Up and down game. The defense gave up 383 yards and 21 points. There were times when Eli and the Giants moved up and down the field with ease. The Giants were 2 for 2 in the RZ. They had 5 plays of 20 yards or more. Eli was only sacked once.
Now for some of the good. The defense also had 4 takeaways. They limited the Giants run game to 17-53. Eli was only 24 for 52. The Eagles had 11 pass deflections so they get some credit for the low percentage. Eli finished with a rating of just 56.1.
I think you can see what I mean by an up and down game.
I was genuinely impressed with the defense in the 4th quarter. The Giants OL got really frustrated. The Eagles weren’t dominating them, but they did win the LOS. And that’s how you win games. The Giants had 2 punts and 3 INTs in the 4th quarter. While the final score indicated a blowout, the game was 22-21 at the beginning of the 4th quarter. The game was very much on the line.
You could start to see some of Bill Davis’ ideas come to life. He didn’t want to give up big plays. The Eagles gave up a 49-yard pass early on, but that’s it. After that, they forced the Giants to throw short and intermediate. In the KC game, the Eagles did this, but couldn’t tackle so the strategy failed. The Eagles did a solid job of tackling in this game. There were some bad plays, but the Giants weren’t able to march up and down the field at will. When the Giants had the slant pass working, they moved the ball well. That’s one area where Davis must get the CBs, LBs and Safeties to do a better job, in terms of coverage and tackling.
As I watched the game live, I was disappointed in the pass rush. I felt different after studying the game. Eli Manning is a different QB than we’ve seen in the past. He looks shell-shocked. He let pressure get to him. The Eagles only had 1 sack, but the pressure was effective.
3 intentional grounding calls
25 incomplete passes
Manning was uncomfortable when defenders got near him. He forced throws into coverage. He took bad chances. He threw the ball away. Eli wasn’t going to take sacks if he could avoid them, but he let the pressure affect his game. Sometimes there was good pressure. Other times he had a better pocket than he realized.
The Giants like to line up in the I-formation and run to the weak side. There were a few plays when the Giants lined up and looked like they had a numbers advantage to the strong side, but then they ran weak and the defense was in good position. The Eagles did a good job of scouting. The Giants did a poor job of adjusting.
The defense started to get some confidence late in the game. The interceptions woke them up and put some pep in their step. We’ll see if that was a temporary thing or if it carries over to the Tampa game. Players do play faster and more aggressively when they’re confident.
* First TD. Giants had 11 personnel so the Eagles lined up in Nickel. Kept both Safeties to the outside, leaving the middle vulnerable. 5 OL + TE to block 4 DL + 2 LBs. Advantage offense. Run went inside. Ryans took a false step, then wasn’t able to recover in time. Kendricks looked to be out of position as well, moving to the outside. Middle was open for easy TD.
* Odd play in mid-2nd. Rushed 4. Had everyone driving Eli right, but no player there to contain him. So Eli rolled and threw for a 1st down. Why drive QB to his throwing side? That was either an odd design or someone took a wrong rush angle on the frontside of the play. You never want to drive a QB to his throwing side and not have someone there. The hounds are supposed to drive the prey to the hunter.
* Had one set in the 4th Qtr with Cox at NT and Curry and Graham as DEs. I thought Davis did his best job with personnel in this game. He used Curry at DE and DT. Graham played some on the left side, where he’s most comfortable.
* Giants were 5-13 on 3rd downs
* The Giants were 2-2 in the RZ.
COX - Pretty good game. Got sealed by the C on an early run play. Drove RG Diehl back toward Eli and forced him to throw early on 3rd down in the early 2nd Qtr. Pass was a tad off target and incomplete. Not great pressure, but affected Eli. Got some pressure on 3rd Qtr pass play. Used hard inside move from LDE on 3rd Qtr pass play. Got by the RT, but then got held badly. No call. Stuffed a run play in the late 3rd Qtr when a couple of Giants blockers let him go. Got some pressure on a 4th Qtr pass play. Eli forced the pass into coverage and it almost got picked off. Ended up incomplete. Got pressure on Boykin’s INT. Curry flushed Eli, then Fletch came off his block and put Eli on the ground. Eli was able to get the pass off before being sacked, but made a terrible choice to throw on the move and against his body into the middle of the field. Drove the RG back into Eli’s face and forced errant pass in the mid-4th Qtr.
