Cosell’s Watching the Wild Cards: Manning Made Giants Offense Go

Atlanta Falcons, From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Greg Cosell, Inside the Game, New York Giants

NFL Matchup’s Executive Producer shares notes from his study of Wild Card Weekend coaching tape: Giants offense vs. Falcons defense.

  • Boothe started at LG for the 3rd consecutive game, TE Ballard back as full time player
  • Grimes was inactive for the Falcons, Franks replaced him at LCB – Owens was the 3rd corner, He played outside with Franks moved inside over the slot
  • Tackles Diehl and McKenzie can be liabilities at times in individual pass protection, Manning tremendous job this season compensating for breakdowns with his much improved pocket movement

  • Sanders replaced injured Moore at safety in the 1stquarter

    Ahmad Bradshaw stiff arms Thomas DeCoud (AP)

  • RT McKenzie struggled in this game, especially in pass protection; He looked slow with his lateral footwork
  • Giants again snaps with 6 OL, Ugoh was the 6th OL for the 4th consecutive week – Only played 3 snaps in this game
  • Giants always balanced with run and pass, regardless of how well or poorly they run the ball – Balance is a Coughlin staple
  • Bradshaw and Diehl did not work together well on Falcons zone blitz in the 2nd quarter; Diehl initially looked inside to blitzing LB Lofton so Bradshaw turned outside to blitzing slot corner Franks, Diehl then turned outside to Franks leaving Lofton unaccounted for
  • Jacobs 34 yds on 2nd quarter TD drive came out of “21” straight “I” formation, Guards Boothe and Snee pulled right to the strong side – “Counter” element to impact 2nd level
  • Nicks 4 yd TD was a great catch, Bailed out Manning’s inaccurate throw
  • As the game progressed the Giants gave help to OT Diehl and McKenzie in pass protection
  • Giants OL was inconsistent and erratic in the run game, Some well blocked plays but also some struggles
  • Manning always willing to make stick throws into tight windows, Nicks 19 yds on 3rd + 8 on 3rd quarter FG drive was a very accurate throw with not much room – Ballard and Ware chip element to help OT Diehl and McKenzie
  • Cruz 22 yds on 3rd + 12 on 3rd quarter FG drive was great play by both Cruz and Manning: Cruz from the slot uncovered versus Franks locked in man coverage and Manning again outstanding pocket movement
  • Chip or nudge element to help Diehl and McKenzie became important part of Giants offense as the game progressed, primarily on deeper drops by Manning that required more time in the pocket
  • Beckum not a significant part of Giants game plan, I don’t think he played 10 snaps

    Hakeem Nicks runs into the end zone to score on a 72 yd TD pass (AP)

  • Giants run game most effective with dual double teams at the point of attack
  • Falcons again almost all zone coverage concepts as their foundation, They did play snaps of “cover 2” in which they locked the slot receivers man-to-man but that’s a common element of “cover 2”
  • Nicks 72 yd TD came against “cover 2” with both slots locked in man coverage, It’s a poor play call on 3rd + 3 – Falcons had showed that coverage earlier in the game, Giants play call clearly indicated they anticipated the coverage; Quickly defined throw compensated for McKenzie getting beat in pass protection
  • Falcons not a challenging defense either in terms of pressure or coverage, Not a difficult defense tactically to play against
  • Giants 8-15 on 3rd down conversions, Too many easy throws for Manning on 3rd down
  • Jacobs 9 yds on 4th quarter TD drive same run that produced 34 yds in 2nd quarter
  • Manningham 27 yd TD was Manning’s third read based on the Falcons coverage, A great example of where Manning is in his development – Big time throw with limited space in the end zone
  • Giants methodical and balanced offensive performance, A commitment to run plus Manning making some outstanding throws
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