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  • Film Study: What happened on the Packers’ four touchdowns?
    by Chris Pflum on December 6, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports Could letting Jackrabbit travel with Adams have prevented them? We have been hearing signs that the New York Giants veterans are growing frustrated as they drop game after game. After the Giants’ loss to the Green Bay Packers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins expressed frustrations with how he is being used. In particular that the Giants are playing “sides,” and that he isn’t being allowed to travel with the opposing offense’s best receiver. Does Jenkins stay to one side? Well, looking at the data from NFL’s Next Gen Stats, which tracks players’ precise position on the field, that’s true. He predominantly plays the offensive right and had very few snaps lining up on the offensive left side of the field. Re: this quote via @DarrylSlater https://t.co/1p7708JNeX…Here's Janoris Jenkins' pre-snap heat maps today (left) and this season (right), via @NextGenStats. pic.twitter.com/PBaJFkG2nA— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) December 1, 2019 That does make it easier for offenses to find and avoid him in matchups, as well as create matchups with the Giants’ young corners. But that’s only half of the question. The other question in need of answering is whether or not having Jenkins travel with the other team’s best receiver (in this case Davante Adams) would have prevented some big plays. Let’s take a look at each of Green Bay’s four touchdowns and see just what happened and why. Touchdown one - Rodgers to Adams 1st quarter (8:49), Second-and-8, NYG 8-yard line This play almost looks as though it comes from a different game than the touchdowns that will follow, but it just happened before the cold rain changed over into snow. The Giants line up with three down lineman, but it is essentially a 5-2 front with their base personnel. They respond to the Packers’ condensed formation with a tight formation of their own. Jenkins does travel, lining up over the slot on the offensive left. The Giants are showing a Cover 3 shell, with Antoine Bethea as the deep safety while DeAndre Baker and Julian Love man the zones to the offensive left and right, respectively. Starting underneath, Jenkins picks up running back Jamaal Williams in the shallow flat. From there the Packers get tricky. They run what appears to be a tosser concept — two parallel slant routes — with Allen Lazard and Devante Adams out of the bunch set on the offensive left. But it is mated with a crossing route from Marcedes Lewis on the offensive right, which effectively creates a mesh concept between Lazard and Lewis. The three-player combination causes the Giants to concentrate on Lazard and Lewis, with each player being double teamed while Adams is able to find the void in the Giants’ coverage. He sets up just short of the end zone, and Bethea isn’t able to get there in time to stop him crossing the goal line. We could blame Bethea for not coming down to pick up Adams sooner, or to Alec Ogletree for not passing Lewis off to Mayo, but the Packers do a great job of getting him lost in traffic. Its probably better to just appreciate a play that is well designed and well executed. Touchdown two - Rodgers to Lazard 1st quarter (1:23), Second-and-1, NYG 37 Next we come to the Packers’ second touchdown, and one we already looked at in our rundown of the biggest plays from the game. It is always interesting to see what the All-22 tape reveals, and here we can see the explanation for Antoine Bethea’s seemingly inexplicable breakdown in coverage. The Giants show a Cover 4 shell before the snap, and that is what they stay in throughout the play. Jenkins is once again lined up on the defensive left (offensive right), over Devante Adams. He stays in tight coverage throughout the rep, not biting on Adams’ double move and carrying the route down the field. The Giants’ coverage underneath is solid as well, with Alec Ogletree passing Geronemo Allison off to Julian Love, who stays with him well. David Mayo picks up Jimmy Graham as he runs across the field at the line of scrimmage. That just leaves Bethea and Lazard. At the time — and shortly after the game — we wondered why Bethea flipped his hips to the defensive left while Lazard broke to the (defensive) right. With the All-22 we can see a subtle step to the (offensive) right, just before Lazard bends route to the middle of the field. It isn’t enough to be called a double move, but Bethea bites on the fake, flipping his hips to get into coverage on a corner route that never materialized. That brief mistake was enough to create all the separation Rodgers needed to put the ball in Lazard’s hands for the touchdown. Touchdown three - Rodgers to Adams 4th quarter (14:29), Third-and-17, NYG 17 There isn’t much to say about this play. The Giants are confused and disorganized at the snap, caught with 12 men on the field. The Packers took advantage by getting to the line and getting their play off quickly. Even if they hadn’t scored the touchdown, the Giants would have given up free yardage and extended the Packers’ drive through the penalty. There also seems to be confusion in the secondary as to what coverage they are playing. At the snap, we see Sam Beal, Antoine Bethea, and Janoris Jenkins retreat into the deep zones of a Cover 3 look. Jenkins and Bethea drop into their zones well, as does Beal — though he gets turned around and takes his eyes completely away from the play. Meanwhile, rookie corner-turned-safety Julian Love becomes the hook defender on the offensive right, but Grant Haley gets in man coverage on Allen Lazard, who is lined up in the slot to the left. By staying in man coverage and carrying Lazard up the seam, a conflict is created, preventing Bethea from getting to Adams and disrupting the pass. Likewise, with Beal’s back turned, he can’t attempt to close on the ball and make a play from behind. The result is a fairly easy touchdown catch for the Packers to cap a long drive which started about halfway through the third quarter. Touchdown four - Rodgers to Lewis 4th quarter (7:11), Second-and-1, NYG 1 For our final play we see a good use of play-action by the Packers and a good play by Rodgers. Green Bay lines up in 11 personnel, with three receivers in a bunch to the right and Rodgers under center. The Giants show heavy pressure with eight players on the line of scrimmage. The Giant are running a Cover 0 blitz, with Jenkins, Haley, Baker, and Deone Bucannon in man coverage. Bucannon appears to have a “Green Dog” blitz on Marcedes Lewis — that is, whether he blitzes or plays coverage is determined by whether Lewis blocks or releases into coverage. Lewis initially blocks, as the Packers want to sell the run, but then releases into a route. Bucannon is almost fooled, but manages to get turned and into coverage on the tight end — getting away with a hold in the process. Meanwhile, back behind the line of scrimmage, several Giants have a shot at getting the sack on Rodgers. Lorenzo Carter is the closest but gives up outside contain and can’t bring Rodgers down. Dexter Lawrence, Bethea, and Markus Golden are all in the backfield as well, but none are close enough to make a play on Rodgers before he is able to get the pass off. Unfortunately, Bucannon wasn’t able to stay in tight enough coverage and Rodgers puts the ball out in front of Lewis, where only the tight end can get to it. He makes the catch just over the goal line for the touchdown. Final thoughts So, would letting Jackrabbit travel with Davante Adams have prevented some of the Packers’ touchdowns? Perhaps. But also perhaps not. The first touchdown to Adams was a very well schemed and well executed play. Given the coverage that was called, Jenkins wouldn’t have picked Adams up and the Packers did a great job of getting him lost in coverage. It probably wouldn’t have mattered on Adams’ second touchdown either. Had Jenkins been on the opposite side of the field, he would have had Adams in zone coverage, but he would have had to pass him off to Bethea. Perhaps he would have had better awareness than Baker and been able to close and make a play on the ball. But even then, the conflict created by Haley carrying Lazard would have made that difficult even if Jenkins were there. Was Jenkins right in that he should be allowed to travel with the best receiver? Maybe, but that might also make things more confusing for the rookies in the secondary. The inexperience of Baker, Ballentine, Beal, and Love give the Giants a tight line to walk in the secondary. But at this point in the season, it might also be worth a try.

