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Analyzing the deep balls completed against us Monday Night

futurevoid : 9/21/2011 8:53 pm
So I decided to rewatch some parts of the Monday night game on NFL rewind and there's some key plays that allow you to view them via the coaches film option. One of the reasons I love NFL Rewind to be honest.

I don't know if any other Giants fans have it but I'll post a few thoughts for anyone who's interested and has access to view the videos. It sucks that I don't have the video to go along with this but....

1. The first is the interception by Mikell on the deep pass to Mario Manningham.

Eli gets a single safety look here with the zone pressure the Rams are bringing. Mario thoroughly beats the corner back though looking at the film the CB stops allowing Mario to run free and then starts moving again to close the gap (though he's so far behind...) so it's possible they were baiting him to make the throw. Either that or the CB was just totally lost on the route Mario was running. Regardless, the ball is under thrown and Eli underestimated Mikell's ability to move to that side of the field as quickly as he did. Mikell makes an excellent play here.

The worst part about is that Ballard runs a quick little out route towards the sidelines and is obviously the check down. He has NO ONE around him. Had Eli checked down. that would have been a 15-20 yd gain and put us 1st and goal inside the 20.

2. The second play is Bradford's deep pass to Alexander for 68 yards. (1st Qtr)

The good stuff:

Kenny Phillips is the FS playing deep center field and either Boley or Rolle are playing the slot. Boley/Rolle actually has pretty decent coverage and Phillips is providing proper support. No throw to be made in the center of the field.

On the other side of the field, Webster is pretty much stride for stride with his man. Totally covered and no where for Bradford to throw.

The bad stuff:

The coverage on the other side of the field is so fucking broken here I don't even know where to begin. Aaron Ross is supposed to press the receiver at the line and boy does he fail miserably. He literally gets half a hand on him before Alexander blows right by him. I mean he's literally 4 yards behind Ross before the ball is even thrown. That's not even the beginning of the problems with this play though. Grant is playing down close to the line and is late backing up so Ross has little to no support over the top. Both are in a trailing position before the ball ever comes out. Once the ball arrives Ross and Grant are both 2 yards behind the receiver and can make no play on it. The REALLY bad part is that they don't down the guy! Come on, man!

3. Bradford 26 yard completion to Lance Kendricks (2nd QTR).

Zone coverage here by Webster. Deon Grant is playing the other half of the field and there's just no way he can get over to offer any over the top help on this.

Webster is playing 5 yards off of his man and while Kendricks is running his route, Webster breaks to the outside and then runs straight back towards him. He's actually in a good position to make a play on the ball but he can't reach out far enough to get a hand on it. Coverage wasn't terrible but a bit better route recognition could have lead to an INT or at the very least a pass defense. Zone has never been Corey's forte and it shows here.

4. Bradford 33 yard completion to Simms Walker (2nd Qtr).

More Zone coverage. Simms-Walker literally runs right past the linebacker to the center of the field after a play action by Bradford. Phillips is playing deep and keeps backing up despite the fact that the linebacker already bit. Ross and Rolle are covering the one side of the field well enough while Boley hands off the other receiver to Webster.

Phillips could have and probably should have made this play a lesser gain but it seems like he expected the linebacker to cover here. There was still avoid in the zone coverage in the middle of the field though Kenny shouldn't have continued playing so deep if he recognized that. Not sure if that was communication problem or just broken coverage because the linebacker bit so hard on the PA.

5. Bradford 35 yard completion to Alexander (3rd qtr)

I could copy and paste what I said about the 68yd completion earlier. Ross playing press at the line. The guy totally whiffs by him as though he wasn't even there. He's in a trail position by the time the snap is off. Grant is playing the free safety here and his recognition is terrible. He's already on that side of the right side of the field and when Bradford releases the ball he takes a step in the wrong direction and then turns around and starts running towards the direction of the receiver. The angle isn't bad but he's so late getting there it doesn't make a lick of difference. Ball caught and Aaron Ross is on the ground 2 yards behind the receiver.

