NE- Still a force to be reckoned with. Still have Supe Dreams.
MIA- I will give credit where credit is due. Exceeded expectations. Tannehill can be a QB for the future.
NYJ- Blow'em up and start all over. Neither QB is the answer.
BUF- Whoever gave Ryan Fitzpatrick $60M should have their head examined.
CIN- Marvin Lewis is 1-10 at home vs Pitt, need I say more?!
BAL- O how the mighty have fallen. Ravens defense no longer to be feared.
PIT- Until proven otherwise, I will not give up on Big Ben.
CLE- Xmas for Browns fans- Holmgren is leaving!
IND- What a bright future with Mr. Luck.
JAX- Should request entry into the Arena League.
HOU- The best of the AFC, but that ain't sayin a lot.
TEN- The epitome of mediocrity
SD- Was Phillip Rivers really one of the best QBs in football?
DEN- Not as good as they look sometimes, not as bad as they look sometimes.
OAK- Would anybody give up a 3rd round pick for noodle-armed Carson Palmer now?
KC- Are they still in the NFL?
DAL- Watching Dallas at the end of a game is like playing roulette.
PHL- Andy Reid is not taking care of Michael Vick.
NYG- If the Giants decide that they want to play like they did vs the 49ers, nobody will beat them.
WAS- REPEAT: Look out world, here comes RGIII and the Skins for the next 15 years.
MIN- Hard to believe that the Vikings are 5-2 with Christian Ponder, but he's playing ok.
GB- Lookout world, here comes Discount Double Check.
CHI- I almost feel bad for Chicago, competing w Aaron Rodgers for the next 10 yrs.
DET- Unfortunately Schwartz has lost control of the team.
NO- Brees just sued the NFL for non-support.
ATL- Can they win in January?
CAR- Ron Rivera is ruining Cam Newton.
TB- Despite what Schiano did to the Giants, I do like him long term.
AZ- Water seeks its own level. And so go the AZ Cardinals.
SF- Alex Smith is once again Alex Smith.
SEA- Love where they are headed, wish they had given Matt Flynn a chance.
STL- Fisher will last. Can Bradford take the pounding?
NE- Still a force to be reckoned with. Still have Supe Dreams.
I heard that Osi said after the game was over that RGIII is the best QB they have faced so far in 2012.. that it is hard for him and his teammates to believe that he is a rookie. Scary. Make no mistake, if I am the Redskins coaches and management, I tell this young kid to run less so that he can play more. Because the greatest enemy to RGIII is RGIII. He is going to be a nightmare for the NFC East and the rest of the NFL, for that matter. We heard on the broadcast that he swore to his parents and others after the concussion that he was going to run out of bounds more to take care of himself. Yes, RGIII truly needs to stay in the pocket more and not ruin his immense talent. That is the only way he screws his future up. When you look at what Michael Vick does, scrambling too often, getting popped regularly, wearing the flak jacket and putting the ball on the ground seemingly every game, you know that Vick giveth and taketh away. Today this rookie named RGIII was a menace to the Giants and he will menace us for quite some time... as long as he maintains his health.
Okay, when I am wrong, I admit it. I am wrong. I said no single player is worth that many draft picks. But the Skins paid a ton for RGIII and he is worth every penny. I knew there was going to obviously be huge upside for the player, but to see this rookie playing the way he is at such an early part of his career is incredible. RGIII is off the charts good. He did what he did after losing Fred Davis, their best passing threat. And he hit Moss for the dagger win on a perfectly thrown ball, a clutch play demonstrating incredible poise and character.
Given what I see about RGIII, I have this advice for the Giants players and coaches: WIN NOW. WIN IMMEDIATELY IN 2012. Because this kid is going to be wrecking ball for everyone else in the NFC East. I simply cannot imagine what he is going to look like with experience. Frightening. As was stated in the previous post, the Giants have more than enough to win this year. Eli. Nicks, Cruz, Bennett, Bradshaw, Bennett, an OL giving great protection and improving run blocking, Nascar all with a sack, a solid LBer corps when healthy. Young emerging talent in the secondary. Wilson and some vastly improved special teams.
