It was almost 18 years and one awesome moustache ago. Buddy Ryan took a swing at his fellow coach Kevin Gilbride when they were both working for the Oilers.
Over the last two weeks, Gilbride swung back at Buddy’s sons. The Giants offensive coordinator helped end the season for Rex Ryan’s Jets last week and Rob Ryan’s Cowboys on Sunday night.
It was certainly on some Giants’ minds.
“Gilbride’s Revenge!” was the second tweet after the Giants win from team VP of communications Pat Hanlon.
It doesn’t hurt that Gilbride has Eli Manning and Victor Cruz on his side. All season long, when the Giants needed a play, these two found a way to connect.
On Sunday night, it was Eli’s spin move followed by a 44-yard bomb to Cruz that few quarterbacks would try on third-and-long in the fourth quarter. It was a one-score game at the time.
“That catch was a boost, I’ll tell you that,” said guard Chris Snee via the New York Daily News.
“It just seems like whenever we need a big play,” Justin Tuck said about Cruz, “he’s stepped up and been that guy.”
Manning methodically led another touchdown drive on the next possession to put the game out of reach and the Giants into the playoffs.
With injuries aplenty and a stagnant running game, Gilbride adjusted his offense to let Eli do it all this year.
It worked beautifully, and helped Gilbride settle some old scores along the way.