I’ll be honest here. I didn’t wait for the All-22 to do this review. And, as always, I remind that I am not a scout. I’m not breaking down technique or what should have happened. I’m simply making some observations.
- The first thing I want to mention is something that ESPN’s Jon Gruden said during the Giants’ first offensive series. “Some of the best plays you’ll see tonight are the ones Eli Manning audibles to.” We see that over and over with the Giants. It showed up on Rashad Jennings’ critical 9-yard run in the fourth quarter. Manning probably doesn’t get enough credit for his pre-snap work.
- Speaking of that first drive by the Giants, that is easily the best they have played offensively all season. Eight plays, 80 yards, 6-for-6 passing from Manning. My favorite play was the touchdown pass to Jerell Adams, and not because it resulted in the TD. The play design was excellent, with Adams lining up in the backfield and matriculating (a Hank Stram word) through the line and into the pass patter. Even better for me is that Manning was under center and used play-action to get Adams open. Those are things Manning does well, and I sometimes think they are under-utilized in the Giants’ offense
- On Manning’s first interception, a pass intended for rookie Roger Lewis Jr., there was debate over how much of that was on Lewis and how much was on Manning. Lewis didn’t run a great route, rounding it a little, but really couldn’t have done much more. In my view, Manning also did not make an awful throw. I’m going to go with coach Ben McAdoo, who said “I think the DB made a heck of a play. Give him credit.” I can’t defend Manning’s second interception. No idea what he thought he was going to accomplish throwing that ball to a double, and maybe triple-covered Tavarres King.
- Janoris Jenkins had a nice night against A.J. Green. His best play by far was on third-and-goal from the Giants’ 7-yard line in the second quarter, fighting off a block and stuffing Green for no gain to force a field goal.
- Props to Trevin Wade for the play he made at the goal line in the third quarter. This play looked like a touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd that would have put the Bengals up 24-14. Instead, Wade made enough of a hit to jar the ball loose and force a field goal.
Let’s fast forward to the fourth quarter, specifically to the two running plays that salted the game away for the Giants.
Above, we see the third-and-6 run by Jennings for a first down. We see Manning recognize that Cincinnati is bailing defenders out away from the line of scrimmage. We see terrific work in the middle from Marshall Newhouse, Weston Richburg and John Jerry. Below, a still image of Jennings’ viewpoint.
You can all three linemen have their defenders under control.
I also wanted to give props to reserve offensive lineman Adam Gettis for his work on Jennings’ game-sealing 25-yard run. Gettis, to the left, got two solid blocks on the play.