TE/WR: Jurevicious, Winslow
DB: Holly, Jones
DL: R. Smith, S. Smith
I think Beau Bell is back, but didn’t see him on the field at all.
It’s amazing what getting close to the starting offensive line, and your #2 WR does for an offense. Tucker was incredible in pass protection, and he and Hadnot made running to the right side as effective as running left. Heiden was very effective in Winslow’s role, especially in blocking on running plays. Stallworth drew the attention of the defense. Despite an obscene amount of penalties, the offense looked very good. In addition, Cribbs was finally healthy, which allowed the offense to be a little more adventurous.
On the defensive side, the DB’s looked great in tackling WRs and made some very good reads. However, the team has a huge issue in guarding #3 receivers (Cousins can’t stay with anyone) which is why the Holly injury was enormous. In addition, the Browns better pray that Shaun Smith comes back, because his back-ups Lenard, Thomas, and Rubin (not a bad law firm name), were atrocious.
Also keep in mind that Eli is nowhere near the QB that Peyton is, despite what the announcers says. He’s an above average QB who has a tendency to throw off target passes, and not look off coverage (see Pools’, and Wright’s INTs.
This was a great game for Anderson, and an ideal opponent. The Giants like blitzing, and playing man to man behind it. Anderson has a good arm, and can read whether or not a guy is open in man coverage pretty well. I’m shocked that the Giants continued to blitz and play man coverage despite little or no success in doing it.
Lewis gets and deserves a lot of press for his running, but the real key to the passing game on Monday was Wright’s ability to pick up blitzes and Harrison’s hands out of the backfield.
Braylon played like he’s able. He dominated smaller DBs, and made the catches that he’s supposed to. Stallworth provided a decent 2nd threat, but more importantly, he’s actually a very good blocker. As mentioned above, Heiden blocked well, but isn’t the receiving threat that Winlsow is. Dinkins needs to be cut as soon as Rucker gets back. Yes he caught at TD, but he also dropped two catchable balls and isn’t a great blocker
This was a coming out party for the OL. They won this game hands down. They manhandled the Giants on running plays, and stopped just about every blitz in its tracks. It will be interesting to see what happens when Shaffer returns from injury (they obviously can’t replace Tucker, but I’m not sure if Shaffer is better than Hadnot). On Monday, Hadnot looked great. One other comment, Fraley is exceptional in getting downfield and making blocks. One knock on the team’s best lineman, Joe Thomas, is that if he hustled more on Harrison’s reverse, it would have been a TD. That’s nitpicking, but there weren’t a lot of flaws with this group.
This is an enormous problem. Williams and Rodgers played well, but the aforementioned law firm of Lenard, Thomas and Rubin were horrible. Routinely they were getting blocked at least 5 yards down field. Granted were talking about 3 guys that shouldn’t be playing more than a combined 10 snaps a game. This is the teams 5th, 6th, and 7th DL. Normally, 3-4 teams only carry 6 guys. Their background, if you’re not aware is: a guy that was cut from the Rams (Lenard), a 7th round draft pick this year (Rubin), and I don’t know anything about Thomas. Basically, these guys need to learn how to get on the ground when they’re being blocked this well, because it cuts off LB pursuit.
Measuring the LBs success when the DL lineman are in your face is tough. . . More of what was said before can be said again. They appear to be good tacklers, although D’Qwell needs to bulk up a little more to take on guards and people like Brandon Jacobs. Pass rush from this group was non-existant. McGinnest made his one good play of the day (kind of, he didn’t wrap up), but as usual, was more of a detriment than a benefit. Hall looked good in pass rush, but needs to put on weight this offseason to replace Willie full time in pass rush situations
Can’t say enough about how well these guys tackled. McDonald was a steal in the 5th round, and somehow plays better against bigger guys than he does against small ones. Wright looked good in coverage, and made a great move on Eli to take the INT for a TD. Pool is definitely the safety to keep this offseason (letting Jones go). As mentioned before, he’s great in coverage, and good enough against the run. Not having a 3rd CB is an issue. Teams that can put a good 3rd WR on the field will kill the browns, and there’s really no immediate solution to this.
All in all a good game by the staff. No major clock management issues by Crennel, but the offensive penalties need to stop. Chud called a great offensive game, and I’m sure he was the happiest person in the stadium to have Tucker and Stallworth back. The defense was aggressive, and learned how to time their blitzes better in the 2nd half than in the 1st half (and most of the season)
Drive by drive recaps below:
First offensive drive
Braylon looked good – with a great stiff arm. You can tell not all of his speed is back. Tucker is blocking much better than Shaffer both on runs and passes. Anderson can’t read a zone near the goal line, which isn’t new. Lewis is running hard, again, not surprising. Got to stop jumping offside
First defensive drive
Why McGinnest was on a stunt shocks me. It’s moving a liability on the end to the middle. Not surprisingly it did nothing. Next play he waves at a ball in coverage. Not sure why he’s dropping in coverage, he sucks at doing that. Pool made a great read on the INT, and an even better play on the ball.