6. 19yd completion to Alexander for the TD (3rd QTR)

Ross is out, Coe is in. Same results. Alexander runs a sluggo route to the outside of the end zone. Coe is in good position to make a play on the ball and he literally just watches it go into his hands and then acts confused about what happened. No jump for the ball, no hands in the receivers chest/face to knock it loose. No safety help on this play since they were playing at or near the line for run support. A good play call by the Rams and poor coverage equals a TD.

So what do I take from this? Nothing new. Aaron Ross is terrible and the players behind him aren't any better. The left side of the field will be a gaping hole for us all season long until we get improvement out of the players we have or pick someone up. Also, the only safety that's worth a damn in pass support on the field is Kenny Phillips.
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Thanks a lot for the good work  
chris r : 9/21/2011 9:29 pm : link
sounds like our breakdowns are a) Ross, b) miscomunication in zone, c) Grant's lack of range.

All three can be fixed this season. a) with Prince coming back and (hopefully) outperforming Ross, b) with time, and c) Grant playing less with Rolle moving back to safety.
Thanks future.  
Cam in MO : 9/21/2011 9:32 pm : link
I have Sunday Ticket, so I get shortcuts, but not for the Sunday night/Monday night games- which is always frustrating when the Giants play prime time.

the alexander route which beat coe  
blakjedi : 9/21/2011 9:32 pm : link
(and ross earlier) is the same exact route that armstrong and grossman ran for the td in washington...

I was sitting in that corner of the endzone and watched grossman birddog armstrong... ross never turned around, never knew the ball was in the air... several giants fans around us yelled "ross watch the corner fade"

ross never laid a hand on him... everyone is gonna run that play against us cause it will work everytime...
Wellington : 9/21/2011 9:33 pm : link

Good call on the int thrown by Eli. May have been a complete bait job.

What's scary is the regression Ross has made since 2007. He won the Thorpe award and was a strong press corner, I don't know what happened and I fear the game on Sunday. Last season the CBs went towards more of a press look against Mac and Jack to disrupt the Eagles timing. Have a feeling Ross is going to give up a long one.
good job man  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 9/21/2011 9:35 pm : link
great read.
Chances Reid goes way downfield on the first series:  
Overseer : 9/21/2011 9:35 pm : link
I have been bashing Ross  
BBurns : 9/21/2011 9:36 pm : link
for quite sometime then TT goes down and Ross
has a very good game against the Jets . I thought
geesh maybe he needed another chance well he did and
he proved to be the Ross we have seen for the past few years
he just seems so herky jerky and bites on everything .
One thing to look forward to is Prince if he can get healthy and get a bunch of reps . Who knows the season may be a
total wash by then . But at least we have some promising looking younger players . Were just snake bit this year .
I would imagine  
GMANinDC : 9/21/2011 9:38 pm : link
that the eagles will p[ut DJax on Ross' side every play..Personally, i think they should line Webster up with him whatever side he's on and have a Safety play on top..

I rather have Ross on Maclin..

Wow, i never thought Ross was that bad in coverage..He does still make plays in tghe short game infron of him but he is easily beaten if the WR and QB has time..
now that is some good stuff future  
darasman : 9/21/2011 9:41 pm : link
Thanks for the time and effort and you nailed it....this is one of the reasons I stick around BBI..... also because Cam, Curtis and Berry.....

This one of the reasons I want to put my fist through the screen:
I spoke with some football experts who.....
greekgod : 10:45 am
follow the Eagles and Giants since 1952 and this is what they are saying....Eagles are good; Giants are bad. No shit!

Eagles: 48

Giants: 3

Rumors are swaying in the wind that top overhaul if Giants don't make it to the playoffs; and that includes Reese and Coughlin.
Maybe the Giants need to go back to the drawing board  
Football Physicist : 9/21/2011 10:01 pm : link
and reevaluate the qualities that they look for in players at certain positions.
Aaron Ross is not a starting caliber corner in the NFL.  
Giants_FTW : 9/21/2011 10:06 pm : link
He's a backup, 4th stringer at best. And that's actually what he was going to be before TT24 and the Prince got hurt...