  • Giants news, 12/6: Saquon Barkley — “awesome” for Eli Manning to play again
    by Ed Valentine on December 6, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Let’s get to your Friday headlines Good morning, New York Giants fans! Saquon Barkley looking forward to playing with Eli No knock on Daniel Jones intended, but Barkley on Thursday sounded like he’s happy Eli Manning is getting another opportunity to play. “Eli, he’s a legend. He’s a Hall of Famer. He just sees the field so well. He understands the game so well, he’s been doing it for a very long time and it’s what you expect from El,” Barkley said. “Obviously, I love the way he handled the situation when D.J. (Daniel Jones) ended up being the starting quarterback, the way he operated in practice, the way he operated in the building was the same Eli that we know. So, good to see him come out this week and get a chance. It’s going to be awesome for him.” Can Manning’s experience help the struggling offense? “I don’t think it just helps me, I think it just helps the team, helps the offense. They’re both great quarterbacks and I’m not here to compare and contrast Eli versus D.J., they’re two different style quarterbacks, one has been doing it for a very long time, one is in his first year,” Barkley said. “But Eli, like I said, like you said, he’s seen every defense, so it’s like second hand to him. He’s going to be able to help put us in positions to succeed, and I think D.J. has been doing a great job of that, too. So, like I said, I’m just happy for Eli to get an opportunity.” More headlines Disappointed by Giants’ DeAndre Baker’s rookie year? He’s not — and he promises he’ll become an elite cornerback: ‘I know it’ - nj.com Baker’s play hasn’t come close to justifying the Giants’ decision to give up the 132nd and 142nd picks in the draft to move up from No. 37 to No. 30 to get him in the draft. His belief in himself, though, doesn’t seem to be shaken. “I know what I can do,” he said. Baker is hardly the first rookie cornerback to struggle. He said Thursday he is just trying to get better. “I’m not content,” he said of his rookie season. “There’s things I could’ve done better. But I ain’t disappointed at all. It’s kind of like: All right, this is what I need to do. “I don’t ever see criticism or nothing like that, so I can’t really talk about it. I don’t be on Twitter, so I wouldn’t know what they’re saying. That’s probably a good thing.” Sam Darnold has some advice for Giants’ Daniel Jones The Jets’ second-year quarterback says he learned some things a year ago from sitting and watching veteran Josh McCown play. “I’m sure he knows what to do ’cause he’s a smart kid. He’s doing all the right things so far,” Darnold said on Thursday. “What I would do if I were him, just learn from Eli. That’s what I did last year. I learned from Josh a ton during that time when I was out, so that would be the advice I give him.” Odell Beckham Jr. vague about being with the Browns next year: ‘What does the future hold? I don’t know' - cleveland.com Just in case you are still interested in the adventures of the former Giants star. He certainly doesn’t sound committed to staying with the Cleveland Browns. "What the does the future hold? I don’t know,'' Beckham said. "No one knows what the future holds tomorrow,'' he added. "I couldn’t tell you. My locker is right next to one of the people that mean the most to me in the world (Jarvis Landry). I think about coming to work and seeing him every single day and how special this could be, so I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here. This is exactly where I’m at right now, and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.'' BBV Mailbag Have questions about the Giants? E-mail them to bigblueview@gmail.com, and the best ones will be answered in an upcoming mailbag. BBV Podcast You can find and subscribe to Big Blue View radio from the show’s home page. You can find all the shows on our Big Blue View Radio Hub Page. You can also find the shows and subscribe on all your favorite podcast apps: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Pocket Casts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS

