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3 plays and how the Steelers stopped Barkley

allstarjim : 9/16/2020 2:01 pm
When Tomlin says they overcommitted to stopping Barkley, he wasn't lying. But there are some takeaways from this that hopefully the Giants will learn from and use.

One thing I noticed is several tight formations close to the ball. If you're going to try to get Barkley in space, you probably want to spread the defense out a bit more. Even if you sustain all your blocks and move people, having that many defenders in the box is more traffic for Barkley to deal with, unless he can get outside. So here's some examples:

https://youtu.be/j8XQ0q1ksVM?t=87

Here you have Barkley running to the right with an H-back in the backfield (Kaden Smith), and you're going to have Hernandez pulling. You have 9 guys in the box by the Steelers vs 8 blockers for the Giants. So you're going to have at least one guy running free, and that's the backside end, which is fine if he isn't immediately firing off at your RB, which here Bud Dupree is. This is a complete run blitz. If Dupree doesn't get there, there isn't much chance of this play working anyway, because Kaden Smith is missing his block, and for some reason you ended up with Evan Engram trying to block Cam Heyward, who is playing 5-tech here. That is never going to work. This play was going to be DOA. Too many Steelers in the box here.

https://youtu.be/j8XQ0q1ksVM?t=326

Here you have a run to the left with Zeitler pulling. We have 2 receivers on the right side of the formation, and again you're going to have 2 TEs on the left side of the formation, here Engram and Smith. Engram doesn't do much accept for get in the way, and Smith gets pushed back but at least keeps on his block. The left side of the line with Thomas and Hernandez does a good job here moving people, but Zeitler can't sustain his block on Alualu #94, and he gets in there quickly to stop this play before it starts. But again, it's an 8 man box vs 7 blockers, and you have guys in the backfield immediately because of Smith getting pushed back and free rushers, there's too much traffic for Barkley to navigate in the backfield to even get back to the line of scrimmage. With an 8 man box, this needs to be play action and take advantage of the one on ones. The Steelers did not respect Giants' receivers to hurt them, this is another example.


https://youtu.be/j8XQ0q1ksVM?t=416

Here is more of the same. Nine Steelers in the box here and eight Giants on the line of scrimmage, with THREE TEs lined up on the right side. Here Watt is going to blitz the A gap and Zeitler just stalemates him. Hernandez blocks two guys, getting a good push on Alualu and passes him to Gates who is combo blocking, but really doesn't do much. Hernandez passes him to Gates and takes on the free blitzer filling the backside lane, #34 Terrell Edmunds, who Hernandez pushes out of the way. But Dupree is able to get around Andrew Thomas, but the real problem is #91 Stephon Tuitt defeating Cam Fleming immediately and blowing this play up. But again, Engram isn't blocking anyone really, so don't even put him on the line and give him these run block responsibilities unless it's a blocker assignment outside or in the slot against a corner or safety, which he's still not doing much.

So the Steelers did load up the box to stop Saquon, but the blocking has to be better, and Jones has to get out of some of these plays and just hurt them over the top like he did on the long TD to Slayton against 8 in the box, or here when they put 9 in the box, went play action, leaked Toilolo out and hit for a nice play:

https://youtu.be/j8XQ0q1ksVM?t=430


So the takeaways from this game should be that Garrett first needs to spread things out a little more. You can't have all those defenders in the box if you want to get Saquon involved, and you have to hurt them when they over commit. And you have to stop misusing Engram. I think Toilolo needs to play more in those two tight end sets, and use Engram as a WR or not at all.

And Jones needs to have the freedom and recognition to audible out of these run plays vs a loaded box as well.





Might be Time to Take a Page from Don Coryell's Chargers  
OntheRoad : 9/16/2020 2:15 pm : link

and use the pass to set up the run.
Very good contribution  
Bill2 : 9/16/2020 2:15 pm : link
allstarjim. Thank you.
Great analysis  
aGiantGuy : 9/16/2020 2:17 pm : link
+1
Nice job......  
Simms11 : 9/16/2020 2:27 pm : link
I love reading these type of posts.
Holy fuck Engram in those clips  
sb from NYT Forum : 9/16/2020 2:28 pm : link
.
RE: Might be Time to Take a Page from Don Coryell's Chargers  
LBH15 : 9/16/2020 2:29 pm : link
In comment 14974560 OntheRoad said:
Quote:

and use the pass to set up the run.