SOPOAGA - Played better. Wasn’t making a ton of plays, but got the better of the Giants young C on several running plays. On Ced’s near safety, Sope was there if Wilson started to get away. Did have TFL to open the 4th Qtr. For some reason, the Giants didn’t block him.
THORNTON - Good game. 4 tackles & TFL, Shed block and got RB from backside on the 2nd series. Good hustle. Only gave up 2 yds on the play. Made a sensational play to end the 1st Qtr. Drove RG Diehl backward. Shed him. Hit Wilson at the 2, but couldn’t wrap up. Got control of Wilson in the endzone. Should have been ruled a safety, but instead they gave Wilson forward progress to the 2. Shed block of RT and tackled Jacobs on run in the mid-2nd Qtr. Used a spin move to come off a block and help stuff a run in the early 4th Qtr. Ced was the guy pushing the pocket on Eli’s first INT. Didn’t give Eli much room to step up. Tackled Jacobs on 4th Qtr draw play.
CURRY - First noticed him on 3rd/4 in the early 2nd Qtr. Lined up at LDE and then looped inside on the other side of the NT. No pressure. Diehl had a good block on him late in the 1st half on pass play. Hustled downfield to tackle Randle after catch and run of 20 yds in the 3rd Qtr. Had a good/bad moment in the early 4th Qtr. Giants had 3rd/long. They ran a screen pass. Curry exploded up the field and threw off the timing. That’s good. However, he never read the screen. He was so hellbent on getting to Eli that he just attacked. Got initial pressure on Boykin’s pick. Vinny got into the backfield quickly and forced Eli to move. That led to the forced throw and since he was on the move there wasn’t much on the pass. Boykin could play it. Loved his energy on play where Cary Williams got his pick. Curry was double-teamed. Pushed both guys back. Didn’t go far or pressure Eli, but that’s great effort. Curry was going to do everything he could on that play, even though he was facing 2 blockers. Totally blew up a late 4th Qtr pass play. Fired off the ball and got by the RG. Eli tried to roll to the right and Vinny grabbed him and started to pull him down. Eli was called for grounding. Got hit by the RG, RT and TE on late pass play where Barwin looped inside and got pressure. Vinny is just disruptive. Can affect the play even when he doesn’t beat his blocker. Lined up at LDE and rushed hard off the edge. Used good rip move and pressured Eli into moving up in the pocket. Logan then sacked him.
GEATHERS - Showing some progress. Had impressive play in the mid-2nd Qtr. Took on double team, shed them and was there to take on Jacobs on the play where BJ fumbled. Had impressive moment in the 4th Qtr. Was at LDE. RT tried to block him on a run play. Geathers knocked the guy back a yard and then helped to clog the hole the RB hit.
LOGAN - Good play from RDE in early 2nd Qtr. Giants ran at him. Bennie shed block, grabbed Jacobs. Still gave up 5 yds because Jacobs is hard to tackle when he’s running downhill. Good to see Logan shed the block and make the stop. Got a gift sack late in the game. Curry forced Eli to move up in the pocket and Logan was there to get him. The C and LG then argued about how they were supposed to be blocking Bennie.
SQUARE - DNP
COLE - Good vs run. Limited as pass rusher. Blew up first Giants play by hitting the pulling TE in the backfield. That clogged things up and allowed Wolff to come in and make the tackle for no gain. Set the edge on run play in the 2nd series. TE tried to move him, but Cole held his ground, forced the runner inside. Lined up over Nicks on the next play. Shoved him back and almost got RB for a TFL. Forced Wilson to go wide and pursuit limited his gain. Played DE as well as OLB. Got by the LG and flushed Eli in the 3rd Qtr. Used hard inside move to get into the backfield and flush Eli on pass play in the late 3rd Qtr. Used a hard inside slant in the early 4th Qtr and had a chance to pressure Eli, but he got rid of the ball on a quick slant. Lined up at RDE on Eli’s first INT. Came off the edge hard and hit Eli in the head. Wasn’t a big blow, but easily could have been called for a penalty. More than a love tap. That contact affected Eli as he tried to make the pass.