  • Thursday Night Football, Week 14: How to watch Cowboys-Bears
    by Joe DeLeone on December 6, 2019 at 12:00 am

    Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Both teams are fighting for a playoff spot in primetime Dallas Cowboys (6-6) at Chicago Bears (6-6) Game time: 8:20 p.m. ET Where: Soldier Field Referee: Brad Rodgers TV Channel: Fox, NFL Network Live Stream: Twitch, Amazon Prime Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink Radio: Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli SIRIUS: 81 (Dal), 83 (Chi) | XM: 225 (Dal), 226 (Chi) Odds: Cowboys -3 SB Nation websites: Bears: Windy City Gridiron | Cowboys: Blogging the Boys The Dallas Cowboys are one the most under performing teams in the NFL, but they are managing to stay afloat because of the weak teams in the NFC East. Head coach Jason Garrett’s job is in question, with only a .500 record and a recent loss to the Buffalo Bills 26-15. Despite having so many high paid stars like Ezekiel Elliott and Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys have failed to beat the top tier teams in the league Similar to the Cowboys, the Bears failed to meet high expectations in 2019. Chicago took a step back since making the playoffs last season and winning the NFC North. They are currently riding a two game winning streak, and most recently they beat the Detroit Lions 24-20 on Thanksgiving. Third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is the one receiving most of the blame for the underwhelming season, specifically because of Chicago’s lack of offensive production.

  • Doug Pederson praises Eli Manning’s impact to the Giants
    by Joe DeLeone on December 5, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports The Eagles head coach spoke highly of Manning’s abilities Many people were caught off guard this week when news broke that Eli Manning would be starting Monday for the New York Giants. Daniel Jones’s ankle injury doesn’t just alter preparation for Giants coach Pat Shurmur. It also has an impact on Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. With the longtime face of the franchise returning to start, a lot is up in the air of how the offense will look differently on Monday night. According to Pederson, he doesn’t think the Giants offense will return to its former ways. “I don’t think it goes back to the old way at all,” said Pederson, “I think it’s something that Eli has probably sat and watched and observed and he’s going to use that to his advantage.” Manning was benched after two games in 2019 in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Despite the circumstance, Pederson believes Manning will provide a spark to the 2-10 Giants. “I think that’s just going to help — not only help him, but it’s going to help sort of jazz up the football team and kind of motivate the football team.” Overall this season, a reoccurring theme has been a lack of protection from the offensive line. During his brief two-game stretch, Manning was only sacked two times. Since then in the last 10 games, the offensive line has allowed over three a game. Pederson attributed that to Manning getting the ball out quickly. “He does a great job ... of just getting the ball out of his hands, not taking the unwanted sack, distributing the football,” said Pederson, “He understands the offense and where everybody’s at, that’s been his strength, and then taking the shot when it presents itself.” Pederson is also very familiar with Eli’s situation this season, as he spent 10 years in the NFL as a backup quarterback. He acknowledged it’s not easy stepping in to play after taking so many games off, but if anyone can do it, it would be Manning. “With a guy like Eli, you’re not going to surprise him, you’re not going to show him something he hasn’t already seen. He’s played a bunch of football in his career, but I think having a different set of eyes seeing the game a little bit differently is definitely going to help him.”

  • Giants at Eagles 2019, Week 14: Everything you need to know about Monday Night Football
    by Ed Valentine on December 5, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images Complete pre-game, in-game, post-game coverage A play-out-the-string at the end of a lost season game on Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles has certainly gotten more intriguing with the news that Eli Manning will replace an injured Daniel Jones at quarterback for the New York Giants. Will Manning’s presence “jazz up” the Giants (Eagles coach Doug Perderson’s phrase) and lead them to an upset victory? Will Manning be rusty and get overwhelmed by the Eagles’ pass rush? A national audience will find out on Monday Night Football. Keep it right here as our easy-to-follow StoryStream will be updated throughout the week, right up to the post-game.

 

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