I think they tried. Didn't they start passing on first down exclusively?
awesome breakdown, thanks Jim  
UConn4523 : 9/16/2020 2:34 pm : link
and you bring up a great point that I really don't know much about, if anything - how much freedom does Jones have to audible? Wonder how much he audibled Monday night, not sure how that would be measured though.
Nice work  
JonC : 9/16/2020 2:37 pm : link
Two things leaped out watching the game : the run blitzes from the backside were constantly not recognized let alone picked up and 2) Giants were easily confused by formation and stunt, especially the interior three and Fleming. Fleming, Gates, and Hernandez had poor games.

Giants as a team have to coach it up to pick up the blitz, and not lose track of crossing or delay routes underneath their zones.
great job  
PatersonPlank : 9/16/2020 2:40 pm : link
My takeaway is playing Engram = misusing Engram
What value does he add?
Pittsburgh got away with this. Most teams won’t be able to.  
BillT : 9/16/2020 2:43 pm : link
They will not be as effective nor will they be able to cover up what this kind of approach exposes. Hat tip to Pittsburgh.
Fundamental and Systemic Breakdowns in Game 1  
CJ in AZ : 9/16/2020 2:44 pm : link
As Sy56 said in his game review, there was weak blocking at Center, RG, RT and TE (when it was Engram most of the time). That is the whole right side of the line including the new center. Add to that Barkley's weak pass blocking, in the face of an 8 or 9 man box on defense, meant that most runs were being blown up before Barkley could get to the line of scrimmage, and most passing plays were under duress as we know.
Recipe for disaster.
Dan Jones deserves more credit from BBI.
If physical football from our offense is the goal, we need the coaching staff to be active and creative.
As good as Barkley is  
Beer Man : 9/16/2020 2:47 pm : link
its not hard to stop him when there are two or more defenders in his face as soon as he is handed the ball. This team has to get the OL right, or they are wasting away Barkley's talent.
Giants offense  
JonC : 9/16/2020 2:52 pm : link
is going to have issues with defenses that are multiple, fast, and veteran.
To put it simply  
crick n NC : 9/16/2020 3:00 pm : link
The Steelers played the run and short pass, daring the giants pass protection to hold up to allow deep shots (slayton really the only deep threat, and engram down the seam). Talented fronts can do this, certainly not all teams. However, the giants are going to have to be able to hit some deeper throws which means pass blocking holding up and receivers able to get deep.
You know  
allstarjim : 9/16/2020 3:04 pm : link
I'd really consider moving Engram for a big, physical WR that can win one-on-ones, which I think will help Jones.

And right now, there's one available in Allen Robinson. I don't think Robinson is the end-all, be-all, and initially I wasn't in favor of him being traded for, but if he's available and we can do a simple swap of these players, I think it works better for the Giants and allows them to get more respect on the outside, or a player that can hurt them if defenses don't.

A player like Robinson I think would help both Jones and hopefully open up a little more for Saquon.
If you watch Judge's film breakdown  
BH28 : 9/16/2020 3:07 pm : link
One of the plays we scored a touchdown on was the play fake on the tight formation.

Judge highlighted that the heavy tight formation was indicative of run, and the play fake sucked up the LBs which allowed Engram to run behind them. Had the safety not bit on the Engram across to allow the TD to Slayton, Engram would have been wide open.

So running out of the tight formations for losses might have been on purpose to set-up this play action pass that resulted in a TD.
RE: Fundamental and Systemic Breakdowns in Game 1  
Angel Eyes : 9/16/2020 3:10 pm : link
In comment 14974605 CJ in AZ said:
Quote:
As Sy56 said in his game review, there was weak blocking at Center, RG, RT and TE (when it was Engram most of the time). That is the whole right side of the line including the new center. Add to that Barkley's weak pass blocking, in the face of an 8 or 9 man box on defense, meant that most runs were being blown up before Barkley could get to the line of scrimmage, and most passing plays were under duress as we know.
Recipe for disaster.
Dan Jones deserves more credit from BBI.
If physical football from our offense is the goal, we need the coaching staff to be active and creative.

So theoretically if the Bears study footage from the Giants game, would they set Khalil Mack, their best pass rusher, as the LDE (left defensive end)/SAM linebacker spot against Cam Fleming?
RE: If you watch Judge's film breakdown  
allstarjim : 9/16/2020 3:20 pm : link
In comment 14974629 BH28 said:
Quote:
One of the plays we scored a touchdown on was the play fake on the tight formation.

