes than just rushing with 4 defensive linemen.

Finally, it is clear that a few players are playing out of position on the defensive side of the ball.  Let’s hope that Tuck is right when he stated that Prince “has stayed mentally sharp in meetings and will be able to pick up the defense faster than people think.”  Not only will he bring more speed, allow Rolle to be were he is more effective, but it takes a slow Deon Grant off the field for a big percentage of plays.  Now if they can only figure out how to keep Kiwi at DE only.