Considering that RGIII is going to be around for a good long time, I have advice for Jerry Reese: Do whatever you can do that is humanly possible to get the NY Giants as fast a LBer as there is out there. We have seen the future, and his name is RGIII. We must have the chess pieces to play chess vs this guy. The Von Millers and Daryl Washingtons will not be able to chase down RGIII by themselves, but at least they can do it together with their teammates. Chase Blackburn is an overachiever who created the last fumble and led the team in tackles, but he is outmatched and needs to be upgraded. He is a day late and a dollar short. The three leading tacklers for the Giants were 3 LBers. But that is because the Skins went right at these guys and AVERAGED 6.5 yards per carry. Even without RGIII (which is no small exception), the Giants allowed 5.5 yards per carry. The NFC East is sending a message- get better, get significantly better or be left behind.
Some sidenotes: (a) Bennett made a couple of huge grabs. He is improving before our eyes and made catches today that he dropped in Week 1. (b) Amukamara's off-coverage has hurt the Giants. He gives up too much space at the snap. Barring a goal line situation where he had no choice, he cost the team on a 3rd down in the red zone and on a 4th and 3 conversion because of this. Elite Round 1 CBs fight on every snap. Big off coverage (>3 yards) is passive, a concession, an admission of weakness. Either you attack in this league or you get attacked. (c) I really like Andre Brown in short yardage.
The Redskins outgained the Giants today 480 to 393. And that tab included the 77 yard bomb at the end of the game! Thank goodness for those 4 Redskin turnovers. Thank goodness for those 7 Redskin penalties. The Giants whistled past the graveyard this afternoon.
We know that Eli had a lapse, and that he is money. Yes, it is alarming that the lapse we saw vs Philly (end zone pick) was eerily familiar to today's 2 picks. But we know that Manning in Q4 is unstoppable. He is the least of our problems. Fewell and the coaches have to figure out how to scheme this Redskin run game better. The Giants simply cannot allow them to rush for 248 yards and expect to win.
It was really interesting to see JPP give RGIII one hell of an open field matchup. On one play RGIII was sacked by JPP for a 12 yard loss. On the other, in Q4 on 4th down and 10, RGIII took JPP to school and got the conversion on a pass to a 3rd string TE. JPP and RGIII are two gladiators out there, the most elite of the NFL's athletes. I believed before each one was drafted that they were feast or famine (injuries via QB position, still always a possibility), and that you could not place that much relative value on any one pick. I was dead wrong. Only one team wins the title, so you better get these freak athletes where and when you can in order to remain competitive in this league. You bust with a famine Reggie Bush, c'est la vie. But when you hit on a freakish athlete, you win a Super Bowl. Or more. Gamble on the feast/famine. Because there is only one winner and 31 losers. And the 1 winner is going to have the player that they reached for.no comments
What a thrilling game. Of course, my heart did not need it to be that thrilling. But the Giants like to make things interesting. A thorough recap of the game is practically impossible, given all of the craziness that took place seemingly every possession. Each team missed so many opportunities to wrest control of the game away from the other. It was only fitting that, at the end, we would see two lead changes inside of 19 seconds of play.
After RGIII hit Moss for what every Redskin fan felt was the dagger TD, I tweeted: "Eli- u have stunk it today, time to bail yourself and the #nyg out here."
Bail us all out he did!
The 77 yard TD to Victor Cruz was sensational. Victor Cruz is sensational. Eli Manning's sloppy (at time horrendous) play cost Cruz at least one if not TWO other touchdowns earlier in this game. Add two INTs by Eli and I will say unequivocally that it was VICTOR CRUZ WHO BAILED US ALL OUT TODAY.
The Giants defense was a sieve. Two (or three?) huge penalties against the Redskins negated scoring opportunities, huge injuries, and huge turnovers exposed the Giants, without which they do not escape with a win. Indeed, the Giants defense was still exposed, especially the LBers. The defense missed a fast Jacquian Williams and a healthy (unhamstrung) Keith Rivers. With those two and 4 healthy legs, the Giants LBers are going to keep this RGIII offense more in check. Either way, it was a handful.