Judge highlighted that the heavy tight formation was indicative of run, and the play fake sucked up the LBs which allowed Engram to run behind them. Had the safety not bit on the Engram across to allow the TD to Slayton, Engram would have been wide open.

So running out of the tight formations for losses might have been on purpose to set-up this play action pass that resulted in a TD.


You can go 12 personnel and get the same effect. But at any rate, even with 13 personnel, Engram has to play better, and you have to get Saquon in positions where they do damage. Yes, we hit over the top to Slayton, but that one play doesn't negate a slew of negative plays...and further, the negative plays mostly came after that long TD, so it wasn't set up by those.

I understand your point, which is true...you can set up a passing play on a run play that is unlikely to work, but based on what Pittsburgh was doing in this game, they needed to do the opposite...have the pass set up the run game...you have to hurt them more than one time when they over commit to the run...and when they back off, then you can get Saquon back involved on the ground. I do think they'd be better off just spreading them out and making Pittsburgh defend more of the field.
how do other offenses  
uther99 : 9/16/2020 3:29 pm : link
defeat 8 or 9 men in box? I would guess a quick slant or other 3 drop throws
RE: RE: If you watch Judge's film breakdown  
giants#1 : 9/16/2020 3:32 pm : link
In comment 14974644 allstarjim said:
Quote:
In comment 14974629 BH28 said:


Quote:


One of the plays we scored a touchdown on was the play fake on the tight formation.

Judge highlighted that the heavy tight formation was indicative of run, and the play fake sucked up the LBs which allowed Engram to run behind them. Had the safety not bit on the Engram across to allow the TD to Slayton, Engram would have been wide open.

So running out of the tight formations for losses might have been on purpose to set-up this play action pass that resulted in a TD.



You can go 12 personnel and get the same effect. But at any rate, even with 13 personnel, Engram has to play better, and you have to get Saquon in positions where they do damage. Yes, we hit over the top to Slayton, but that one play doesn't negate a slew of negative plays...and further, the negative plays mostly came after that long TD, so it wasn't set up by those.

I understand your point, which is true...you can set up a passing play on a run play that is unlikely to work, but based on what Pittsburgh was doing in this game, they needed to do the opposite...have the pass set up the run game...you have to hurt them more than one time when they over commit to the run...and when they back off, then you can get Saquon back involved on the ground. I do think they'd be better off just spreading them out and making Pittsburgh defend more of the field.


13 personnel with Engram = 12 personnel



:=)
RE: how do other offenses  
Angel Eyes : 9/16/2020 3:33 pm : link
In comment 14974654 uther99 said:
Quote:
defeat 8 or 9 men in box? I would guess a quick slant or other 3 drop throws

You can have three-receiver sets, maybe have the offense push the defense to whichever side the outside linebackers are on (if they're running a 46 defense), then run the running back to the opposite side.
Btw  
allstarjim : 9/16/2020 3:33 pm : link
I have to defend Will Hernandez here (again).

From everything I viewed, he had a solid game, as Sy also said. And given that often his task was blocking Cam Heyward, one of the best DTs in the NFL, he won the great majority of those battles, and performed very well against Alualu when matched up against him as well.

Sy had him with one pressure allowed, I think I saw two, but neither hurt them as both resulted in first down completions.

If you key on him, he's pretty fun to watch, because his nasty is often on display, he loves to hit guys and looks for every opportunity to put a guy on his seat.
RE: RE: If you watch Judge's film breakdown  
BH28 : 9/16/2020 3:42 pm : link
In comment 14974644 allstarjim said:
Quote:
In comment 14974629 BH28 said:


Quote:


One of the plays we scored a touchdown on was the play fake on the tight formation.

Judge highlighted that the heavy tight formation was indicative of run, and the play fake sucked up the LBs which allowed Engram to run behind them. Had the safety not bit on the Engram across to allow the TD to Slayton, Engram would have been wide open.

So running out of the tight formations for losses might have been on purpose to set-up this play action pass that resulted in a TD.



You can go 12 personnel and get the same effect. But at any rate, even with 13 personnel, Engram has to play better, and you have to get Saquon in positions where they do damage. Yes, we hit over the top to Slayton, but that one play doesn't negate a slew of negative plays...and further, the negative plays mostly came after that long TD, so it wasn't set up by those.

