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BiteyMax's Next Day Non-Emotional Thoughts

Biteymax22 : 9/18/2023 9:03 am
My non-emotional review from yesterday’s game. As always feel free to add your own thoughts, argue with mine etc… just be civil.

Disclaimer - I mentioned last week I’m going to be experimenting with different formats as I felt this thread has begun to resemble what both Sy’ and Eric already do a fantastic job of. I’m open to comments and suggestions of formatting for future threads. Today rather than go position group through position group I will be making more broad comments on offense, defense and coaching. Enjoy!


Overview:

Giants 31 Cardinals 28, we improve to 1-1 going into an extremely tough matchup against a loaded 49ers team that seems to excel at a lot of the things we have a hard time defending. Bottom line, we needed to win this game.

The easy observation would be to view this game as a tale of two halves due to the dichotomy between what we saw in the first vs the second. I’d challenge that its even more than that, not only did we see two completely different games from half to half, we saw two completely different teams. The Giants in the first half were well on their way to picking Caleb Williams, resetting their rebuild and re-entering the cycle of hope and optimism turning into disappointment for the fans. As a poor Cardinal team marched down the field drive after drive, social media steamed, comparisons to Ben McAdoo started flying around and Josh Dobbs was getting ready for his gold jacket fitting after the game. Things were that bad.

Half two couldn’t have been more different and started right from the first play when rookie third rounder Jaylin Hyatt reportedly told Jones to “throw it up for me” and responded with a 58 yard catch that set the Giants up for not only a much-needed score, but a fast one. While the Cardinals responded with a TD drive of their own, The Giants never wavered and continued to march the ball down the field drive after drive to slowly cut the lead. Flash forward to the 4th quarter, not only did they wind up making up a 20pt deficit, but they were able to do it quickly enough where overtime was taken out of the question. I would have really liked to see this team from the 2nd half play Dallas the week before…

Overall, you can view this game in a lot of different ways. After an embarrassing drubbing by the Dallas Cowboys the week prior, we were reminded exactly how bad this team can be in the worst case scenario, then shown how good they can be when things get going the right way.

I can say this. Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge would not have been able to keep the team together, modify their game plan and win this game. The poor start deserves to be put on Daboll, but he also needs just as much, if not more credit for bringing his team back for the win.


Offense:


To be straight forward, after 6 quarters of football Daniel Jones’s extension was looking to rival Nate Solder and Kenny Golladay’s contracts as worst ever in Giants history. While he got little to no help from his team against Dallas, he was still paid the type of money you give a QB that elevates his teammates, which he didn’t do. In quarters 1 and 2 it was more of the same with the major exception that he wasn’t running for his life like he was against Dallas. Yes, there were some bad drops and poor plays by WRs (Saquon Barkley has caused 2 INTs already this season) but he had some bad throws on his own, poorly timed plays and I saw some receivers running free that he missed.

In Q3 we saw an entirely different person. Jones not only looked like a 40million dollar QB, he looked like a top 5 player at the position. He moved in the pocket well, had zip on his throws, put balls in tight windows but most importantly, never waivered in the face of diversity. Please give me this guy the rest of the season.

Moving on from Jones the obvious next step would be the offensive line. Marcus McKethan got the start which was oddly only reported by a Philly reporter, and played well enough. Josh Ezeudu didn’t embarrass himself at LT and clearly has a place as a swing tackle and Evan Neal wasn’t a liability. Interestingly we had discussions on the board this week involving Joe Schoen’s 2022 draft calling him out for “whiffing” on quite a few players. The counterpoint to that is that we won a game with (3) 2022 Joe Schoen draft picks on the OL, 1 from 2023 and one of his free agent signings filling in for Ben Bredeson. We saw and won with an offensive line that was 100% Joe Schoen built. Worth thinking about.

While I won’t do a full walk through of the skill positions, I will say that we’re beginning to see what the plan was for two of our biggest offseason acquisitions on the offensive side of the ball. Darren Waller provided a consistent safety net for Daniel Jones in clutch situations. Need a first down, need someone to rely on to be open? Waller is your guy. I expect to see a lot of him doing this as the season goes on.

