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Posted: 12/10/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
embarrassing loss Another week and the New York Giants have managed to let another winnable game slip through their fingers. The Giants are once again in the basement of the NFC East after dropping a divisional game to the Dallas Cowboys. The good news is that they are only a game behind the rest of the division Youth Kerry Wynn Jersey , but the bad news is that the way they lost looked entirely too familiar.The team might have shown some promise in their Week 1 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. At first blush, that promise evaporated in the week since, but let’s take a look at some of the deeper stats and see what we can learn.Offense The Giants dominated the time of possession on offense, outsnapping the Cowboys offense 68 to 53. However, that overwhelming advantage in plays run didn’t translate into much, as most of the Giants’ offensive efforts were an exercise in futility. Eli Manning had an efficient night, completing 33-of-44 attempts (75 percent) and scoring a touchdown. However, a closer look at his passing chart shows just how conservative the Giants’ offense was. Manning was nearly perfect on passes inside of ten yards, completing 17 of 18 attempts, a number which ballooned to 28 of 31 when we include passes behind the line of scrimmage. But while the West Coast ethos of “you don’t go broke making a profit” rings true in general, the Giants only rarely seemed to threaten the Cowboys deep. Shurmur’s offense is designed to use vertical elements to clear out coverage underneath, and Manning has always thrived when the has the option to attack a defense deep. The Giants’ game-plan appeared to have neither, and was far too easily boxed in by Dallas’ base defense of man coverage under a Cover 2 shell. This defensive scheme is nothing new for the Giants as they faced it consistently since 2016, and was exactly the reason why Jerry Reese drafted Evan Engram. The hybrid tight end played 60 snaps (88 percent), and his ability against 2-Man coverage was on display against Dallas, when he was used. Engram finished a perfect 7 receptions on 7 targets for 67 yards and a touchdown Sunday night, averaging an absurd 6.64 yards of separation per Next Gen Stats. However, of those 7 receptions, only one was run more than 5 yards down the field, his touchdown. It is also important to note that four of Engram’s receptions came after the Giants had fallen behind 20-3.Saquon Barkley, who played 58 snaps (85 percent) was the Giants’ most prolific receiver, catching 14 of 16 targets (not typos) for 80 yards. But he, too, rarely went down the field, catching 9 of his 14 receptions behind the line of scrimmage. Barkley also carried the ball 11 times, gaining just 28 yards. The Giants did send Odell Beckham Jr. — who played 66 of 68 snaps — down the field, having him run more than 10 yards on 6 of his 9 targets. Unfortunately, he only caught 4 of those 9 targets for 51 yards.Beyond those players, there was a sharp delineation in the players who were in the Giants’ gameplan and those who weren’t. Other than the starting offensive line Curtis Riley Jersey , only six Giants played more than 65 percent of the Giants’ snaps, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Sterling Shepard, Cody Latimer, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley. Rhett Ellison only played 24 snaps, Wayne Gallman and Jonathan Stewart each played 5 snaps, WR Russell Shepard played six snaps, FB Shane Smith played 4 snaps, and TE Scott Simonson played three snaps. For an offense that promised to use — if not feature — aggression down the field and a robust personnel rotation based in a 12-personnel alignment, the Giants’ offense against the Dallas Cowboys resembled nothing so much as the Giants under Ben McAdoo, and performed similarly. DefenseThe Giants’ defense only played 53 snaps, giving up just 20 points for the second week in a row. The defense was lead by Landon Collins, Janoris Jenkins, and Alec Ogletree who each played all of the defensive snaps. They each also notched six total tackles. The defensive line was lead by Dalvin Tomlinson, who played 39 snaps, and Damon Harrison who played 34. Rounding out the front seven were EDGE players Kareem Martin, who played 47 snaps, and Connor Barwin, who played 36 snaps. The Giants mounted no effective pass rush, and Tomlinson was the team’s most effective rusher, and was the only one to approach the league’s average distance from the QB across all his pass rush snaps. Third round rookies B.J. Hill and Lorenzo Carter only played 22 and 21 snaps, respectively. Given the ineffectiveness of the Giants’ pass rush, James Bettcher will want to incorporate the athletic rookies more in future games. Eli Apple played 33 snaps before leaving the game with a groin injury. That could prove to be a costly injury going forward, as Apple was having a bounce-back season and has been excellent in coverage through the first two games. He was replaced by B.W. Webb, who played a total of 41 snaps, and Donte Deayon who played 13 snaps in the slot, notching a pass defensed in that time. The team appeared to spend most of their time in a heavy nickel package, with four down linemen and linebackers B.J. Goodson and Ray-Ray Armstrong splitting time next to Ogletree. Goodson played 30 snaps while Armstrong played the remaining 23. The Giants’ defense got off to a rough start Nate Solder Jersey , giving up 10 points in Dallas’ first two drives. However, for the second week in a row they settled down and managed to do enough for the team to win. The lack of a pass rush will be a problem going forward, and the Giants need to figure out a solution independent of Olivier Vernon. The injured EDGE player might not be back for next week’s match-up against the Houston Texans, and having only one viable pass rusher is not a tenable situation. Neither Martin, Wynn, nor Barwin have the speed to scare offenses. Perhaps the team will need to actively look to incorporate Carter and find situations for him to