2nd offensive Drive
Great block by Thomas freed Cribbs on the wildcat formation. Lewis is relatively nimble on his catch in open space. It looked like Giants knew what was coming on the first unbalanced line, they were ready for the run. Steinbach did a great job on a trap block, but that’s expected from him. Got to stop jumping offside. I think the giants saw the WR screen coming, and Heiden was slow coming out on the block (winslow probably would have gotten there). Again, a healthy Cribbs makes a lot of difference. I also don’t get why the giants are staying in man coverage, as opposed to playing zone. Tucker is much better than Shaffer in pass blocking
2nd defensive drive
Very good coverage by Adams on a tough to guy to guard, TE Boss. Giants just realized that the browns are starting their #5 defensive lineman, and got a pancake. Great route by S. Smith, beat McDonald, he seems to struggle with quicker guys. Again, giants going at LDE, who was blocked 8 yards down field.
3rd offensive drive
Great slant go route by Braylon. Then the Browns don’t get the bext play off, maybe they were in shock. Not new, but Anderson doesn’t look, he just assumes people are open (jump pass near end zone). Lewis touchdown – thank god Tucker is back, Hadnot looks better with him
Great play by Wright in coverage breaking up pass to Plax. Rodgers only guy who gets pressure, and the team needs to time blitzes better – it’s been an issue all year. The Giants can make line calls when they see this, and Eli’s smart enough to make adjustments. Again Rodgers is a beast (always been a great pass rusher)
Vickers is not good at reading holes, but that’s not new. Joe Thomas is great at run blocking, he doesn’t get enough credit for this. Great catch by braylon on the slant. Tucker’s pancake leads to 4 yard gain. Interesting to see how much value Winslow is losing in this game. He’s a huge asset in the red zone, but they seem to be replacing his game breaking threat with Stallworth, and Hieden takes the underneath stuff (switch from last year with Joe going underneath and Winslow going deep). I know the Giants like to blitz on 3rd down, but they should just play zone against Anderson.
No pressure from the line. Jackson good taclker, needs to get stronger – as he tends to get dragged. Why is Willie in coverage? To get holding penalties and still give up a completion. That’s awesome. Good blitz call, but I’m not sure why is Davis in on passing situations. Should be Williams or Jackson. 3rd receiver (Smith) should be covered by Holly, we don’t have anyone that can stay close. Wright was beat (on break-up of pass near end zone), but made a great play. Line gets no push when against no huddle – Rodgers gets tired. Hall should be in on all pass situations actually got push, and doubled, which left Williams 1 on 1 (when Williams got sack). Again, great tackling in secondary. Why is Cousins guarding Plax on his TD catch? I’d rather have him guard Toomer
On Manning INT, Manning just said to Plaxico “thought you were doing one of these” (hand motion to post corner, not post) – from Necessary Roughness. I’d give the ball back to have Pool not injured
More success to the right than left, which is new. Again great reverse play to Harrison, it’s nice to have a healthy Cribbs, this would have been a TD if Thomas didn’t let up towards the end, his guy made the tackle. Lewis is big, angry, man who doesn’t like being tackled, and doesn’t cut that well (he should have followed Vickers). The goal line is where you miss Winslow/Joe – Stallworth isn’t the same type of threat in that situation.
Lenard needs to learn how make a pile instead of getting pushed back 8 yards. McDonald reads WR eyes incredibly well, he always puts his hands up at the right time. Sorenson timed blitz well (if he’s in, 90% chance he blitzes). Adams timed blitz well on run almost got Jacobs from the back. Willie made his one play for the day – he’s done. Rodgers out and the Giants run @ Williams, I don’t get this. Hall needs in on all pass situations, he draws chip blocks from RBs.
Keeping up with quota of 1 procedure penalty per series. Stallworth is a much better blocker than Steptoe. Lewis is a big, angry man. There’s a reason why Dinkins will get cut when Rucker’s back (He can’t catch or block that well). Chud is confident they can run, going run left on 3rd and 3. That takes balls. Anderson better against blitz, still not sure why the Giants are coming at him. The run blocking a lot better with Tucker. These penalties are obscene – I can’t even put this into words . Harrison is great out of the backfield, will be complete 3rd back when he learns how to block (Wright does a great job of this). Giants bite hard on play fakes, great play by Anderson
Great blitz timing by Pool, Browns are doing a much better job than they’ve done all season on this. Hard to stop Steve Smith, Adams can’t guard him – Daven Holly anyone? Browns secondary makes great tackles (Wright on Jacobs) (giving up 90 pounds. Why is Travis Daniels guarding Plax on 3rd down? And who is Travis Daniels. Per Kornheiser (sp?) comment: the difference between Thomas (DL) and Rodgers is way more than just 60 pounds. That’s like saying the only difference between me and Alex Hall playing in the NFL is that he’s 60 lbs heavier than. Great play again by Wright breaking on the ball, and a nice move on Manning to take it to the endzone.
As bill simmons would say. . . we just saw “Eli Manning” face. Look for “completed in front of Sorenson” when he’s not blitzing. Brandon McDonald is the best corner on the team, Rodgers trade was a great move. Bodden will be missed, but if Holly wasn’t hurt, this is an incredible secondary. I’m surprised that Giants don’t go hurry up more often, since there’s such a huge gap of talent between Rodgers/Williams and the next DL. They get tired quick, but probably much slower than most 300 and 360 lb people.
Lewis and the line are playing exceptional. Starters should come out.
See this link as well: http://footballoutsiders.com/extra-points/one-man-audible-monday-night-football