Film breakdown master Greg Cosell examined the "All 22" tape of the Giants victory over the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. The "All 22" game tape is the same film NFL coaches use to evaluate their players. "All 22" means a coach or a player can review each player on any given play. Needless to say, let us get to Cosell's analysis.
In UltimateNYG's recap of the game, we noted 49ers quarterback Alex Smith did not play well. Besides the 49ers turnovers which were critical component of this game, the meager play of Alex Smith also played a big part in the 49ers demise. And Cosell validates Smith's mediocre performance.
First 3rd down (3rd + 4) Smith had Crabtree on
sail route versus “cover 2” but did not pull the trigger, Threw incomplete check
down to Gore – Kind of throw you have to make in championship game
49ers shot play on 1st play of 4th possession,
Williams stutter deep post off Smith boot action; Williams ran right by Webster
and Smith badly overthrew him – Another missed opportunity
Smith very uncertain and tentative in the pocket, Did not pull the
trigger on a number of throws that were there – Smith left a number of plays on
Smith at times perceived pressure as the game progressed, Started to
break down in the pocket, Lost his patience and presence
Smith broke down in the pocket off play action on 1st +
10 with 4:00 remaining in 17-17 game, Had Crabtree wide open on corner route
from the slot – Smith threw it out of bounds after he left the pocket for no
Smith had a poor game, He missed a lot of throws that were there by not
pulling the trigger or poor ball location
Indeed, bone headed Kyle Williams's blunders cost the 49ers TEN points. But after watching the film, Smith's shoddy play also contributed to the 49ers' downfall.
When the Giants had the ball, Cosell labeled the Giants offense remarkable. Despite not being able to run the ball, the Giants still managed a way to win this game. And the major reason is the exceptional play of Eli Manning. In the past, Manning has had his flashes of brilliance. ie 2007 Super Bowl run. However, for whatever reason, he has been unable to play consistent at a high level. Well, this year, he has been awesome. I for one has been critical of Eli's erratic play. With the Giants transitioning from a run based offense to a passing one, Eli has carried his team. In fact he has been so good, his receivers have gotten so much better. Without question, this is the direct result of Manning. It is my belief, a quarterback makes a receiver better. And Eli has done that. After watching the Giants play superb on this FIVE game winning streak, I believe they have the best three wide receivers in the game. Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Mario Manningham cause coverage nightmares for opposing defenses. Although the 49ers slowed down the Giants potent passing attack in the second half, much of that had to do with the 49ers defensive line putting tremendous pressure on Manning. Through his film analysis, Cosell confirmed this.
Rogers did a much better job in the slot on Cruz in the 2nd
half but the 49ers pass rush was also a much bigger factor, Manning not as
comfortable in the pocket
As for the Giants non-existent run game, the play of the Giants interior line especially by center David Baas has been atrocious. Cosell points out Baas.
C Baas did not have a very good game, He struggled versus Sopoaga in the run
game and was at times out-leveraged in pass protection
Now Baas is not the only player responsible for the Giants shortcomings in the run game. And for the amount of money the Giants are paying this guy, his putrid play is unacceptable. Back in August when we learned about Baas' lucrative contract, UltmateNYG was floored. Unequivocally, Andy's comments were prescient. We are flabbergasted. Here it is, we have watched as so many players on the Giants have been asked to redo their contracts, or else they get cut. Yet here is a 30 year old GUARD/CENTER getting $11.5M for putting his pen to paper, and $27.5M total? It is insane. That is $5.5M/yr, and he most likely won't play that long. We are talking interior OL here. The all-time record contract for a Guard/Center is ~$8M per year, and that went to Pro Bowler Jahri Evans of the Saints. If Osi was fuming yesterday, he may be apoplectic today. We liked Reese for how he handled getting Bradshaw back cheap, and how he put forth a very very modest, incentive-based deal for Burress, and then the GM spends GOBS on an interior OLineman? It makes no sense
Speaking of trying to make sense about contracts, Giants DE Osi Umenyiora should receive a pay raise. Yes, Osi has one year remaining on his current contract. And at the same time, it is not a coincidence, the Giants are making this incredible run with a healthy Osi. Together with JPP, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, offenses are having much difficulty blocking all four guys. From Cosell: LT Staley at times struggled in pass protection with Umenyiora’s quickness and speed Before the season began, Pete Furman wrote a supportive post about Osi. How do you justify paying $7 million for Canty when you have Austin, last year's second, Linval Jospeh, who is a supposedly ready first from last year and Tuck? Letting Cofield walk and not handling Osi properly speaks volumes. These guys were the two excellent players on the DL last year and they are discarded or held in contempt. If Cofield is because of money, then what is Baas?
Once this season is over, the Giants have to reconsider their thinking about Osi.