While we reporters were all occupied with Eli Manning's accuracy problems and the low dose of Brandon Jacobs in the offense, another factor seemed to have been overlooked.
Where's the no-huddle?
Outside of the two-minute periods, we haven't seen much of that this year. And yet, it worked so well the last couple of years for Manning.
I have a couple of theories on why the Giants haven't used it, and a definite feeling that they need to reinstate it ASAP, preferably against the Falcons this week.
My first theory is that, until now, they haven't had the personnel. It takes players experienced in the offense to run that. They have to be savvy enough to pick up the calls at the line, and then make their adjustments on the fly. Plaxico Burress could do that. So could Amani Toomer. But with a young receiving corps that now includes a rookie playmaker in Hakeem Nicks, the Giants were probably better off going into the huddle, where calls are made in calmer, more controlled circumstances.
My second theory is that the no-huddle went out the window when Manning hurt his heel. For a time, he simply needed the extra time to re-gather himself. Those few seconds in the huddle gave the heel enough rest so he could execute the next play.
None of that would have adversely affected the Giants' offense under normal circumstances. But throw in Manning's constant tinkering at the line and the ensuing delay of game calls that interrupted offensive rhythm, and you've got a problem. The no-huddle would have allowed Manning to scan the defense and make his audibles with time to spare.
Well, there are no rookies at this point in the season. Nicks is familiar enough with the playbook that he can, or should, be trusted to do the right thing when he reads on the fly. And Manning said the other day that the heel is no longer an issue. So it would seem that this week, with a pivotal game coming up against the Falcons, would be an ideal time to re-introduce the no-huddle to an offense that hasn't scored more than 20 points in three games.
It might even make things a little easier to operate, since the threat of a premature snap keeps defenses honest and in place, prohibiting the influx of new personnel and limiting its adjustments. It was a wonderful tool in the past, used in key spots to speed up the tempo. And more often than not, it either produced points or, at least, changed field position.
It's certainly a tactic worth revisiting. Now that the younger players are experienced enough to use it, we should see more no-huddle outside of the two-minute periods.
I want to know what you guys think? Could the no-huddle be the answer to all the offense's problems?