unleash his athleticism. The team showed some promising things in the first week of the season, but rather than building on them, managed to regress in nearly all areas in Week 2. The New York Giants lost on Monday night to the Atlanta Falcons, 23-20, are once again 1-6, and are closing in on having the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. There was plenty we already knew about the 2018 Giants that was confirmed in this mess of a Monday night game:The third iteration of the rebuilt offenisve line is bad. The Giants have all the firepower they can ask for in Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley. They are also utterly incapable of consistently putting it to use. The Giants’ defense is flawed, but tries hard and shouldn’t be blamed for their losing record.However, there were some things that we learned.Eli can still throw down the fieldThe Giants signaled that they were going to be aggressive with their receivers when the first pass of the game was a 10-yard play to Beckham. The Giants were cautious in their use of Saquon Barkley, but finally showed a willingness to challenge a poor secondary with Beckham and Sterling Shepard. Manning completed 71 percent of his passes, finishing with 399 yards passing and a yards per attempt of 10.5, his highest of the season. While the Giants did get good runs after the catch from both Beckham and Shepard, Manning also looked down the field far more than he had against the Eagles. Eli’s game was far from perfect, but it was nice to see him threaten a defense down the field, even in the face of pressure — Something the Giants largely have not done this season. We won’t know whether or not the Giants can sustain I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Eli Manning just looks like a different quarterback when he has the option to attack a defense, rather than just take what it gives him.The Giants can’t play in the red zoneFor all the Giants’ offensive firepower, it shouldn’t really surprise that they are utterly inept in the red zone. The short field that comes with play in the red zone has a bunch of effects on the game. Everything is sped up because offenses simply can’t stretch defenses out they way can between the 20s. Secondaries don’t have to cover as much space, receivers don’t have as much space in which to work, and passing windows are smaller. The red zone is the area of the field in which all the little problems elsewhere on the field rear their heads at once, and the Giants have plenty of them. Slight miscommunications are magnified and being just off-target becomes wildly inaccurate. And small lapses in blocking can become drive-killing mistakes. The Giants routinely do all of these on offense, and it shows in Red Zone play which is just bad. It isn’t as simple as just having a big receiver — Both Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham are capable of playing far larger than they measure thanks to their quickness and 40-inch vertical leaps. Evan Engram was a premier red zone threat in 2017, but he isn’t used in the same way in this offense.The Giants’ offensive line can’t hold up or create any kind of room for Barkley to run the ball. Poor play calls and miscommunications waste opportunities. The Giants have a lot of little (and some very big) problems which compound and magnify each other Authentic Sterling Shepard Jersey , and need to be solved individually before they will have consistent success in the Red Zone.The pass rush might have some lifeThe Giants came in to Monday night with the worst pass rush in the NFL. Granted it was against an offensive line that has done about as good a job of In Olivier Vernon’s second game back, the Giants’ pass rush finally started to show some life.With Olivier Vernon giving the Falcons’ offensive line a legitimate pass rush threat to worry about, the Giants’ other rushers began to find some success, with Kerry Wynn, Lorenzo Carter, Mario Edwards (negated by a defensive holding penalty), all getting to Ryan. James Bettcher also mixed in plenty of schemed pressure with some aggressive blitz calls, which forced Matt Ryan to speed up his process. For the third time this season the Giants’ defense did enough for the team to win. They held an offense which had averaged nearly 30 points a game to 23, and gave the offense opportunity after opportunity to win the game. And once again, the Giants’ offense failed to capitalize. It remains to be seen if the Giants can repeat the defensive feat against the Washington Redskins’ talented offensive line, but for now it was good to see.Pat Shurmur’s bad decisions continueGiants’ head coach Pat Shurmur has made curious, or downright bad, decisions throughout the season.There was consternation regarding Shurmur’s decision to go for 2 points on the team’s first touchdown. That call made sense from a math perspective — best case, the next score would be for the win, worst case it was still a one score game. The move also signaled to his team that he IS trying to win the game, something that his offensive scheme hasn’t always indicated. THAT decision wound up being moot, as the team scored another touchdown and completed a second 2-point conversion attempt. MUCH more egregious, Shurmur called a pair of quarterback sneaks in the final minute with the Giants out of time outs and desperately trying to mount a comeback. Manning took advantage of a bad Falcons offense to get the Giants in scoring position in a flash. But with no timeouts remaining, the Giants had to score, and quickly. Failing that, they needed to get the clock stopped. Instead, the Giants ran a pair of quarterback sneaks with an offensive line that had been utterly dominated all game long. This is on top of the schematic decision to not use Saquon Barkley as a downfield passing threat. Barkley was targeted plenty, 10 times, catching 9. But on those targets, he only got 51 yards, with a long of 14. Shurmur flatly refused to send Barkley down the field in a game where Sterling Shepard had 167 receiving yards and Odell Beckham 143 and a touchdown.
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