When Jaylin Hyatt was drafted there was hope he could be a number 1, I don’t think this is what the Giants were looking for. Hyatt was drafted to do exactly what he did yesterday, take the top off the defense, create big plays and open up the underneath for Waller, Barkley, Campbell, Robinson etc… You’ll notice how the defense softened once he caught that bomb. This is what we need from him, be Desean Jackson and create big plays.


Defense:

Despite giving up only 8 second half points and tightening up as the game went, I still walked away from this game feeling less optimistic about our defense than I did our offense. It’s one thing when a high-powered Dallas offense finds a way to march up and down the field with little resistance, it’s a completely different thing when a Josh Dobbs lead Cardinal team does it. Even in the second half when they began to make stops and look like an NFL defense, there were still a few things that should be cause for concern going forward. I wasn’t happy with the defense, and we have players who outright just need to play better.


Two statistic that should scare you whether this was a win or not:

31 passing attempts by Arizona, 0 sacks, 0 turnovers
29 rushes for 151 yards


These two statistics scream “we’re losing in the trenches”. The game film from the past two games only reinforces this. There was a lot of talk about Kayvon Thibodeaux disappearing during the Dallas game, he was also invisible yesterday. While it’s easy to blame him, it isn’t just him. Leonard Williams, who is being paid a fortune, has yet to flash yet this season and Azeez Ojulari was back on the sideline with another injury. This group needs to step their game up, period. We won’t be able to be competitive with a defensive front 7 that is simply “just there”.

In the second half of the game the secondary outplayed the defensive front. McKinney and Pinnock were both active and rebounded after being run over more than once by James Conner in the first half. The two rookies at CB are not playing like two rookie CBs, and certainly not a 6th round rookie. An unheralded play in the game was Trey Hawkins deep coverage late in the 4th quarter on a ball he almost intercepted. This was almost an identical situation to what he got called for PI on the week before against Brandin Cooks, however this time he played it differently, he cut the receiver off, got his head around and ran the route for him. The play itself is encouraging, what’s more encouraging is the adjustment from week to week.


Coaching:

Daboll had both his best and worst game as a Giant when viewing this by half. While the first half looked identical to the first game against Dallas, there is a major difference between looking that bad against Dallas and looking that bad against Arizona, these two things aren’t the same. I’d like to know what was said at halftime, because this was the fastest turnaround I’ve ever seen from a team. We’ve seen very few Giants teams that have even had the ability to make this type of a comeback, and less who can fulfill that potential and execute it. Specifically, with it following up the Dallas game, it was an amazing job for Daboll to keep this team together after the first half.

One thing I’d like to touch on, there seems to be some discussion as to whether Daboll took over play calling or not. He’s saying he didn’t yet the cameras seemed to have caught him calling plays more than once. For the record I don’t care whether he did or didn’t, Kafka called them last year and did a good job, if Daboll did jump in it just shows the value of having two good play callers on staff.

For Wink on defense, you need to figure out what is going on with this front. The defensive line can’t be Dexter Lawrence and 3 other guys, someone else needs to come on and identify themselves as a player. While I gave Thibs a pass last week after that disaster, there was no excuse for him being shut out yesterday. He was picked 5th in the draft, time to live up to his status.


Conclusion:

I mentioned last week that losing 40 to nothing is the same as losing 40-39, it’s one loss on the schedule. While this was a great, emotional come from behind win, its just a 1 added in the win column at the end of the week. Bottom line is we played an opponent we should beat, and we beat them, it wasn’t smooth, some of it was outright ugly, but we won. There’s a lot to learn from in this game, but there’s also a lot to build on. Please let the second half Giants be the ones that show up from here on out.

Short turn around and a tough opponent Thursday. I mentioned that Arizona was a team we should beat, the 49er’s are one we shouldn’t. They’re extremely strong in the trenches, press the edges in the run game and feature a ton of dynamic playmakers. I’m not asking for the Giants to come in and pull off an upset, I’m just asking that they don’t come in and lay an egg like they did against Dallas. Show us the fans that Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll are building a team that is better than it was the year before and put up a fight against San Fransico.
Giants defense  
Sammo85 : 9/18/2023 9:12 am : link
Needs to step up in this Niners game. Their offense has some weak points no matter the weapons like Deebo and CMC and their zone schemes.

This is a big game for Wink and the coaches overall to come strong out of gate.
You may want to re-watch Evan Neal  
Capt. Don : 9/18/2023 9:16 am : link
They gave him help and when they didn't, he was a liability.

