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Postby liny195 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:21 am
field against Philadelphia? When the New York Giants face the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday Night Football http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/patrick-omameh-jersey , there will be a lot on the line. Despite being 1-4 on the season, and currently possessing the top overall pick in the 2019 draft, the Giants also have the opportunity to catapult themselves in to the thick of the hunt for the division crown. No team is the NFC East has more than two victories.The Giants’ defense has done enough for the team to win each of their five games so far, and it is on the offense to take the next step. Can they do it against division rival Philadelphia on a short week?Stats at a glanceGiants’ offenseRushing yards: 75.6 per game (28th overall)Passing yards: 262.2 per game (17th overall)Total yards: 337.8 per game (25th overall)Points: 20.8 per game (23rd overall) *Note: Amazingly, the Giants have scored the most points in the NFC East.Eagles’ defenseRushing yards: 66.4 per game (2nd overall)Passing yards: 276.8 per game (22nd overall)Total yards: 343.2 per game (10th overall) Points: 20.8 per game (7th overall) Play in spite of the offensive lineThe Giants’ rebuilt offensive line has been bad this season, shockingly bad, and it has gotten worse over the last two weeks.Over the last two weeks, against the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers with Saquon Barkley carrying the ball, the Giants have run the ball 25 times. Four of those rushes went for more than 5 yards, with carries of 7, 20, 28, and 30 yards (85 total). The other 21 carries went for a grand total of 7 yards (.33 yards per carry). This despite the fact that Barkley has seen eight (or more) defenders in the box on less than a quarter of his carries. In 2017, Manning was sacked 31 times. So far, through the first five games, Manning has been sacked 16 times and is on pace for 51 sacks this season. Though his sack totals have gone down over the last two weeks, he remains under consistent pressure with Saints and Panthers’ rushers consistently coming closer than league-average to Manning. All of this means that, faced with a talented Eagles’ defensive front, if the Giants want to have any offensive success, they will need to find it in spite of their offensive line. Barkley’s big runs have largely come when he has used his incredible athleticism to escape would-be tacklers at (or behind) the line of scrimmage and gone off script. It isn’t sustainable, but if the Giants want any production on the ground, the trend says that they will have to hope for Barkley to keep his super hero cape on and get it done himself. Likewise, though Eli Manning is about as graceful as a newborn giraffe, against the Panthers he managed to navigate the pocket, avoid rushers, and give his receivers time to work open down the field. It might not be sustainable, but the Giants, Manning and Barkley in particular, need to sustain it for one more week against a tough Eagles’ defensive front.Can the Giants’ find a balance?So far we have seen two bad performances from the Giants (against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints), two good ones (against the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers), and one that was promising at the time (against the Jacksonville Jaguars). Five games in we have data points about what works and what doesn’t with regards to the Giants’ offense.When the Giants’ offense stagnates, it is generally because Manning isn’t looking down the field. Against the Cowboys and Saints, Most of Manning’s passes were five yards or shorter, with many of them going at or behind the line of scrimmage. Against the Texans, most of Manning’s passes were between 5 and 7 yards, and against the Panthers his average completion traveled nearly 10 yards in the air. The common thread is that when Manning plays it safe, taking check downs rather than letting routes open up downfield, the offense stagnates. But when he looks downfield more, giving Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley the chance to make plays in space, the offense is much better. Of course, Manning’s two interceptions against the Panthers reveals the problem with the aggression with which he played against Carolina. Almost completely eschewing check-dows and throws to Barkley, the high-risk approach didn’t always pay off and cost the Giants points. They need to find a balance between the game plan the Giants used against Carolina, which caters to the strengths of the Giants’ skill position players and Manning’s tendencies as a gunslinger, and the more methodical, conservative game plan they used against Houston. The Eagles’ secondary is their defensive weakness, the cornerback duo of Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills in particular. The duo has given up a combined 55 receptions for 565 yards and a touchdown apiece. However, attacking them will put a strain on the pass protection. It is a risk the Giants will have to accept and deal with http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/kareem-martin-jersey , but there might be a safer option they could make use of.As Dan Pizzuta and I pointed out in the Big Blue reView podcast after the Panthers game, using Barkley as a receiving weapon — not just a check down option — could be the answer. Barkley is capable of running a full route tree out of the backfield, and would likely be matched up on a linebacker. Jordan Hicks is a good coverage linebacker, but Barkley is a mismatch for nearly any safety or linebacker in the NFL. The Giants should make use of that mismatch down the field and put him in position to use his prodigious athleticism without being constrained by the offensive line.Play with passionPerhaps the single biggest difference between the Giants’ offense in Week 5 and the four games that preceded it was the passion with which they played. Odell Beckham Jr. was widely criticized for calling his team out for not matching his passion and energy on offense before Sunday’s game. However, it was also clear from watching the games that the scheme, which hovered somewhere between patient and methodical and frightened of risk, just was not working. The team did what Beckham asked against Houston, particularly in the second half, after a futile quarter and a half to open the game. The result was Manning’s first 300+ yard passing performance, and the team’s first 30+ point performance since 2015. The Giants played a team that was widely considered to be vastly superior down to the wire. The offense finally showed a spark and an energy that it hadn’t shown in years. The Giants are, somehow, only a game and a half out of the lead in their division. They can still accomplish what they set out to do when they threw their support behind Eli Manning, but if they want to get it done, they will need to build on that spark. They be well served to be more judicious going forward than they were against Houston, but they can’t go back to the passive, risk averse offense which played to not lose that they ran against Jacksonville, Dallas, and New Orleans.The Eagles, and the rest of the NFC East, have left the door open. The Giants need to walk their own selves through it, and they’ve seen the way forward. The New York Giants collected their third loss of the 2018 season on sunday against the New Orleans Saints. It seemed as though the Giants had turned a corner against the Houston Texans and were moving in the direction of competing with the rest of the NFL. Instead, the game had a sickeningly familiar feel to it, with the offense seeming like an ineffective exercise in futility. In many ways, this game reminded of the Giants’ week two loss to the Dallas Cowboys, particularly on offense. But how similar was it, really? Let’s take a closer look at the stats from the game and see what they have to say.OffenseQuarterbackAt first blush, Eli Manning had an efficient day against a poor Saints defense. He completed 31 of 41 attempts, good for a completion rate of 75.6 percent, for 255 yards and a touchdown. This marks the third time this season he has completed at least three quarters of his passes and thrown a touchdown pass.However, a closer look at the stats reveal that the Giants were playing “keep away” with their passing game, rather than actively trying to attack a defense which had given up just over 34 points per game and the most passing yards in the NFL through the first three weeks. Per Next Gen Stats, Manning was tied for the third fewest intended air yards among quarterbacks Sunday, with averaging just 6.1 yards through the air. His average completion was the shortest in the NFL, at just 3.6 yards per completion. Finally, Manning also threw the ball the second furthest from the first-down marker, averaging 2.9 yards behind the sticks. “Short,” “quick,” and “safe” are the words to describe the Giants’ passing game against the Saints, but like with a similar game plan against the Dallas Cowboys, “ineffective” comes to mind. An offense featuring Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Saquon Barkley simply is not built to play it safe and chip away at a defense. Offensive lineAll told, the Giants played 62 snaps on offense, and the entire offensive line of Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, John Greco, Patrick Omameh, and Chad Wheeler played all of them. It might be assumed based on Manning’s passing stats that they failed in protecting him. While saying that they ‘failed’ to protect him is a bit strong, Manning was sacked three times and each of the Saints’ top rushers came closer than league average to Manning on their average rush. However