I really think Reese needs to go out and find a corner. It doesn't have to be anyone spectacular but if you can find a decent corner to play opposite Webster for a 3rd or 4th round pick then you go and do that.
I think Aaron Ross' biggest problem  
Football Physicist : 9/21/2011 10:14 pm : link
is in his head. He doesn't have that essential quality that an NFL cornerback needs to have: a short memory. He starts off having a decent game and then one bad play happens, his confidence gets shaken, and he falls apart. Look at how he was sulking on the side line last week.
Nice work with one addition  
rnargi : 9/21/2011 10:54 pm : link
On the interception this is what I wrote for the review and I think you missed the corner wavering between passing Manningham off and coming down to cover a wide open Ballard

"The Giants had lined up in a double TE set with FB Henry Hynoski and Bradshaw in the backfield with Manningham and Nicks lined up wide to each side of Manning. Facing an 8 man front, Manning had single high safety and man coverage on his wideouts. TE Jake Ballard released all alone, with no one within 5 yards of him, into the right flat while St Louis brought all eight at Manning.
Mario Manningham went right by Rams CB Justin King, who was caught cheating down on Ballard. Eli, bird dogging Manningham the whole way, underthrew him and S Quinten Mikell came from the middle of the field for a relatively easy interception."
If Eli gets more depth on that pass  
Sneakers O'toole : 9/21/2011 10:58 pm : link
it's a TD.
Good Post  
uberpwnage : 9/21/2011 11:08 pm : link
and I've been saying Ross had a target on his back as soon as he stepped in for TT in the preseason. Everyone was complimenting Ross for his "good coverage" in the Jets game, but I simply didn't see it, and took some heat from some posters because apparently I didn't know what I was talking about. It's pretty obvious now what I was talking about.

I disagree w/ MoM about the '07 version of Ross however, because he was pretty solid in his rookie year. Solid against the run, made some plays blitzing off the corner, and decent in coverage. Had a couple of INT's and a pick 6 in a game. He never looked like he had the potential to be a no.1 corner, but he appeared to be shaping into a solid no.2. Now he's just a shell of his former self, and he's going to get picked on until Prince gets the nod over him.

Eric from BBI : Admin : 9/21/2011 11:15 pm : link
never agreed with those who said Ross didn't play well in 2008. He had one terrible game in Cleveland but was solid and sometimes very good other than that aside from a play here or there.
futurevoid : 9/21/2011 11:17 pm : link
mental state and his ability to keep himself aware of the ball is a problem.

Another bit of analysis/opinion...

What this team has is both a personnel and execution problems. Not just on defense either. Personnel from not only the standpoint of injuries but also lost free agents. I know folks won't like to hear it but Steve Smith is proving to be a massive loss to this offense (I mentioned to several folks I know that he was a more important resigning than Bradshaw). Gilbride knows it, Coughlin knows it and while Eli wants to show confidence in the guys he has, you can see the level of trust on the field and out inability to convert third downs play out each and every game we've seen since the preseason.

What Steve Smith brought to the offense was precise route running and a complete understanding of the various option routes that Gilbride/Coughlin run. You simply cannot plug and play players into that role. You can't take a Victor Cruz and expect that level of performance from the slot position out of him without serious time and reps. The lack of OTA's and a real training camp just makes it all the more problematic.

You add in a remade offensive line with a new center, left tackle and Diehl sliding into the guard position and you add another layer to the execution issues. Both in pass protection and run blocking. Those are both personnel and execution problems that CAN be resolved with time and reps as well as a little mental resolve which this team seems to really lack at times.

Monday night was a perfect example. Really take a look at the opening drive prior to the interception. The offense was clicking! PA bootleg to the right netted a 16 yard completion to Manningham. Two next two runs showed off some great zone blocking with the line pushing the Rams to the left and allowing Bradshaw to cut it back to the right for 7 and 5 yards. Even the WR's got some awesome blocks. The next run has Bradshaw break yet again on some FANTASTIC zone blocking with the line pushing the Rams to the right and the cutback lane being wide open to the right to the run of 15 yards. The five plays out of six were wonderfully executed -then the interception. The next couple of series? Everything breaks down. The blocking goes to shit and Eli can't complete a pass to save his life. That's screams mental discipline to me. That tells me that when things don't go their way, they don't come back with a need to impose their will - but instead start searching for answers and trying to do more than their assignments. Players are then caught out of position, blocking breaks down, communication goes down the tubes. I know Coughlin isn't that type of coach either so it has to come back to players trusting the personnel to do what it's supposed to which realistically isn't there right now.

