If you are going to have a fullback in the game to lead block, said fullback needs to knock people out of the way and clear some running lanes for the ball carrier behind him. As you read earlier today, New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski was included in my list of 'Wet Willies' this morning.
What I am about to show you, thanks to the wizardry of SB Nation's crack staff an animators (OK, one guy who needs to get a life!) is part of the reason why. And let's get one thing straight here. Hynoski is a great guy, maybe my favorite Giant. He is also a darn good player. And yes, Mama Hynoski, I know you are reading and won't be happy with me today. But, here it is.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hynoski was used to lead block on 10 plays Wednesday night, and graded out at -0.5 on those efforts. Here are three plays, the first two with the Giants inside the Dallas 5-yard line, that indicate why the Giants went nowhere in the run game.
Play No. 1
On this play the Giants are inside the Dallas 2-yard line with a chance to score the game's first touchdown after a Michael Boley interception set them up. Ahmad Bradshaw takes a handoff and tries to go wide right with Hynoski leading. You see the big fullback barely brush Anthony Spencer, who throws Bradshaw for a 1-yard loss.
In fairness, tight end Bear Pascoe was lined up on Spencer. You clearly see that Spencer beats Pascoe, and it is possible that Hynoski was coming down the line looking for the safety, Gerald Sensabaugh. Regardless, if Pascoe and Hynoski could seal that edge, Bradshaw scores. They didn't.
Play No. 2
This is the very next play. The Giants, determined to run the ball, try to go left this time with Bradshaw again following Hynoski. Watch Hynoski and he heads outside and winds up not hitting anybody as the play breaks down and again goes backwards.
To be honest, I'm not sure who Hynoski was supposed to hit, or if Bradshaw went inside when he should have gone outside. What you can see is there is an opportunity for the fullback to help Martellus Bennett with DeMarcus Ware or jump inside and try to head off one of the unblocked players shooting the hole. Kevin Boothe is pulling and stumbles over David Baas, who got knocked on his backside, but Boothe couldn't have handled all the Dallas players in that hole, anyway.
The fullback, obviously, is not the entire reason why this play failed spectacularly. He had a lot of 'help.' Baas getting obliterated on the play left the Giants outmanned and out of position. Hynoski, though, has to hit somebody.
Play No. 3
This play came later in the second quarter with Hynoski again leading Bradshaw. As you see, there wasn't great blocking across the board here, though it looks like most Giants got stalemates. There could have been a crease if Hynoski could have handled linebacker Bruce Carter. Instead, Carter tosses Hynoski away and throws Bradshaw for a loss.
OK, so I know Hynoski's mom might never speak to me again. Although I hope that isn't the case. I also know that the fullback is not the only reason for the shortcomings of the running game Wednesday night.
Finally, I know Hynoski is better than what we're watching in these three animations. He needs to show it, though, if the Giants are going to finally run the ball with more consistency.