First play of the game on Defense – holy Snackerolli
When Snacks takes up two Lineman and Vernon and Wynn hold great position at the edges, Kennard and Collins set up in the outside lanes, and then OV just slides loose to tackle the runner as Collins comes up to join him.
This is a thing of beauty! The Giants defense proceeds to put on a clinic the first three and out.
First play of the Offense – the Oline, and Ellison looked really good – everyone was pushing forward, Shane Smith plowed into the left side and a lane appeared just right of center as Jerry turned his man vertical and Perkins burst through it.
Second play there was no FB and Ellison and Engram were in Ellison covering Flowers, Engram set back and left of Ellison. Everyone took and assignment pulling left and Engram crossed behind the line to the right and it appeared that Engram missed Hargrave coming through untouched, or that he thought his assignment was to run straight across and seal the edge – overlooking the unblocked defender coming through. Jerry occupied to the left and Hart occupied to the right of that lane. Someone missed their assignment there – everyone on a man was getting the push. Engram was the only player without someone to block.
Third play was the 11 personnel set, TE Ellison to the right side, Vereen the RB. Ellison released off the line up the seam, Vereen ran right as the line went into position. Johnson was looking right all the way. It was five on four on the line, Richburgh had seemingly no one to block, but Pugh’s man stepped right and surprise pushed Richburg off balance from his left side up the gut. Pugh stayed in position for a beat with no one there and then turned to try to help Richburgh but it was too late, Johnson, seemed to be very unsure of himself, staggered and then tried to escape the pocket low and left as the center gave. Flowers looked like he stayed in the proper position and kept his hands in good position, but he got pushed into the pocket by TJ Watt, who stayed low and pushed, then disengaged and got a hand on Johnson. Seemed to me that there was an opportunity for Pugh and Richburgh to work together better on that play and that maybe there was no communication between them. Both of them seemed to be caught off guard.
On the second Defensive set – first play Bromley got good push and Vernon was able to come up on the same side and stop the short out pass to the RB behind the line.
Second play the Steelers shifted an extra man to the left side Darian Thompson engaged the extra man on the outside hard, Casillas was late sniffing the play out, and the Giants lost contain on that side on the end around and JuJu Smith who had a few steps now, beat Casillas right to sprang free for a nine yard play.
Third play was a running play all the way. Steelers tried to load the right side with a shift, and the Giants shifted too. Interestingly Snacks got pushed back on a double team and that let Bromley break through to penetrate and tackle the runner a yard behind the line of scrimmage.
Second set for the Offense came out in 11 formation to start out, Ellison to the right. Flowers released inside of TJ Watt, who ran in untouched for the sack while Flowers ran up field at a LB. Johnson had some words with Perkins at the end of the play and it may have been that Perkins ran the wrong way (right) and was supposed to chip Watt to the left on that play. If Perkins had chipped Watt, while Flowers took on the linebacker there would have been a nice set up for him to release for a screen to that side.
Second play was 11 personnel again, TE Ellison right. Harris in the slot, Ellison released on the seam and was open but the pass to him was batted down by Cameron Heywood who got his hands up as the ball was thrown. The linemen seemed to all be properly engaged and the pocket was clean.
Third play they were still in 11 personnel (3rd and 18), TE left, good protection and push by the line. Johnson hands off to Vereen (Draw Play) who beats one tackle for four yards.
BJ Goodson was off sides on the snap and the KO line of scrimmage was now the 25 – great directional punt by Wing kept the Steelers short of the 30.
First play of the third Steeler’s set was the interception by Blake, who was in the right place at the right time. Wynn got in the hamper the throw and Blake, who was between the man he was covering and the throw, hooked around for it at the 50, and ran to the 39.
The Giants brought Shane Smith in for the first play of this third set. Two WRs, Engram (right) and FB (left) in the backfield on either side of the seam, and Perkins the Tailback behind them on the seam. Johnson steps back to fake a handoff rolls and throws left to Shane Smith who ran an additional 5 yds for a nine yard gain to the 30. (Reasonably good pocket held)
Next play was 11 personnel with the TE in the backfield to Johnson’s immediate right and Perkins to the left behind the left tackle. Johnson fakes the handoff and muffs the outlet pass to the RB as the Right Tackle (Hart) got pushed into the pocket by Heywood. Defensive holding called. Giants move to the 25.
Giants went into a 2 TE set again on the right side (Ellison inside with the release). Very good pocket maintained. Flowers handles TJ Watt nicely. Pass to Ellison right for 8 yds (4 yds made after the catch) to the 18.
Giants line up in an I formation with Perkins behind Shane Smith, Ellison on the line covering the Left Tackle. Lewis motions to behind Ellison. Everyone on the line does their job, Smith smashes into the line with the lead block, Lewis can’t hold the outside allowing Tuitt to stuff Perkins behind the line.
3rd and 4 is 11 personnel, TE Ellison Right. Ellison releases, pocket is maintained and Johnson throws right to Ellison for the first down at the 14.
Giants in 11 personnel on first down Ellison right. Ellison releases and crosses, Line holds the pocket, Johnson hits him at midfield for 7 yds.
Second and three is an out to Harris right for what looked like another first down, but Harris’ knee is down at the 5 – 1 yd short of the first down. (Quick out pocket holds)
Giants go to the I formation with Shane Smith, Tight ends split on either side of the line. Cornerback comes in at the right side to penetrate to the backfield – have to wonder if this is an assignment error by Engram on the right. Flowers got pushed back and in clogging the middle, even though it looked like he maintained his stance and hand position, this interferes with Smith, backing up Perkins., allowing the CB to tackle him behind the line. Pittsburgh holds.
Giants go for it on 4th and 1. Back into the I formation with Smith, 1 TE (Ellison) right, 2 WRs (Lewis and Harris). Pugh pulls right, Perkins up the middle for the first down behind the FB.
First and goal, 11 personnel, Ellison right: Pocket holds, Johnson is looking right all the way and there’s not much there. Perkins is wide open on the left. Nails Lewis on a crossing route, but he steps out of the end zone as he’s coming across – incomplete.
Second and goal, empty backfield, Ellison on the right side of the line, 2 WRs to the right, Vereen and another WR left: Vereen motions to the backfield and releases at the snap, no one open, Johnson dances around the pocket, has a receiver open(Powe), and after five seconds the pocket finally gives way and he’s sacked (your note taker scratches his head on this one – this is really the first bonehead play by Johnson – he does not go through his reads and he had a bunch of time with a decent pocket).
Third and goal, empty backfield again, Ellison right, 2 receivers on either side (one is Perkins), terrible route running by all 4 receivers – only 1 in the end zone, Pocket holds, Johnson throws to the mid field (Perkins) who was smothered, incomplete pass.
First field goal (Rosas)