There were several very productive plays that ended up being chunk plays despite Evan Neal.
Very fine write-up  
M.S. : 9/18/2023 9:18 am : link

you make several astute observations.

This quote of yours at the very end caught my eye in regard to upcoming San Fran game:

"...I’m just asking that they don’t come in and lay an egg like they did against Dallas."

THAT is a very big ask.
Your write-up is on the money  
SomeFan : 9/18/2023 9:23 am : link
I have nothing. Well, maybe one thing. Bellinger is not a bad pass-catching TE either. He has been super quiet so far in that regard but I think he will sneak up on a team in one of the next few games with a TD or two.
the poor  
Eric from BBI : Admin : 9/18/2023 9:25 am : link
play of the defense is head-scratching.
I'm asking for an upset  
fkap : 9/18/2023 9:28 am : link
Prior to the season, we wanted a team that was ready to run with the big dogs. SF is a big dog. running with means possibility of winning, not merely avoiding embarrassment.

I don't expect a win (I never do as part of my pessimist mindset), but that's what I want to be possible. A solid team beats those it should, and occasionally beats a few it shouldn't. Up until quarter 2 yesterday, I had no doubt that the Giants were much better than the drubbing of last Sunday. I didn't get to see the second half of AZ, but apparently the performance should restore hope that the Giants are indeed better than the opening day team.
RE: the poor  
M.S. : 9/18/2023 9:31 am : link
In comment 16211160 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
play of the defense is head-scratching.

Of the 3 units, the secondary has the best excuse given there are several new faces out there. Not sure what to make of all the other crap. Only thing that seems crystal clear to me is that the Giants are getting out-muscled and out-weighed at the point of attack, which IMO should force Wink to get out of his 5 DB base defense, or sit Thibs and give a few series to 4 large D-line with their hand in the dirt.
Hmmmm....  
rnargi : 9/18/2023 9:35 am : link
"To be straight forward, after 6 quarters of football Daniel Jones’s extension was looking to rival Nate Solder and Kenny Golladay’s contracts as worst ever in Giants history."

Not for nothing, but that's a highly emotional take, lol!
Agree  
Lines of Scrimmage : 9/18/2023 9:39 am : link
about the D and also with what Eric said. Lot of new pieces so hopefully it comes together fast.

Bold move and one that was needed by BD on offense. When you score zero points in six quarters something had to change.

Thanks for your thoughts.
After a day to digest  
46and2Blue : 9/18/2023 9:39 am : link
I am happy for the win. But this isn't a good team. They really did in the second half what they were supposed to do all game. The secondary is more talented than our defensive line, who thought that would be the case coming into the season.
The first half was mind-bogglingly bad.  
Gruber : 9/18/2023 9:47 am : link
I thought there was a lot of panicking on the game thread, including from Sy of all people (a tweet that was reproduced on the thread).
The one thing that stays with me is how Wink Martindale is always treated on BBI like a God, and okay, I get he's popular with players, but it seems like there is never any criticism of him and his schemes. But do the results justify that?
As for Thibodeaux and Williams, if you look on the NFL stat line for the game, they don't feature. No tackles, no assists, no sacks. no TFL's. Is that an official stat line?

Should also point out John Michael Schmitz played only his second NFL game. I think Schoen's drafting will work out, with the exception of Thibodeaux.
Nice review  
gary_from_chester : 9/18/2023 9:58 am : link
Lots of problems on defense. Lots of chatter about Thibs, but lots of guys are underperforming in my view:

- Leonard Williams
- Xavier Mckinney
- Micah McFadden
- Adoree Jackson (still adjusting to the slot)
- Jihad Ward

Look for Simmons to have a much bigger role moving forward. I also think Belton starts getting more snaps. One thing (of many) I like about Daboll - he’ll pull the trigger on changes when they’re needed.

I’m more confident in the offense than the defense at this point….is this really the NY Giants? 😀
RE: the poor  
Greg from LI : 9/18/2023 10:03 am : link
In comment 16211160 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
play of the defense is head-scratching.


Yup. Last year's defense wasn't great but I feel like they would have shut down this putrid Arizona offense that just steamrolled them for three quarters.
The  
Giantsbigblue : 9/18/2023 10:19 am : link
Defense seems to feed off the offense. As soon as the offense started gaining momentum the Defense seemed to get more fired up.