Win and move on. The Giants won and will move on. With a healthier set of LBers and Eli Manning making less boner passes, the Giants should be ok. One thing that is not okay is Victor Cruz. He is simply spectacular.no comments
Small Ball is shorter pass routes on 1st and 2nd down which help an OL and QB to get better rhythm and control on pass protection. Obviously it does not have to be done to the EXCLUSION of deeper routes. In fact, small ball helps compliment deeper routes because it puts you in 2nd and shorts and 3rd and shorts so that you CAN have the flexibility to go with bigger plays WITHOUT the defense knowing what is coming. Why the emphasis on small ball as opposed to just running the ball to set up these same situations? The answer is the rules changes (or lack of enforcement of holding inside the shoulders), which gives the OL an advantage over the DL, all else equal. This is why teams pass more these days than they used to.
Follow the progression:
1) Rules changes make it easier for OLmen to hold >
2) This protects QBs and incentivizes passing (which is what the NFL wants) >
3) Teams throw the ball more >
4) Defenses put extra emphasis on pass rush to disrupt the timing of the passing game >
5) OFFENSES must respond to (4) by mixing up pass plays with smaller stuff beyond the line (Slants, TE midscreens), and to the side of the line (flares, RB screens, intentional RB dumpoffs).
5a) This is why you see more draws being called today than in yesteryear. Since offenses are passing more, they are in shotgun and pass packages more often. So if you run the ball, you may as well run the (delayed) draw and take advantage of the DL blowing past the line of scrimmage so that your offense once again punishes the pass rush when the DL's ears are pinned back.
Separately, play action, although not small ball, has the same effect. It freezes the pass rush at the line of scrimmage, allowing the OL some respite from the marauding pass rush.
Before the beginning of the Philadelphia game, Eli is interviewed by the sideline reporter about what the Giants need to do to break the Eagles' success, and Eli responds that they need to avoid 2nd and longs & 3rd and longs... could it be any clearer how there is an acute need for small ball, especially against a team with aggressive pressure and pass rush?!
The offense was out of rhythm in the first 28 minutes of H1. Collinsworth remarked how his "worst fear" for the two offensive lines was them not being able to handle the pressure of both DLs. On the very first play from scrimmage, Gilbride makes a good playcall- he intentionally has Eli roll out of the pocket to buy him time. But here is where the failure occurs- it is Hixon on a comeback route and he cannot make the grab. I like Hixon on comeback routes better than vertical balls that he needs to go up and get. Hixon has better success with the former than the latter. Yet here is the the problem- this is not small ball. The QB designed roll out of the pocket is a good mixup on 3rd down when you absolutely need time and long/er distance. Using it 3-4X per game vs the Eagles is good, but on 1st down it is less valuable.
Another playcall is a deep post to the TE on 1st down, incomplete. Not small ball. Well, that one set up a 2nd and long. It turns out that the Giants converted it, but that is hiding the fact that it puts extra pressure on your OL to hold their blocks longer for the lengthier routes. What small ball does is it frustrates the pass rush because the mixed up duration of quicker releases makes it harder for DLinemen to pin their ears back. Gilbride calls a shovel pass, which happens to be incomplete... but it is behind the line of scrimmage and does nothing to help this. Better is to get the RB or TE slightly to the side or above the line of scrimmage.
This is not to imply that there were not any small ball playcalls during those 1st 28 minutes vs the Eagles. A classic was one of the rare RB screens that was thrown, done together with play action in Q2. The result? A 20 yard scamper by Ahmad Bradshaw. On the play, there are 7 DL+LBers at the line of scrimmage. But that pressure is negated by screen. The immediate effect was to slow down the pass rush on subsequent plays. On the very next play, as an example, Gilbride calls play action again and the protection is good enough for almost 5 full seconds of Eli back in the pocket and stepping up for a bomb to Hixon.
The mistake? Not using MORE of this sprinkled in during the game to give the Offense balance and the (Eagles) pass rush less venom.
In the second half, there is a simple and innocent slant/in by Victor Cruz for 4 yards. But Manning hits Cruz perfectly in stride and Cruz breaks a tackle. The next thing you know, there are 26 yards after the catch for a 30 yard pass play. High percentage, Eli is in shotgun w a 1-2 step backdrop, quick release, the pass rush is made irrelevant and AT WORST the Giants have a second and ~four. In this case, there was obviously much more, but the point is that the offense was in rhythm and the defense (rush) was kept off balance. Eli makes a big mistake on the ensuing play with an INT in the end zone, but you can easily see how small ball is going to set up and sustain drives.
