On Sunday Andy questioned the announcers regarding dropped passes, claiming it was due more to Eli’s erratic/high throws than just the WRs. A review of the game tape verifies this as well as some issues with the running game.
We won’t get into the obvious, Special Teams, as it appears Coughlin put the unit on notice by cutting Kehl yesterday to make room for Bear Pascoe. In his words regarding the punt block “you never turn a guy loose. We did. That’s really difficult to understand. It’s embarrassing, to be honest with you. It should never have happened so I do not expect that sound to ever occur again."
Of the 3 interceptions that deflected off his receivers hands, one pass was dropped by the receiver. Eli must and does take the blame for the balance, admitting as much when he “took responsibility for the “high throws” that led to the three interceptions that bounced off his receivers’ hands . Eli was particularly upset at the third one, off Ramses Barden, which he said was a bad, high throw.” That was the one which Andy jokingly referred to the intended receiver being Manute Bol. Capt. George reminded us that “Eli has been missing high since we drafted him so what makes us think it is just rust?” and “some days he has it worse than others but it has always (been) there.”
In the 1st half Eli was noticeably more erratic. He missed high and behind as he almost got Boss killed . Eli was high and late 3 times to Nicks with one deflection off Nicks for an interception. While Eli was erratic high he was also late in releasing the ball. One example was the long 30 yard connection to Manningham in the 1st quarter. Manningham had to wait behind the receiver. Nicks also had to wait on the ball from Manning for his 1st TD reception and finally, Bradshaw had to hesitate out of the backfield on the 2nd of two interceptions deflecting off off his hands, which Bradshaw arguably should have caught anyway. This is most likely just the result of Eli's lack of preseason work. He missed a chunk of snaps, the result of his laceration injury. His timing will improve.
Banks addressed the concerns with the offensive line and their run blocking. The game review of the tape certainly explains why the Giants averaged 1.9 yards per carry. There were the 2 big runs in the 2nd half. Bradshaw was clearly more effective running behind Snee and McKenzie rather that Seubert and Diehl. Seubert struggled one-on-one and straight up but he excelled in pulling. The best examples of Seubert at his best was the 2nd half TD run by Bradshaw on 3rd and goal. The play was set up by Seubert pulling and taking out the LB. Prior to that in the same drive Bradshaw had a 6 yard gain on a similar lead pull by Seubert. In general the Giants are not an overpowering offensive line and rely more on athleticism and finesse. The myriad of injuries Banks talks about and the lack of practice together hurt a lot. Time will tell quickly against a much more worthy opponent in Indy.
Three other observations on offense: (1) Nice to see the play action pass to Nicks for his third TD as that was a very well executed play all around. (2) A beautiful screen pass on 2 and 20 that gained 16 yards to Bradshaw, as he did a great job hesitating and waiting for Seubert, O’Hara and Snee to set up the play. (3) Bradshaw literally makes lemonade out of sour lemons as his 75+ yards were hard earned.
One of the areas we sorely lacked last season was pressure up the middle as well as protecting the linebackers in the running game. In the 2nd half the Giants had back to back plays where Cofield and Canty combined for a sack. Cofield made a "bull" rush forcing a bad throw. Overall, Canty and especially Cofield were much more effective against the run. DeAngelo WIlliams was held in check the entire game. In general, I expect to see teams get worn down in the 2nd half with the Giants rotation on the defensive line. That was clearly evident with the number of sacks, hits on the QB and how the pocket was collapsing on a consistent basis especially in the early 4th quarter. One alignment had Tuck on LDE, Kiwi off and positioned as a LB, Cofield at RT and Osi at RDE. Kiwi came in with a bull rush and overpowered the Guard for the sack.
Pete’s observation about cover 2 was quite evident in the 4th quarter drive that ended with the 2nd red zone interception of Moore. Webster was continually playing off and getting beat leading to a drive that moved all the way to the NYG 4 yard line from Carolina’s 20. Let’s see how this works against Peyton, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark next week.