It is all bad? No. This offense WILL click. It needs time. We may not go all the way this year, we may not even hit the playoffs but I trust that theses young guys will learn. Execution is key.

Shaun O'Hara did a fantastic interview a few years ago where he told a story about the offensive line in 2008 being lined up and calling a counter play to the right behind Snee. Eli made the call, O'Hara set the blocking and he knew the MLB was aware of the play. He literally heard him yell "RUN! RUN! RUN!" and shift the defense to the right. Despite them knowing that, the Giants still ran for 15 yards. He said this was common and the reason? They could know about it all day but they executed it so well, it didn't matter.

What does that say? Well, for all of those that detest Gilbride, there's something to be said for predictability. Can he call a bad game? Hell yes, the Washington game is a prime example but if players EXECUTE, you see things like the 4th and 1 on Monday night converted (the play call wasn't the issue folks, the absolutely HORRENDOUS blocking was).

Defensively, I know the secondary is concerning but the defensive line quietly had itself one hell of a night! Excellent push up the middle, Tuck made a huge difference being back out there and Canty played his ass off. I was listening to the post show and just about fell out of my chair when someone called in and said Canty was a free agent bust - WTF? Did we overpay a bit for him? Maybe but when he got healthy, he's been a beast. Drawing holding calls, pushing through the line and allowing our D-Ends to get to the QB. Oh and he and the others can really play the run. Anyone else notice Bernard having his best game as a Giant?

There's reasons to be optimistic but Coughlin isn't wrong in saying the 2011 Giants are work in progress but that will improve with time, reps and football gods willing - HEALTH!
Good work, thanks.  
jintsfan : 9/21/2011 11:17 pm : link
It has taken me a while to give up on Ross, I thought he had some potential. It could be real ugly real fast on Sunday, the Jints really don't have an answer for the shegals speed and their TE's will have a big day. Combine that withe Jints inability to defense the screen and the shegals will be running wild. The only saving grace is the maybe a fierce pass rush can slow them down, not 3 man rushes this week.
That sounds like two many eligible receivers  
giantsfour : 9/21/2011 11:20 pm : link
if there are two TEs, two backs and two wide receivers.
Great job.  
lawguy9801 : 9/21/2011 11:30 pm : link
Enjoyable read and solid analysis. If I had any time in my life I would get NFL Rewind and do this after every game.
Thanks, folks..  
kevken60 : 9/21/2011 11:39 pm : link
..for a great read and tutorial.
I wonder how Ross would do if the Giants had a different DB  
DG : 9/21/2011 11:42 pm : link
coach. His technique has really never been that great, but his confidence and instincts were better in 2008. I watched him play in college at UT and he would get torched by speed receivers. I can't believe Alexander didn't get drafted.
RE the interception -  
BlueLou : 9/22/2011 12:35 am : link
"...the ball is under thrown and Eli underestimated Mikell's ability to move to that side of the field as quickly as he did. Mikell makes an excellent play here."I don't agree about the "great play by Mikell."

If Eli gets the throw deep enough to hit MM in stride, OR (more likely the error) Eli makes the read and react quicker and gets the ball out of his hand faster before MM is so far up field - that's an easy quick six. Eli has no business checking down on that play with MM free and clear up the sideline, IMO, regardless of how wide open Ballard was. As you wrote, Ballard was the check down option not the primary read.

Or -  
BlueLou : 9/22/2011 12:36 am : link
what margi wrote above.
Another prospective  
OC : 9/22/2011 2:04 am : link
If Eli would've muscled up & aired it out to the endzone...6.
Eli & Smith  
Dragon : 9/22/2011 2:43 am : link
It seems that everyone calls the combination the best in NFL history well guess what they had problems also. Eli is just not a very accurate QB and he seems to put entirely too much air on his deep passes. The WR's on this team have developed bad habits about passes from Eli which makes them very surprised when they receive a pass in full stride and on the money. MM was the guy who did not make that catch but you just can't tell how that pass is going to arrive most of the time from Eli. I can't count how many near misses we have had on big plays each year which should be so simple to complete.

