Tom Coughlin made a very telling comment when answering questions about why Brandon Jacobs only got 11 carries despite running well against the Chargers. Ahmad Bradshaw had 14 chances, but only gained 39 yards compared to Jacobs' 67, and the Giants coach was on the defensive when asked about it.
"Funny, you guys weren't talking about this a couple of weeks ago when you didn't think he was playing that well."
Funny isn't exactly the right word for it. Totally understandable to everyone who has watched the games is a tad wordy but it does a far better job of hitting the nail on the head. It's troubling that Coughlin finds it funny that anyone would suggest he let good players do what they do well, but it's symptomatic of the problems contributing to the four-game losing streak.
They've continually asked players to try to do things that they aren't capable of doing and continually paid the price when the roll of the dice comes up snake eyes. It's perfectly reasonable to want to have balance between multiple running backs early in games, for example, but incredibly wrongheaded to continue balancing things out when one back is clearly having a better day than the other one. It's not a slam on Bradshaw to say that Jacobs was the better option on Sunday, just as it wasn't a slam on Jacobs to say that Bradshaw was the right choice earlier this season.
That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. The Giants need to ask themselves if it is really advisable to run zone blitzes that leave Justin Tuck or Osi Umenyiora in pass coverage against tight ends, or if they'd be better off letting two of the league's better pass rushers simply get after the quarterback. It would be one thing if the blitzes were working, but no one is getting to the quarterback which means the Giants are playing right into the offense's hands.
The list goes on. Why is Steve Smith, a standout mid-range target, the only guy tasked with going deep? Why are linebackers left in single coverage against speedy running backs when the lack of speed among the Giants linebackers is one of the NFL's worst-kept secrets?
It would be easy to say as an answer to all of these concerns that the Giants coaches have great confidence in their players to execute anything they're asked to do. That's fair, but it begs the question of why the coaches don't have enough faith in their players to go out and win games. We've been over the awful playcalling on the fourth quarter drive following Terrell Thomas's interception, but we're still confused as to why the Giants didn't put the ball in Eli Manning's hands on the first drive of the game instead of running two bland running plays and settling for the field goal.
If the Giants are as talented as we thought when the season was getting underway, now's the time to stop overthinking things and let them do what they do best. If that doesn't work, then you know that you weren't as good as you thought and can start figuring out where to get better.