The defense is playing below even my expectations  
JonC : 9/18/2023 10:22 am : link
but, I did warn against thinking this unit was ready for the big-time. Young secondary, young edges, poor ILB next to Okereke, front seven producing no pass rush (tho I think Wink's calling a conservative game too in order to protect it from its weaknesses at the moment).

It has significant needs up front, at ILB, and Edge.
RE: The defense is playing below even my expectations  
csb : 9/18/2023 10:31 am : link
In comment 16211292 JonC said:
Quote:
but, I did warn against thinking this unit was ready for the big-time. Young secondary, young edges, poor ILB next to Okereke, front seven producing no pass rush (tho I think Wink's calling a conservative game too in order to protect it from its weaknesses at the moment).

It has significant needs up front, at ILB, and Edge.


The biggest concern is that the worst performers are the people we needed to play significant roles this year (Bobby O, Leo, Kayvon) and then guys like Jihad who looked exposed yesterday. The lack of pass rush and ability to stop the run is what will ultimately limit this team's upside
The defense should be playing  
SirLoinOfBeef : 9/18/2023 10:33 am : link
at a much higher level.

The high draft picks, the salary allocated, and the coordinator make this unit's performance mind-boggling.
Before the season  
Gman11 : 9/18/2023 10:42 am : link
many of us thought the Giants would be a good team.

Now, it's just don't get blown out by the 49ers.
Penalties  
jpennyva : 9/18/2023 10:44 am : link
One thing that frustrated me to no end were the penalties, especially too many men on the field and the PI penalty that negated the interception. The Giants had, I believe, seven penalties for 55 yards and Arizona had six penalties for 30 yards, most of which were their mind-boggling gifts to the Giants of false starts (in their home stadium, for crying out loud!). I recognize there are some young guys out there but penalties can be momentum killers.

With respect to making adjustments at halftime, I thought the coaching staff did a pretty good job at that last season so I was surprised last week that they did not seem to make any adjustments and continued getting run over by Dallas on both sides of the ball. I was, of course, very glad to see the coaching staff do what they needed to do in that regard yesterday to finally light a fire under the team.
It’s Wink’s formation that is not working  
Rick in Dallas : 9/18/2023 10:52 am : link
Go back to 3-4 defensive front.
Thibs has only 1 move to the outside.He definitely needs to get stronger
They've got the horses to stop the run up front  
Dnew15 : 9/18/2023 10:56 am : link
I'm very confused on why it's not working.

I figured that would be the least of the team's worries on defense and yet, the problem persists.
Giants are only playing two d linemen  
HarryCarson53 : 9/18/2023 11:20 am : link
Ojulari and Mr. Thibs are glorified outside linebackers who can’t stop the run vs tackles. This is the nuttiest base defense I’ve ever seen, even if one of the lineman is named Dexter Lawrence.
I agree its the formation  
PatersonPlank : 9/18/2023 11:30 am : link
maybe going to a "real 3-4 is the answer. Put a 3rd DL type on there, and then go with Okerkee, Simmons, Thibs, and Ojulari as the LBs. Right now it seems like we are morphing into a 3-4 or 4-3 by choosing to blitz Thibs or Ojulari/Ward, and its just not working
Good Write-up As Usual  
Bernie : 9/18/2023 12:15 pm : link
While I’m not happy with the defense, I will acknowledge that during training camp and preseason, Wink did say there would be mistakes and it would take time to jell. Let’s hope the mistakes decrease and the jelling starts to happen quickly.
RE: RE: the poor  
cosmicj : 9/18/2023 12:47 pm : link
In comment 16211255 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
In comment 16211160 Eric from BBI said:


Quote:


play of the defense is head-scratching.



Yup. Last year's defense wasn't great but I feel like they would have shut down this putrid Arizona offense that just steamrolled them for three quarters.


I think Wink’s scheme last year succeeded because of a mind-bogglingly great season by Dexter. Now that Dex is merely playing very well, it’s exposed.

Wink needs to reconsider what he’s doing and start relying more on all these big lineman Schoen has been furnishing him. He can’t use a base lineup with 2 real defensive linemen.
Great write-up Bitey!  
jpkmets : 9/18/2023 1:01 pm : link
It's beyond me to have non-emotional thoughts today. That was an adrenaline thrill-ride, as every movie poster says.