It's a passing league but our QB may not be suited for the wide open passing game. Look at the young QB's then go look at Eli man it's night and day and not in Eli favor. Brady could throw to your grandmother and look good doing it Eli makes passing to our guys a major undertaking. The real scary thing for me is that each day he is getting older and not much better at all. We played two below average teams and our QB still seems lost in this offense.
I did not see replay of the Eli pick but...  
shabu : 9/22/2011 2:53 am : link
If i recall, MM is running down right sideline, and the ball is thrown Inside MM and MM had no play on the ball, it was almost as if MM was running a different rotue

( this is from memory at a bar after a few beers, so I could be wrong )

What struck me as odd was, why is the ball thrown inside MM and not outside ( even if underthrown )...

Am I remembering this correctly ? ( seems not but like to hear from someone who has seen the replay )
OC : 9/22/2011 4:04 am : link
Like I said above, if Eli would've put some ass behind that throw we'dve had 6. Hmmmph, assuming board hands would've caught it.
Nice job!  
River Mike : 9/22/2011 7:20 am : link
With so much crap here, this kind of post makes it worth while
mdthedream : 9/22/2011 7:33 am : link
at least Coe was in position hopefully he improves. Ross is not even close and should know what he is doing.
Great job.  
Racer : 9/22/2011 7:37 am : link
Thanks for the hard work.

In 2008, we had an OLine, TE and FB that could all whip the guy in front of them even if the D knew what was coming.

Ain't happenin' in 2011 so far.
Prince can't come back soon enough  
gtt350 : 9/22/2011 7:45 am : link
Mm was running outside  
blakjedi : 9/22/2011 7:51 am : link
And Eli threw outside...

MM either...

Broke inside on a skinny post,

Came back on an inside curl

Or as he tracked the ball going outside along his original route... Tangled himself and went to the turf...

All I know is that the safety made the catch from the middle of the field... While mm was on the turf untouched looking on...
tyleraimee : 9/22/2011 7:54 am : link
I want to propose another assignment for you since you did such a nice job with this one. Can you take a look at all of the deep throws made by Eli? I know you referenced the sideline INT early in the game. However, I happened to watch the entire game again on DVR last night. In some instances I was watching frame by frame to really see how things unfolded.

Then, if you really like doing this, break down all of our run plays and find where the issues are.

It will be interesting to see whether your analysis is aligned with what I saw last night.
very nice reading this morning from bbi  
Go Giants : 9/22/2011 8:00 am : link
but sad and disappointing to read about the sorry state of affairs of the Giants. I fear that they won't right the ship in time. Free agents, and some better luck with injuries to our starters and draft picks would have been nice. Can't figure it other than to say snake bit.

One other thing: during the Superbowl run @ Dallas we had a guy off the practice squad come on in - very fast, never heard from him again. Played ok. Seemed like all year Spags had his men ready to play their positions. Just sayin.
Really great work  
HBart : 9/22/2011 8:29 am : link
Thanks for putting in the effort.

On the pick, I agree with margi. Eli made the right choice there. He just under threw the ball. I know the announcers made a big deal about him not seeing Mickel or him baiting Eli or whatever, but the reality of it is Mickel a) was forked with a good throw and b) made a great play on the ball. I don't know if anyone asked Eli about this one (bad decision or bad throw) but I'd bet if they did he'd pick the latter.

I agree with the sentiment on Canty but frankly I don't think as a unit the DL had nearly the pressure we needed or I expected. I haven't watched the film but my recollection is no blitz, no pressure.
Racer : 9/22/2011 8:29 am : link
You're thinking of Geoff Pope maybe(?).
I think your comments about A. Ross  
sexymoves : 9/22/2011 9:11 am : link
being terrible is a little melodramatic. He did get beat twice no doubt, but he also broke up a couple of passes and almost made a great interception. It is overly simplistic to always blame the corners when there is a big play made on them. Our safety play is as bad as it gets in the NFL. Our corners are on their own, they get zero help from our safeties. I think Ross is capable of holding his own, we need these safeties to start making some plays, until that happens the Defense will struggle. KP and A. Rolle had 2 interceptions between the 2 of them last year, that is disgraceful.
regarding tyleraimee's suggestion  
mainiac : 9/22/2011 9:48 am : link
i would love to see that but could be too much work for 1 person.