Today the Giants face a Redskins defense that does not have the same pressure that the Eagles have. The Skins are in last place in the NFL vs the pass. But that statistic is misleading. The Redskins have been thrown at the most attempts this season, so the yardage is certainly there. On yards per pass attempt, the Redskins are not as bad, and in fact their number is 0.7 yds per attempt BETTER than the Giants defense. So get it out of your head that the Giants can just sit back and throw long every down. You still need small ball to set up the big pass plays. Make your long ball easier with small ball.no comments
RT Sean Locklear: -4 (-1 pass, -3 run)
RG Chris Snee: 3 (-1 pass, 4 run)
C David Baas: -1 (0 pass,-1 run)
LG Kevin Boothe: 5 (1 pass, 4 run)
LT Will Beatty: 2 (2 pass, 0 run)
...Kevin Boothe came in as the high scorer with a grade of 5 in what was easily his best effort of the season. The guard played a great game for the Giants especially considering he was often responsible for blocking Justin Smith in the run game. Snee recorded a 3 and just continues to pile up great game after great game. On track for another all-pro caliber season.
...good to see David Diehl back and Tom Coughlin said yesterday he is getting very close to full strength. Have to think when that happens he will get a shot at his RT spot. Sean Locklear he has played well at RT, especially in pass pro, but I have yet to see him get any real consistent push in run blocking.
…I understand that there are 1000s of “coulda/woulda/shoulda’s” in an NFL season but doesn’t it feel like the Giants coulda/woulda/shoulda hung 40 or so points on the 49ers in this game. Same feeling we got after last year’s divisional game at GB, when they also left a ton of points on the board.
…I have yet to see a LB this year, or in a while, make reads the way Navarro Bowman does. He is rarely fooled and it is so tough to get a piece of him at the second level. He never stays in one spot and is always in a position that makes it tough for OL to come up and make efficient block. The DL is also excellent at getting the OL out of position. They do the little things, like delivering the blow on the right half of the blocker so that they can control the gap and alter the play. I say this so you can really appreciate how good the Giants OL was in this one. Anything, even a stalemate (I’d say 149 yards is no stalemate), has to be considered a win when facing these guys.
…between Bowman/Willis in the middle and Brooks/Smith on the edges, this is clearly the best LB group in the league. It is the key to why their defense is so dangerous—THEY ARE ALMOST ALWAYS IN BASE. You can never get them to tip their hand because they pretty much always have the same personnel out there. Sometimes they send five, sometimes Brooks or Smith will drop or they will sometimes run a zone blitz. Only change they really do is take out NT and bring in extra DB. 2-4-5.
…as great as the OL has been in protecting Eli, and they have been great, a ton of the credit needs to go to him as well. He has done an excellent job of getting rid of the ball in less than three seconds nearly every time the Giants throw. Next time you are watching on TV and the Giants pass, see if you can ever count to “three-one thousand” from the snap to the time he gets rid of the ball. Won’t happen. This is probably why…..
…teams have been dead scared to blitz Eli this season and rightfully so. Once again just a handful of blitzes against Manning and a great job by Eli and the pass pro for keeping him clean on all but two passes in this one.
…the Giants rebounded in a BIG way after a somewhat shaky ending to the first half (although they did dodge a bullet with the missed FG). Wilson’s KOR followed by Bradshaw’s biggest run of the day set the tone for a physical half of ground football for the Giants.
…Martellus Bennett (although not graded by me) has shown flashes in run blocking. He has shown that he has the ability to go along with the size to make him a great run blocker. Problem is there are too many times where he completely blows an assignment or makes a mistake that compromises the play. Also Sean Locklear he has played well at RT, especially in pass pro, but I have yet to see him get any real consistent push in run blocking.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
…outstanding effort for the wide receivers once again. Although it was pretty clear Nicks wasn't 100%, this unit looked great while having Cruz, Hixon, and Nicks on the field at the same time. Hixon showed once again that he can be as constant a receiver their is in the league (when healthy). He does a great job coming back to Eli when his first and second read isn't there and made a few nice catches doing so against San Fran
...Cruz's route running is as good as it gets. It goes unnoticed but watch how quick Cruz's steps are, especially during he is making a cut. His ability to run precise routes allows for Eli to know exactly where he is at the field at all times and also gives Cruz some extra separation from his man (although he doesn't need much because of Eli's accuracy). Those are the reasons why Cruz is one of the most heavily targeted wide receivers in the league through six weeks (13 more this past Sunday).