I understand your point, which is true...you can set up a passing play on a run play that is unlikely to work, but based on what Pittsburgh was doing in this game, they needed to do the opposite...have the pass set up the run game...you have to hurt them more than one time when they over commit to the run...and when they back off, then you can get Saquon back involved on the ground. I do think they'd be better off just spreading them out and making Pittsburgh defend more of the field.


It will be interesting to see how the formations change throughout the year, as you mentioned spreading it out would negate some of that pass rush.

Without knowing the gameplan they implemented I am going to make two guesses:

1. Without live action, they misjudged how well the line was playing together. Even a marginal running game out of 13 personnel would have produced much greater success on play action. Maybe they thought the match-ups from passing out of 13 was better than 11 personnel?

2. I wonder if the offensive strategy is going to take a page out of the rams book, running multiple different types of plays out of the same personnel package. When it works, it's quite effective, when it doesn't you better have a plan B.
RE: Nice work  
Thegratefulhead : 9/16/2020 3:45 pm : link
In comment 14974597 JonC said:
Quote:
Two things leaped out watching the game : the run blitzes from the backside were constantly not recognized let alone picked up and 2) Giants were easily confused by formation and stunt, especially the interior three and Fleming. Fleming, Gates, and Hernandez had poor games.

Giants as a team have to coach it up to pick up the blitz, and not lose track of crossing or delay routes underneath their zones.
Agreed. Some preseason games might have helped a little, I say little because Preseason is not game planned like regular season, we would not seen so many run blitzes. They need time to play together, the OL more than any other position group on the field needs to operate as a unit. My expectations for the OL were very low for this game because of the opponent, timing and circumstance surrounding this season for the NFL and NYG in particular.
19 play drive  
Thegratefulhead : 9/16/2020 3:48 pm : link
Was a good example of how we can beat this. We can't give in. If they keep run blitzing we need to be patient and force them to change. Don't run, spread them out in 13 personnel and march them down the field with the passing game. This plays to a Jones strength. The defense will tire.
RE: You know  
santacruzom : 9/16/2020 3:55 pm : link
In comment 14974626 allstarjim said:
Quote:
I'd really consider moving Engram for a big, physical WR that can win one-on-ones, which I think will help Jones.

And right now, there's one available in Allen Robinson. I don't think Robinson is the end-all, be-all, and initially I wasn't in favor of him being traded for, but if he's available and we can do a simple swap of these players, I think it works better for the Giants and allows them to get more respect on the outside, or a player that can hurt them if defenses don't.

A player like Robinson I think would help both Jones and hopefully open up a little more for Saquon.


Better do it this week then. The Bears aren't likely to want anything to do with Engram after they have the direct experience of playing against him.
RE: You know  
FStubbs : 9/16/2020 4:51 pm : link
In comment 14974626 allstarjim said:
Quote:
I'd really consider moving Engram for a big, physical WR that can win one-on-ones, which I think will help Jones.

And right now, there's one available in Allen Robinson. I don't think Robinson is the end-all, be-all, and initially I wasn't in favor of him being traded for, but if he's available and we can do a simple swap of these players, I think it works better for the Giants and allows them to get more respect on the outside, or a player that can hurt them if defenses don't.

A player like Robinson I think would help both Jones and hopefully open up a little more for Saquon.


I'd move Engram for a bag of donuts. He's a "weapon" who can't catch or get open.
Great post Jim.  
FranknWeezer : 9/16/2020 5:18 pm : link
Thanks
RE: Might be Time to Take a Page from Don Coryell's Chargers  
Biteymax22 : 9/16/2020 6:03 pm : link
In comment 14974560 OntheRoad said:
Quote:

and use the pass to set up the run.


Was shocked to see Slayton’s route chart with only 1 deep ball thrown to him (the TD). If he’s running shallows and crosses who is stretching the field?
as with any great NFL player  
mittenedman : 9/16/2020 6:39 pm : link
coaches will be working tirelessly to blueprint ways to stop you.

Right now, the blueprint is to run blitz the hell out of Barkley. If it happens to be a pass, the blitz still forces him into pass pro, which serves a double-benefit to the D:

*forces him to do something he isn't good at (pass pro)

*takes him away as a receiver (takes the ball out of their best player's hands)

This strategy works even better because the Giants have a poor OLine and a young inexperienced QB with pre-snap reads.

It will be up to Jones, Judge, Garrett & the Giants to figure a way out of that chokehold. It's the obvious strategy and they'll see it week after week.
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