Here at Big Blue View, we love our New York Giants. Even at a pathetic 3-9 record on the season so far, it's very likely that most of you will continue watching the figurative dumpster fire that this team is.
It's interesting that we continue to watch, despite knowing that it's all over. I suppose it's human nature to slow down to watch a train wreck. We all do it.
That's exactly what this next film study is going to be. A train wreck. We're going to take a look at all four sacks that Eli Manning took in last Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jordan Raanan, of the "NJ.com" did an outstanding film study here, so definitely check it out as well. He's provided some great still images of some of these sacks. We, like always, will provide GIFs to help support his conclusions and draw our own.
SACK ONE - J.D. Walton, James Brewer and Daniel Fells Do No Favors
This is the infamous sack-fumble-touchdown that began the Giants' eventual collapse. Watch the set up here as the Jaguars bring five and the Giants simply have no clue. Just no clue. The only one who does any of his damn job is Will Beatty (at least initially). His responsibility is to eliminate the edge defender on the left side, which he does.
Weston Richburg has nobody lined up over him so he scans the field and helps Beatty defend his man. The Jags then overload on the vacated gap that Richburg has. Three things happen here simultaneously which then lands Eli Manning into a world of suck.
1) Daniel Fells (no. 85 on the bottom) just gets annihilated by the rusher. No trickery here, just great bend beats Fells who whiffs and that allows instant pressure on Manning.
2) J.D. Walton, lined up at center (you'll see him come out of that group if you watch it enough times), inexplicably stops blocking his assignment. That forces poor John Jerry (no. 77) to run up near Richburg's side to try and block the guy that got past Walton. He doesn't get there in time and it's that individual that knocks the ball out from Eli.
3) James Brewer shoves the man occupying the gap between he and John Jerry, as Jerry leaves to go take on Walton's man. Unfortunately that leaves him in terrible position to pick up the blitzing linebacker and he doesn't get back in time. Rashad Jennings is there to help in blitz pickup, but he's no match for the linebacker running full speed who bulls his way into a meeting at the QB.
This is where talent and scheme both come in to play, folks. The Giants not only had an extra tight end stay in to block, but also had a running back in blitz pick up as well, and there were STILL three guys hitting Manning. That should never, ever happen. Nobody aside from Beatty picked up their man, and that led to mass confusion.
The only person Manning could have thrown to is Henry Hynoski, who ran an out route coming up from the backfield. However, Eli had about less than 1.5 seconds (I tried using a timer) to make the throw. Not enough time.
Blame? 100% OL/TE, 0% QB
SACK 2 - Will Beatty and J.D. Walton Mis-communication
Boy, this is an ugly play. Without knowing the play-call, I can't be sure who is to blame for this play, but to my untrained eyes, it looks like it's Beatty, who starts to block the wrong player. He starts to go after the guy who stunts inside, while letting the true edge rusher get a free release. It also looks like Walton is supposed to come back and help with any edge pressure on the left side, but he whiffs on the same guy. He pushes Manning forward, while Brewer gets smacked again and so Eli has nowhere to go and while moving up gets crunched.
However, this play is not 100 percent on the OL like the previous play was. Yes, Manning was under pressure instantaneously, so the majority of the blame does go to the offensive line. However, he also SEES the pressure instantaneously. He immediately starts to slide up because he sees the unblocked edge rusher coming at him from the left side.
What do you do if you know there's an unblocked guy coming at you? If the play has a built in safety valve, you MUST hit it. Lo and behold, Jennings runs a quick route into the flats for that exact purpose. As soon as Eli drops back and sees the defender, he needs to throw it to Jennings. It doesn't matter if Jennings has turned around or not. If you know the play call, you must make that throw and avoid the negative play. That's why I believe Manning takes a very small portion of the blame.
Blame? 80% OL, 20% QB
SACK 3 - Get Rid of the Ball, Eli!
When the quarterback gets sacked, the assumption is that the blame will go to the offensive line. Not so on this occasion. Manning has a clean pocket to throw from and he's got two receivers not only open, but looking at him and waiting for the ball.
This GIF is slowed down, but when timed, Manning has a little over 4.0 to 4.5 seconds to get rid of the ball with nobody really in his face. He's got Fells releasing from the slot position after chipping a rusher (you'll see him go across the big "JAGS" logo) and he's also got Odell Beckham coming in from the slot at top of the image. Both are open and waiting. Eli doesn't pull the trigger and after some good initial protection, Jerry at right tackle eventually gets overpowered and the rusher is able to get Eli down from behind.
Blame? OL 0%, QB 100%
SACK 4 - This Is Why Reynolds Isn't A Starter and Jerry Isn't A Tackle
Not much explanation to this one. Once again, the Giants don't know how to protect against a damn stunt. This one is stupidly simple, too. The LDE (who lines up over the right tackle) simply goes over the LDT (who lines up over the right guard). The DT is Jacksonville's best defensive player, Sen'Derrick Marks. He trucks over John Jerry, Reynolds gets chewed up, and the end result is Manning getting crushed.
Eli had two players wide open, one at the top of your screen and one at the bottom that he had time to just chuck it to, but I don't blame him all that much. He was pressed for time and was looking to hit something down the field. His eyes downfield, he didn't feel the pressure at all and got crushed.
Blame? OL 90%, QB 10%
When we see the quarterback going down in a heap, the first reaction is to blame the offensive line. That reaction is right for most of the time. There are certain times where the QB has more than enough time, like in "Sack 3." There's other times where he almost none at all, and that's an issue.
The frustrating thing about going over these sacks is that each one had a breakdown either by a different player or in a different way. It's not just one thing missing with this Giants offense, it's just something different that goes wrong on most of these plays.
What's impossible for me to also understand is why there is no safety valve or hot route on these plays? Why did Eli not target one of the short players? Are they simply just routes that are late in his progressions, or are they true hot routes that he can target if he gets into trouble?
It's an interesting discussion. Looking at "Sack 2," Manning is pressured right off the snap. However he sees that and should know that Jennings is practically waiting for the ball in a dump off route. Manning did not even look in his direction at all. I'm not sure what to make of that, or where the blame for that to be.
At this point, all we can do is sit back and pray that Manning doesn't get seriously injured. Four more games, Giants fans. That's all that's left from this dark season.