...collectively the offensive line graded out at an appaling -18 and that number was only so low becuase Andy had the decency to spare them any more humiliation by cutting off the template after the Giants 2nd play of the 4th quarter. In reality the game was over before it even began. Individual numbers: Beatty -1, Boothe -6, Baas -4, Snee 0, Diehl -4, Cordle -3. Consider those grades generous as there were plenty of plays where everyone was rewarded (emphasis on rewarded) with a 0 grade because the play had turned into such a chaotic pile of people that it was too difficult to tell who deserved the negative grade.
...hate to do this because I know the whole goal of the Ultimate22 is objectivity via tangible data, but after watching this film some other intangible things are painfully obvious. For one, this group should have never boarded the flight to ATL. They didn’t want it early on and if they did from the get go they gave up quickly. No fight, no interest in a fight. Unreal.
...I believe it was mentioned by Andy in the game review that some feel the Giants offense currently lacks technique---Another point about the Giants offense was noted by Roman Oben and Amani Toomer in the postgame- the Giants OL is blocking too high on these run plays and not digging down for push at the line of scrimmage. They both questioned aloud how bad technique could be present this late in the season.--- count me in as one of those guys. There really isn’t a stat to reflect it well, BUT it is painfully obvious that the Giants offensive line has been showing some AWFUL technique in the run game and never did that show more than this game. The coaches end zone film angle consistently shows run plays where all you see is the Giants OL and not the players they are blocking. Why? Because the group seemed hell bent on standing straight up at the point of attack. Taking false steps. Pivoting and maneuvering instead of drive blocking. All things that go along with accusations of "half-assing" it. Look, I understand that it is the NFL. You aren’t going to be able to establish push all that easily on a regular basis but it just seems like this group is more interested in turning, pivoting and positioning defenders.
...this may be some sort of exaggeration out of frustration, but understand that it is not by much. Nearly EVERY Giants run play (including the 2 or 3 successful ones on the day) was more or less a big pile of bodies in the middle (representing the OL and the D who is doing their job) followed by an RB bounce to the outside.
...another result of this issue (especially in this one) is the Giants losing the LOS to the front four, especially in pass pro. Counted about five times where an OL wasn’t beat (3 by Boothe alone), but rather just driven backwards right into the face of Eli, thus compromising the play. It really becomes difficult to see who should get the -1 and not on a given play. They were so bad in this one collectively that it is tough to single out who REALLY is at fault.
...throughout this game there were countless plays that I could have used to show you just how poorly this group played, specifically getting any type of push in the run game. I think to drive the point home all we need to do is take a look at one of the most crucial plays in this one, the Giants 1st of 3 failed 4th down conversions. 4th and 1-- and the run play comes in and this is how you get off the ball? If you have the game DVR'ed, watch the play and you decide who wanted it more. Look how high they fire off the ball. Whose helmets do you see on all 5 blocks? Giant. That is cause they are playing higher than the Falcons with no technique and getting beat at the point of attack. Seriously---are Beatty's feet even on the ground? He couldn't be playing any higher. As we all know this 4th down wasn't converted and was one of many disappointing efforts for this group and the whole team in this game.
...having said all of this I thought that this was a relevant article to share.
...this humiliation was very much a team effort. Just about every Giants’ unit pitched in unselfishly. From the start, however, it was Eli Manning who set the tone. Eli established a level of play in the first quarter and his teammates, after some hesitation, sank to that level too.
...I don’t know whether any one has ever proved that momentum (as a psychological thing) really shifts in a game. But I think we can draw some conclusions about timing. Throwing an interception on your first pass is a bad time to throw one, and the timing is just as important, I think, as the fact Manning threw that one deep in his own territory inside of the Georgia Dome. Instant 7-0 Falcons. Instant diminishment of the Giants’ momentum or chance at building any. After that interception, however, there was still plenty of time and plenty of hope. The offense kept amassing yardage. The running game was alive. Eli made some good throws. But there were no points. A few ill-timed misguided throws reared their head to ensure that every drive would crumble slowly and painfully.
...at 12:18 in the 2nd quarter, for instance, Manning throws his second interception. Like the first, it’s deep in Giants’ territory and a head scratcher. At 1:14 in the 2nd quarter, Manning throws hurriedly to Cruz who is blanketed by Samuels to bring the Giants to 0-2 on 4th down early in the game. Samuels makes a great play but as the commentators mention, Manning has tons of time to let Cruz or another receiver get free (Rich: yes there was a debatbable potential DPI call but it was bang/bang and could have gone either way. Cannot let the officials play a role) for the higher percentage pass on 3rd down. A completion there gives us first and goal with plenty of time to bring the score to 17-7 going into the intermission.
...as Rich and Andy explain, the rest of the team soon fell into line and the disaster took on its own momentum. The quarterback who was throwing badly already soon had to contend with a flood of rushers overwhelming his porous (Rich: AND DISINTERESTED) offensive line. In the end, however, if a good quarterback often “leads his team to victory,” here is a case where this quarterback led his team to defeat.
Eli has certainly played poorly, but it seems to me that one contributing factor has been his receivers lack of separation. That's been my impression anyway - I would love to see if that's supported by an actual analysis.
@RickH Good point Rick. Not sure there is a way to quantify WR separation (at least with the data that we have) but it is something we can look into.
Driving vs. pivoting and maneuvering: never saw that distinction made before. Thanks, Rich. And thanks for PFF article; will read. As one who began watching the Giants and NFL around 1962, I've never quite accepted the extent to which OLs hold nowadays instead of use their feet. Giant OL needs to think "leverage."
@RussWellen1 Thanks Russ. Like you said--leverage. The Giants OL seems to get beat in that aspect in both run blocking and pass pro (see my notes on Boothe's "-" passing plays on the grade sheet). They lose whatever power they may have when they stand straight up, once they do that and the DL gets inside hand position and from there on out controls the play.
I understand it is difficult to execute ideal technique in the trenches in an NFL game, but at the same time it seems as though this unit lacks any focus towards technique and attention to detail (<---in contrast, read the portion of the PFF article that quotes Andrew Whitworth as saying they are taught the position "like a golf swing" Thought that was a pretty awesome analogy.)
@RussWellen1 And again. Pause any play where the Giants are running the ball in this game (and many other plays this season) and odds are you will see them losing the leverage battle consistently.