...Bennett wasn't much of a factor in the passing game against the Niners (only two targets) but that seemed to be a part of the game plan. The Giants attacked the outside and established the run all game long. Bennett was asked to block a lot. He did a solid job getting off chip blocks when coming off the line and getting into his routes but he was frustrating once again in the run game. He seems to check out during some plays and gets a late start off the line (especially when the run isn't to his side). Don't think the coaches aren't taking notice of this. David Diehl was used as an extra blocker at several points in the game during running plays and Bear Pascoe seems to be more reliable, especially in "heavy" formations.
...sometimes doing only what is needed works better than trying to do what makes the big headlines. Eli Manning’s statistically unimpressive game against San Francisco is a case in point. While completing 54% of his passes for 193 yards, Eli executed the Giants’ schemes like a master, promoting success for his receivers and his backs. He did the little things that win games and avoided those that lose them.
...Eli is the past master of the play-action pass. His ability to keep selling the defense on the run and then cashing in on the pass has become one of his greatest strengths. That strength was in strong evidence against Cleveland in game five and conspicuous again against San Francisco. Look at what Eli does with 10:08 remaining in the second where he spreads just enough confusion to help Cruz get open for the TD. And he does this for Cruz again 12:58 left in the fourth.
...some say the play-action is a two edged sword. If that’s the case, both edges were sharply under Eli’s control and caused real carnage in the 49ers’ defense. Eli faked the run convincingly to open up the pass in the first parts of the game and had the SF defenders scratching their heads. Then, when he had conditioned them to suspect that every apparent run was a pass, he turned Bradshaw loose and San Francisco’s previously impermeable run defense, which had given up an average of 81 yards per game in the first five games, turned porous. Even when he did not choose play action, Eli’s composure and his ability to look one way, get the defenders to go that way and then pass to the opposite side are signs of a true master.
...the Giants played a lot of Cover 3, and almost exclusively in the second half. I'm not sure if it was to get an extra safety in the box, the fact that Blackburn has been exposed a little bit when asked to run with seam routes, or because of the ability of a guy like Vernon Davis to make plays down the middle of the field. Even when we did play some Cover 2 in the second half, Blackburn was not asked to run to the hole, and I thought he was much more confident with his run reads as a result of not having to worry about getting back there.
...Adrian Tracy impressed me with some limited snaps he played at linebacker. I am not responsible for him on the grade sheet because we technically have him listed as a DE, but I wouldnt mind seeing him lining up at backer a little more. Good to see one of our younger guys who had a rough start to his career running around and making plays.
...Blackburn gave me little reason to feel better about his ability to tackle in space, but he is outstanding between the tackles. Him and Boley both had exceptional games.
...Boley and Williams have gotten a majority of snaps this year in long yardage situations and Williams has been handling the lion's share of the blitzes that have come from the linebacker position. I have been less than impressed with his pass rush abilities, but we saw why he is valuable in this role on Sunday. When you want to bring man pressure and the quarterback breaks the pocket, everyone has their back turned to the ball leaving a lot of open space. Williams showed the ability to run down an athletic guy in Alex Smith on a 3rd down late in the game like not many linebackers in the league can and actually got credit for a sack on the play.
...Kiwanuka has done an admirable job making himself into a linebacker but I still believe his natural position in on the defensive line. He showed how versatile he really is with a sack from the DT position. The Giants are starting to realize this too as he only logged two snaps at LB.
...Rolle stepped up and played big. With a little guys in and out of the lineup, we need to get good, consistent player from our leaders, and Rolle delivered. He had great breaks and played different situations very well. My only concern is his susceptibility double-moves going forward after other teams see him drive on slants. (Rich's note: Rolle also coined the term "sugared" this week as in, "I sugared Smith into thinking it was Cover 1 but it really wasn't)
...Brown showed he can hang in there and play a full game. However, he does not play with the same aggression or sense of urgency as Phillips or Hill. I'd like to see him make better reads off the snap so he can either get off the hash into coverage, or get downhill and make a tackle. There were too many plays where he could have made a hit or help on a gang tackle where he did not insert himself. For the most part, though, he was solid.