There isn't always enough time to do a full film review following New York Giants games. With the Giants having played on Thursday, and defeated the Washington Redskins, 32-21, this week is a little different. There are a few extra days, and one of the things that allowed yours truly to do is take a close look at the All-22 film from Thursday.
I will offer some of my impressions, and I will do so with a caveat. I am not a scout, or a talent evaluator. When it comes to breaking down film I usually leave that to Chris, or rely on experts who have played, scouted or both to tell me what they see. With that said, I want to share just a few things that I saw while watching.
Numbers can be deceiving
In Friday's "Kudos & Wet Willies," yours truly put the Giants running game a WW. Well, not so fast. Yes, the numbers weren't great, with the Giants averaging just 2.7 yards per carry. They did, however, run 31 times and a review of the All-22 film shows some gorgeously blocked running plays -- a couple of which could have gone for much bigger gains than they did.
Andre Williams' 1-yard touchdown run with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Look at the work the Giants do here. Every single block on that left side is executed, and every Washington defender is sealed off. Nikita Whitlock gets the edge. John Jerry, Geoff Schwartz, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg and Dallas Reynolds (as the extra tight end) all get their blocks. Williams hits the crease. Tocuhdown!
9:32 left second quarter ... Williams misses a huge hole
Williams is sometimes criticized for his vision, for not seeing a hole and reacting to it quickly enough. This, to my eyes, is an example. It is a 1-yard run that is perfectly blocked and should have gone for much more. The first two images show a huge hole between the blocks of Daniel Fells and Pugh on the outside and the combination of Jerry and Richburg on the inside. Williams starts up the middle, where Washington safety Jeron Johnson is running free and into that hole, before recognizing the space to his left. By the time he does, the play gets closed off. An opportunity lost.
The first play of the second half
The Giants very nearly opened the second half with an 80-yard touchdown run. Look at the wall formed by Richburg, Schwartz and Marshall Newhouse, with Whitlock sealing the outside. Only a diving Dashon Goldson, who barely gets Jennings' ankle, prevents a second-half opening 80-yard run. You can't block that play any better.
Jennings' blocked punt
No images for this one, just a comment. The veteran running back didn't want to give away his secrets after the game, but what appeared to happen is that Washington blocker Terrance Plummer backs up too far off the snap, giving Jennings, coming off the edge, the chance to get to his inside shoulder and get a path toward punter Tress Way. Incidentally, Jennings nearly got this punt twice, having been flagged for running into Way on the first punt -- a penalty offset by a Redskins player running out of bounds on his way while covering the initial kick.
After Thursday's game head coach Tom Coughlin credited Prince Amukamara with studying the Redskins exceptionally well, which led to his interception. He said Amukamara knew the play, a slant pass, was coming. You can see that he did, indeed, know what was coming when you look at the images.
What you see when you watch this on the All-22 is that Amukamara is lined up on the line of scrimmage, then backs off. That's him 10 yards off in the first image. In the second image, Amukamara is breaking on the route not only before the ball is thrown, but before the receiver has really even begun his break. That's why he got there first. A tremendous play by Amukamara.
The 'Unga interception
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has asked his under-manned and under-whelming defense to give effort at all times. Spags' word has been "relentless." He has repeated it often, players have repeated it, and it is showing up on the field. This Giants' defense isn't incredibly talented, but it does play hard.
There were many examples of it during Thursday's game. The third quarter interception by Uani 'Unga was one such play.
Unga told me after the game he was responsible on the play for a back out of the backfield who ended up staying in to block. So, the middle linebacker went "looking for work." He found it by dropping back, reading where Kirk Cousins was going with the ball and making a diving interception after Devon Kennard tipped the pass.