What about the idea of having several BBIers with Rewind do this on a regular basis?

This analysis was far better and more detailed than what you'll see anywhere else.

For example, one person could review OL only....another LBs, etc.

We'd need volunteers, but i'd be glad to get Rewind and contribute (although there are plenty of people here with a deeper understanding of the game).

We'd get more great threads like this, and collectively we'd all learn more about our team, players, and more importantly the action none of us see on tv.
This is a great post  
Power Wins Football Games : 9/22/2011 10:06 am : link
thank you very much...

Hopefully the OL will get better with Reps, people under estimate the OL changes we have made and its effect on the lines execution. Reps will make it get better and better, question is, will it be this year or next year? we really miss Richie..
People expecting Prince to show up and save the day should  
Ten Ton Hammer : 9/22/2011 10:06 am : link
consider the possibility that it's going to take time.

These are the same guys that will call him a bust the first time he allows a deep completion.
rptl530 : 9/22/2011 10:09 am : link
thanks for the thread. Good stuff. Now I've got someone else's posts to look for here at BBI.

As for Ross, it seems the biggest problem the other night (and it was visable during the replays) was his complete failure to get an effective jam at the LOS. He MUST get a good jam, especially with someone like Grant providing help who's sooooooo sloooooooow.
"I think Ross is capable of holding his own" - sexymoves  
futurevoid : 9/22/2011 10:32 am : link
Game tape shows the contrary. The safety play on his side did him no favors, sure (and I mentioned that in my analysis) but he was 4 yards behind the receiver before the safety ever came into the play on those long balls.

I'm not wanting to come off as though I have some hatred for Ross here. I would love for him to improve and show some of what he had in the 2007 season. I'm just calling what I see and he had a poor game on Monday and his game against Washington wasn't any better.
what are you seeing on tape that is causing Ross to fail?  
chris r : 9/22/2011 10:34 am : link
poor technique? poor athleticism? poor awareness? all?
futurevoid : 9/22/2011 10:34 am : link
I can certainly do that! I'll take a look at Rewind tonight and see what they have available on Eli's deep throws.

I'd actually like to take a look at some of the blocking on the run plays as well to see what the offensive line is doing. I usually watch the games again when avaiable so maybe I'll make this a semi-regular thing.

Thanks again for the kind words and the opposing viewpoints on the plays. I'm enjoying reading them.
future writes  
cosmicj : 9/22/2011 11:30 am : link
"I would love for [Ross] to improve and show some of what he had in the 2007 season."

I hate to say it but it looks to me like Ross is in physical decline. He's getting beat at the LOS because he's weak and he loses ground deep because he's slow. If you didn't know he was a 2007 #1 pick, you'd thing he was an aging vet scrub in there because we lost our starter and Fewell is grasping at straws.
As an FYI  
MarshallOnMontana : 9/22/2011 10:30 pm : link
in their Giants-Eagles preview for this week, PFF released for free the target numbers for Aaron Ross this season. By their tracking, hes been targeted 15 times in two games, hes allowed 10 completions on 15 targets for 237 yards. 67% passing, 15.8 Yards per attempt, 23.7 yards per catch, 1 TD (would have been two if not for the Boley tip) and a passer rating of 131.9

Webster has not been great by any stretch given the level we've seen him play on in the past, but opposing QBs are completing less than 50% of their passes when targeting him. 10 for 21 on the season for 147 yards, 1 TD. He's actually been targeted more than Ross, it does not seem that way. But hes allowing completions on just 47.6% of the passes at him
Completely unrelated  
MarshallOnMontana : 9/22/2011 10:41 pm : link
but impressive, Chris Snee has allowed just 1 QB hit on 72 Eli drop backs this season.

Jacobs and Bradshaw are both among the league leaders in forced missed tackles, combining for 15 through 2 weeks. Yet we haven't run the ball all that well overall. Here is their preview
Link - ( New Window )
rnargi : 9/23/2011 1:59 pm : link
Snee gave up a sack on that the only hit?
MarshallOnMontana : 9/23/2011 5:04 pm : link
Off the top of my head, are you talking about the Robbins play where he got to Eli before he could hand off? That did not officially go down in the books as a sack. It was credited as a negative rushing play for Eli in the official scoring.
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