For the Giants Offense, Simplicity Is Bliss - NBC New York

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For the Giants Offense, Simplicity Is Bliss

Injuries force the Giants to scale things back with great success



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    It was right about this time last year that the Jets introduced a color-coded wristband and pared-down offense to Mark  Sanchez in hopes of cutting down on the turnovers that were crushing his team.

    As you'll recall, the move worked out very well for the Jets. Sanchez stopped destroying the team by completing passes to the opposition and Brian Schottenheimer took off his clever hat in favor of calling plays that just relied on execution. One year later, the Giants find themselves doing the same kind of thing for the stretch run of a season.  

    So far as we know, Eli Manning didn't get a new wristband on Sunday but he got an offense that featured the same kind of simplicity. The reason was injuries as opposed to ineffectiveness this time around, although you have to wonder why dialing things back never crossed Giant minds while watching the team produce more turnovers than a pastry chef mainlining a mix of Adderall, Red Bull and espresso. 

    The offensive scheme that we got isn't going to revolutionize the game of football. Lots of two tight end sets, lots of simple protection and very little presnap improvisation don't make for a lot of imitators knocking on Kevin Gilbride's door come the offseason. 

    Not that that's been a problem in the past, mind you. If you were to stroll around the Meadowlands parking lot before a Giants home game, you'd be hard pressed to find more than a handful of fans who had a nice thing to say about Gilbride's ability as an offensive play caller. He often seems to be more concerned with doing something unexpected than he is with calling plays that are going to work and his refusal to coach with an eye on the scoreboard has made games closer than they need to be all season.

    It's always been an odd fit because Tom Coughlin likes to blow a lot of hot air about being a team that believes in discipline while his offensive coordinator has absolutely no respect for that approach. A spate of injuries finally forced the team to make a change in philosophy, a change that worked out awfully well for them on Sunday. It should serve as a clear path for the team to follow in the weeks to come, although that would take an old leopard like Gilbride changing his spots.

    Unlikely, but there's something to be said for just trying to beat a team by outplaying them instead of attempting to outthink them.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for You can follow him on Twitter.

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