BARWIN - Solid game. Used as a DE in Nickel sets quite a bit. Tripped by the RT on a pass play late in the 1st Qtr, but couldn’t tell if it was intentional or accident. Barwin was looping around Cox, who slanted outside. Connor got tripped by the RT’s inside foot. Got TFL in the early 3rd Qtr when he was on the right side and stuffed Jacobs on a run to the outside. Got some pressure on 3rd Qtr pass play. Eli threw downfield and the ball was a bit off. Batted down a pass in the mid-3rd Qtr. Had a chance for the INT, but couldn’t hold onto the ball. Stood up the TE and then moved him back on a 4th Qtr run play. Was able to shed the block and help tackle the RB. Got pressure and forced errant throw late in the game when he looped inside.
GRAHAM - Maybe his best game of the season. Came in at ROLB to open the 2nd Qtr. Covered TE on his first play. Jammed the TE and stuck with him in short area. Played some RDE late in the half. Had one good bull rush. Switched over to LDE inside the 2-minute mark. Blew by the RT and forced an incompletion. Lined up at RDE on 4th Qtr pass, but then slanted inside and drove the LG back toward Eli. Good power. On the next play drove the LT back to Eli. That forced the awkward throw that Cary Williams picked off.
KENDRICKS - Had 4 tackles, INT and FR. Had a play on the 2nd series where he moved well laterally and forced the RB out of bounds. Stayed under control, but moved quickly. Need more plays like that. Blitzed up the middle in the late 1st Qtr. Someone tried to take him out low, but Kendricks got over the top and forced Eli to move. Still got the pass off, though. Almost got burned by wheel route. Eli made poor throw and Wilson couldn’t catch it. Kendricks trailed by a step. Recovered Jacobs fumble in the mid-2nd Qtr. Affected the actual fumble with penetration on the play, even though he never hit BJ. Hustled out wide to shove Nicks out of bounds on 3rd Qtr pass play. Helped tackle Randle after gain of 19 on slant in the 4th Qtr. Was covering Jacobs in the 4th Qtr when Eli hit someone’s helmet as he went to pass. The ball went up in the air and Kendricks picked it off. I wanted a pick-6, but he only got 20 yards down to the Giants 25-yd line. Showed good awareness and hands on the play. We’ve seen Eagles LBs drop that pick over the years. Good to see MK make the play. Had solid coverage on the TE in the mid-4th when Eli tried to get the ball there. Pass was off target.
RYANS - Surprisingly quiet game. 3 tackles. Blew up a 3rd Qtr run by knocking Diehl back into Jacobs. Tackled Cruz after short catch over the middle in the 3rd Qtr. Had a delayed blitz in the mid-3rd and forced Eli to get rid of the ball early.
MATTHEWS - Got some snaps at OLB. The Giants double-teamed him on one play. It worked.
KNOTT - Didn’t see him on defense.
GOODE - Only on STs
ALLEN - Up and down game. Was in on 4 tackles and broke up a pass. Just how fast is Nate? Got beat deep on opening drive. WR got behind him and had a chance for deep ball. Tried to cover Cruz deep 1-on-1 on the next play and Cruz got behind him. Blitzed off the edge to start the 2nd series. Got blocked. Good effort, though. Came free as a blitzer a couple of plays later. Got pressure, but Eli got the pass off in time. Blitzed again on that drive. Got blocked by the RB, but affected Eli. For some reason, Manning lost his balance and threw the ball away. That was ruled intentional grounding. Took a horrible angle on 3rd Qtr pass play where Randle took a slant pass for a TD. Should have been a simple tackle A veteran like Nate shouldn’t make that mistake. Had good downfield coverage on deep ball to Cruz in the mid-3rd Qtr. Pass was incomplete. Broke up 4th Qtr deep ball to Randle that was underthrown due to pressure. Did a solid job in man coverage on short stuff. Didn’t make many tackles vs the run, but came up quickly. That may not sound like much, but the Nate Allen of last year wouldn’t have been quite as aggressive vs a big back like Jacobs. Nate was willing to get his hands dirty in this game, even if he wasn’t the primary tackler.
