Putting 37 points on the board at Green Bay on Sunday was an impressive achievement for the Giants, but that doesn’t mean coach Tom Coughlin is satisfied with his offense.
In fact, Coughlin said that the Giants have to get better on the ground if they’re going to beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
“We did make some plays, some chunk runs, toward the end of the game and at the half, which substantiated our numbers,” Coughlin said. “But the consistency I don’t think was there to the extent that we would want it. So that would be the number one thing.”
Those “chunk runs” late in both halves were huge: Ahmad Bradshaw had an absolutely brilliant run on the next-to-last play of the first half, winding his way for 24 yards and getting out of bounds with six seconds left. The Giants were out of timeouts, so if Bradshaw hadn’t been able to get to the sideline, the half would have ended. As it turned out, the Giants got one last play before halftime, and Eli Manning threw a Hail Mary touchdown to Hakeem Nicks. And Brandon Jacobs sealed the Giants’ win with a 14-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
But Coughlin is right that the Giants’ running game lacked consistency. On Bradshaw’s other 11 carries he totaled just 39 yards. And on Jacobs’ other eight carries he totaled just eight yards. Throw in D.J. Ware getting stuffed for one yard on a third-and-2 and getting tackled behind the line of scrimmage on his only other carry, and the Giants’ running backs didn’t have a particularly impressive day.
The 49ers have a much better run defense than the Packers do, so it’s going to be tough for the Giants to get better in the running game on Sunday. But Coughlin thinks they have to if they want to get to the Super Bowl.