http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/aldrick-rosas-jersey , he did have time to throw, averaging 2.66 seconds from snap to throw, which was only about two hundredths of a second less than league average. Skill positions The Giants didn’t run the ball much as the game slipped away. But even so, Barkley (54 snaps, 87 percent) only had two carries further than five yards. Given what we have seen of Barkley’s ability to pick up extra yards with a quick cut or powering through an arm tackle, the line did not block for many of the rookie’s yards. Considering he only saw an eight (or more) man box on just 20 percent of his runs — per Next Gen Stats — that does not reflect well on the line. Barkley did rate as the NFL’s fourth-fastest ball carrier, topping 20 miles an hour on his breakaway run.He was once again successful as a receiver, catching six of eight targets for 56 yards.Odell Beckham played 59 of 62 snaps, catching 7 of 11 targets for 60 yards. As indicated by Manning’s average of 3.6 yards per completion, Beckham caught most of his passes short, and did what he could against a defense which was allowed to play downhill all game. Sterling Shepard, who also played 59 of 62 snaps was the Giants’ leading receiver, catching each of his 10 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. The Giants spent almost all of the game in their 11-personnel set, with TE Rhett Ellison playing 54 of 62 snaps, and WR Russell Shepard playing 51 of 62 snaps. The Giants receivers were getting open, per Next Gen Stats, with four of the Giants’ top five receivers getting much more than league-average separation. Manning just wasn’t finding them down the field. After that primary personnel set, TE Scott Simonson got the most snaps at 14 of 62. The Giants clearly came in with the plan to spread the Saints out. DefenseFront SevenOnce again, true defensive linemen Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson lead the way in the snap count, getting 37 of the defense’s 70 snaps. Per Next Gen Stats, Tomlinson was the Giants’ best pass rusher, and the only one to come closer than league-average on his average rush.Rookie defensive tackle B.J. Hill saw an uptick in his snap count, from 14 to 24 snaps, after an effective day against the Houston Texans.EDGE players Kareem Martin and Connor Barwin played the most snaps, between outside linebacker and defensive end. Martin played 56 of 70 snaps, while Barwin played 45 snaps, coming up with three tackles and a pass defensed. Both players were among the Giants’ top pass rushers, but both were only about league average in terms of their average distance to the quarterback.Linebackers Alec Ogletree and Ray-Ray Armstrong played the most snaps among the front seven, with Ogletree playing all of the defense’s 70 snaps, notching 12 total tackles. Meanwhile Armstrong played 57 snaps, and came up with 7 tackles. SecondaryEach member of the Giants’ starting secondary played all of the defensive snaps, with Janoris Jenkins, B.W. Webb, Landon Collins, and Curtis Riley each playing 70 snaps. The Giants’ secondary played well overall, limiting Drew Brees to just 18 of 32 for 215 yards and no touchdowns. That is impressive work for the defense, considering Brees had been on a historic run to start the game, completing well over 80 percent of his passes and dissecting every defense he saw.Nickel corner Donte Deayon was the final member of the secondary to see a major share of the snaps, with 53 of 70.The Giants were largely suffocating in coverage, with four of the Saints top five receivers averaging about half a yard less separation than league average. Particularly impressive was the work of Jenkins on wide receiver Micheal Thomas. Thomas had been having an excellent season to date, and Jenkins held him to just four catches for 47 yards. He only allowed Thomas, who is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s best receivers, an average just 2.38 yards of separation — four tenths of a yard less than the average NFL receiver.Final thoughtsThe stats suggest that the Giants should have won against the Saints. Instead they lost in an ugly landslide. The Saints were showing looks which should have allowed the Giants to run the ball — yet they didn’t. The Giants’ receivers were getting wide open, yet the passing game made no effort to look down the field. The defense played far better than the lopsided 15-point loss would have suggested, and if a team holds a quarterback the caliber of Drew Brees to the day he had, they should expect to win. The problem was with the Giants’ offense and an ineffective game plan. The question going forward is whether the Giants coaching staff will open up the offense as they did against Houston, or continue to play the ineffective horizontal scheme which lost against Dallas and now New New Orleans.
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