Also, just to be a ball-breaker, I have to point out a fantastic typo -- just hilarious:

"but most importantly, [Jones] never wavered in the face of diversity."

Just made me think of Mike Tyson fading into Bolivian. :)


Appreciate the write-ups. Thanks!

RE: Great write-up Bitey!  
Biteymax22 : 9/18/2023 1:39 pm : link
In comment 16211708 jpkmets said:
Quote:
It's beyond me to have non-emotional thoughts today. That was an adrenaline thrill-ride, as every movie poster says.

Also, just to be a ball-breaker, I have to point out a fantastic typo -- just hilarious:

"but most importantly, [Jones] never wavered in the face of diversity."

Just made me think of Mike Tyson fading into Bolivian. :)


Appreciate the write-ups. Thanks!


You caught my over reliance on spell check... I think I need a copy editor for these.
RE: It’s Wink’s formation that is not working  
Angel Eyes : 9/18/2023 2:20 pm : link
In comment 16211367 Rick in Dallas said:
Quote:
Go back to 3-4 defensive front.
Thibs has only 1 move to the outside.He definitely needs to get stronger

The Giants have been using a 3-4 front as their base since Bettcher got the job but with a lot of 2-4 looks in the last few years.
Edges aren't good run defenders yet  
JonC : 9/18/2023 2:30 pm : link
save for Ward, and he can be spotty too. Okereke is the only legit ILB, the corners are young and will have issues, even McKinney is going for the ball too much and forgetting to tackle.
just keep improving  
djm : 9/18/2023 3:17 pm : link
D played better 2nd half. KEep it up.

I am not worried about the offense. It's either going to be pretty good or great. It still needs some beef up front (maybe we have those guys in the fold but more time is needed)

I am and will continue to be obsessed about the defense until it arrives. It's 2 games and they held up in the final 16 minutes or so. Work needs to be done but 1-1 is fine. 0-2 and losing last night would have been brutal.
RE: RE: Great write-up Bitey!  
jpkmets : 9/19/2023 12:17 am : link
In comment 16211825 Biteymax22 said:
Quote:
In comment 16211708 jpkmets said:


Quote:


It's beyond me to have non-emotional thoughts today. That was an adrenaline thrill-ride, as every movie poster says.

Also, just to be a ball-breaker, I have to point out a fantastic typo -- just hilarious:

"but most importantly, [Jones] never wavered in the face of diversity."

Just made me think of Mike Tyson fading into Bolivian. :)


Appreciate the write-ups. Thanks!




You caught my over reliance on spell check... I think I need a copy editor for these.


I write for much of my living. Happy to proof it for ya!
Great write up Bitey,  
section125 : 9/19/2023 5:31 am : link
thanks.

I am going to slightly disagree with you on Jones. I counted 6 drops in the 1st half - 3 Campbell, 2 Waller and Barkley's INT. Some of those were 1st downs. That is a huge difference in keeping drives going and then limiting the Cards offense with the ball.
Now what I did see that I will agree with you on, Jones seems to get harried and then sort of loses his cool, does not see the field. Falls back to bad Jones. Of course when you make passes and they get dropped it does increase the stress level.

Wink's defense is and has been a disaster. People will run on him until he starts to stop the runs. I am not sure what exactly it is he is doing with the front 7, but it is not working. I think the DBs are showing they can cover.

I am also not a huge fan of Kafka's play calling and he can call a beautiful game as evidenced by late last season. But he seems to get locked in, just like the 1st half Sunday. Did Dabs take over play calling in the 2nd half? Perhaps he was editing or suggesting since Kafka was being too conservative.

But like most things, the season will evolve. But Wink, more than anyone, needs to step it up...
RE: It’s Wink’s formation that is not working  
DefenseWins : 9/19/2023 6:31 am : link
In comment 16211367 Rick in Dallas said:
Quote:
Go back to 3-4 defensive front.
Thibs has only 1 move to the outside.He definitely needs to get stronger


Not only that, but Thibs is not even reading run vs pass. He is going after the QB every time even when the ball has been handed to the RB.
The bottom line is that the offensive line gives Jones and his  
Ira : 9/19/2023 7:25 am : link
receivers some time our offense can put up points. When they don't do their jobs, the qb and receivers can't do theirs.
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