CHUNG - DNP
WOLFF - Best game of his young career. In on 4 tackles and broke up a pass. Stuffed the RB on Giants first play of the game. Lined up in the box and attacked quickly upfield when he read the run play. Came up quickly in run support on late 1st Qtr run, but terrific block by WR kept him from hitting the RB. Broke up a pass in the early 3rd Qtr. Pass was intended for the TE. Good coverage of Cruz on 3rd Qtr pass play in the RZ. Ball fell incomplete. Gave up TD late in the 3rd. Took outstanding pass, catch to get it by him. Pass to Randle. Wolff had pretty good position, but couldn’t play the ball. Helped Boykin double Cruz in the early 4th Qtr. Pretty good coverage, but didn’t show the speed to keep up with Cruz the whole way downfield. Victor started to get some separation. Made good tackle of Cruz after short catch in the mid-4th. Did a good job in zone coverage on the play. Broke quickly to the ball and made a sure tackle. Took poor angle on 4th Qtr pick play. Got caught up with Cary and his receiver. Has to stay back. Give up the short catch, but don’t get caught in traffic. Still was able to get the receiver out without giving up too much.
COLEMAN - Only on STs
FLETCHER - Active game. Broke up 5 passes. Got tested early and often. Giants went deep on him on their 2nd play. Brad helped to break up that pass, although Randle didn’t have great control of it. Eli went deep to Nicks on the next snap and he did make the catch. Brad trailed on the play. A good throw might have meant a TD. Eli underthrew it and Brad was able to make the tackle. Gave up short completion to Cruz on the 2nd series. Played off, then tackled him as soon as the ball got there. Excellent PBU on 3rd/4 in early 2nd. Knocked the ball away from Randle as it got there. Had him playing off Nicks several times. Gave up completions. One time Nicks was open for a good gain, but Eli was off target. Broke up pass for Randle late in the half. Broke up downfield pass to Randle late in the half. Blew by the RT on the next play and blew up a screen pass. Gave up catch and run of 14 yds to Nicks on 3rd/7 in the mid-3rd. Tackled Cruz after a gain of 7 on a quick pass in the early 4th Qtr. Gave up catch and run of 19 yds on slant to Randle in the early 4th. Broke up a 4th Qtr pass over the middle to Randle. Eli forced the ball and Brad was close enough to knock it away. Finished with 8 solo tackles. Really hard to summarize his game. Gave up catches/yards, but also made plays. A hot QB would have burned him on a couple of more plays, but Fletcher did well on some plays.
WILLIAMS - Busy game. Led the team with 11 tackles. Gave up short completion to Cruz to open the 2nd drive. Tackled him quickly. Nicks had a good catch and run vs Williams on the 2nd series. Got 21 yds on the play. Cary did make the tackle. Tackled Randle after short catch on 3rd/25. Made a mistake in the 3rd Qtr when he went to the inside and left Randle uncovered. Eli got the ball to Randle for a gain of 20. Picked off a 4th Qtr pass when Eli made a terrible throw and the pass came right to him. Lovely gift from our host. I didn’t make note of all the catches Williams gave up. The Giants were going after him and Fletcher. Cary should have given up a TD in the 3rd Qtr, but Eli/Nicks couldn’t connect in the endzone. The ball bounced off Nicks helmet.
BOYKIN - Very good game. Covered Cruz in the slot. Had pretty good coverage of Cruz on downfield pass in the 3rd Qtr. Cruz extended for the ball, but Boykin kept hands on him and helped to cause an incompletion. Cruz wanted a flag, of course. Called for PI while covering Cruz in the mid-3rd. Good call. Boykin had his arm. Blitzed in the early 4th Qtr. Jacobs didn’t block him cleanly. Eli saw that and threw the ball away. Got called for intentional grounding. Blitzed off the edge in the early 4th and was unblocked. Forced Eli to move up in the pocket. He did and hit someone’s helmet as he threw the ball. The pass went straight up and Kendricks picked it off. Had pretty good coverage on Cruz on 4th Qtr pass down the field. Eli’s pass was off target. On the next play Bokin covered Cruz on a crossing route. He made a spectacular INT, stealing the ball away as the players went to the ground. Credited with 1 tackle and 1 INT, but impacted the game beyond those numbers.
POYER - DNP
JONES - Averaged 47.8 yds on 6 punts. 2 were downed inside the 20. One touchback.
HENERY - 5 for 5 on FGs. Had 8 KOs. 5 of them were touchbacks.
- MISC -
KOR – All touchbacks.
PR – Damaris had a long PR of 18 yds. 3 returns for 24 yds overall.
* Boykin downed 2 punts inside the 10. One was wiped out by penalty. First one came late in the 1st Qtr. Caught the punt at the 5.
* KO late in the half. Najee Goode made initial contact with the returner. Bradley Fletcher made the tackle.
* Kurt Coleman made a tackle in KO coverage in the 4th Qtr.