...after a blowout loss in a game with implications such as this one, the grades may end up being a little harsher than normal. DO NOT take this to mean that this was not by FAR the worst outing of the season, because it certainly was. The Giants came in controlling our own destiny and needed guys to step up and make plays, and in every aspect of the game they came up short.
...the Ravens faced one 3rd and long the entire half and converted. Not going to get us off the field.
...from a personnel standpoint we saw a lot of four LB groupings with Williams, Blackburn, Herzlich, and Paysinger, which we have not seen a lot of. I think this game showed exactly why we haven't seen much of it:
...Herzlich is not a starting NFL linebacker. In previous film evaluations, I made the point that he is always in the right place and needed to finish some plays to take his game the next level. The more I watch of him the more I believe it is not a developmental thing for him to begin making these plays, but simply that he is not capable. On three different occasions in the first half he tried to run windows to make a big TFL and either missed a tackle or came up just short each time. It was difficult to tell on the first two if he hesitated a little bit or if he is simply just not athletic enough to get there. In the third instance he clearly did not commit to a fast downhill run. If he cannot get there that is fine, but he needs to realize this and play more over the top rather than trying to make impact plays. When he does this but cannot get there, he is just taking a linebacker out of the play in most cases
...we cut the film off after the first half and they did finish the game with 4 and 3 tackles respectively, but Williams and Paysinger are simply not showing up enough. I am tired of giving out decent grades on the grade sheet for being in the right place or doing your job. Linebackers need to be playmakers (Rich: This is something Andy has warned all season long and even in the past as Giants have been successful on their runs---you NEED playmaking LBs in the NFL, especially now with the influx of talented "fleet of foot" quarterbacks) on the defense, and when a game goes as this one did, they need to lead by example. Just not good enough.
...the Rice touchdown on Baltimore's final drive of the half is 100% on Boley. Boley is man on Rice here. Granted, not an easy task but his technique is what gets him beat for six. He needs to play this inside out, meaning he should be inside of Rice denying entry to the middle of the field. It is much easier to react if Rice turns this into a slide or wheel route, but Boley gets beat on the Texas route which turns into a 30-yard touch. Can't happen.
...the effort in the last few weeks has been awful. There were two big plays in the second quarter by Boldin and Smith that should have gone for small gains.Boley and Blackburn were both culprits. Big yards after the catch happen when guys assume that someone else is going to make a play.
OVERALL COMBINED GRADE (26 PLAYS): "-13"
J. WILLIAMS: -1
BOLEY: - 4