After the Denver Broncos and the defending super bowl champion Baltimore Ravens kicked off the season on Thursday night, the remaining 30 NFL teams will start their seasons this Sunday. For the New York Giants, they open up their season in Dallas to face their NFC division rivals the Cowboys in a huge early season matchup.
The Giants come into Dallas with some questions surrounding their offensive line and who will be the No. 2 running back behind David Wilson. Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride however, isn't harping on the questions being posted to Big Blue's offense and is just getting his unit ready for Dallas. Gilbride was candid on how injuries across the Giants' offensive line might impact their game plan against the Cowboys.
"That's the million dollar question," said Gilbride of how his team will perform short-handed. "You'd like to say it's not going to influence at all what you're doing, but I don't know how realistic that is. I think you have to take into account the matchups and make some decisions where you have to offer some assistance. Where do you have to slide a certain way? Do you have to put the back to a certain side? Do you have to put a tight end somewhere? Maybe, before where you focus more on letting your guards handle the inside guys and maybe you're looking to help the tackles. Maybe now, that's not the case. Maybe you have to help inside more. We'll have to wait and see."
Besides the problems on the G-men's offensive line, New York will have a huge void to fill at the backup running back spot, with Andre Brown out for the early part of the season after breaking his foot in the last preseason against the New England Patriots.
Gilbride is playing his running back rotation close to the vest in advance of Sunday's season opener.
"We don't know," admitted Gilbride. "We'll play it by ear. We'd like to see David go maybe a little bit more than what we've done in the past. With the weather and everything else, you just don't know how it's going to play out. Da'Rel is going to play. There's no question about that and he's going to have to play well for us. He's going to be a big part of what we're doing."
With all these issue the Giants will have to manage for the game, the most important problem for Gilbride and the Giants offensive unit to solve will be trying to find a way to attack the Cowboys defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Monty Kiffin.
Gilbride understands the importance of game planning for Dallas' new defense.
""I mean, two years ago they were much different than they are now," said Gilbride. "In the last two years, you had a different regime which was totally committed to confusion, disguise, overload blitzes, and pressures. Now you have a guy that has a little different approach. I think he's got much more mixing, but is more inclined to be coverage. Not necessarily the two deep for which he's famous for, but he'll mix in single high, but it's a one funnel. Lot of mixture of a one man dog or that type of thing. I won't say it's conservative, but it's certainly a much different approach than it's been the last two years and it really resembles what it was a few years earlier with Wade Phillips."
Hopefully for the Giants, their offense can find a way to move the ball and score points against the Cowboys defense and give Giants' fans less to worry about for the season. If not the Giants might be in store for a tough early half of the 2013 season.