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All-22 Review: What can we learn from the Giants-Bears film?

Thoughts on Ereck Flowers, much more

NFL: Chicago Bears at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What can the All-22 film of Sunday’s 22-16 victory by the New York Giants over the Chicago Bears teach us? Well, let’s have a look.

A reminder that yours truly isn’t a professional scout. These are observations, things I want to highlight or perhaps didn’t really notice during a first look at the game.

About Ereck Flowers

Pro Football Focus tells us that Flowers, the much-discussed second-year offensive tackle, was one of the two worst offensive tackles in the NFL in Week 11. Flowers allowed nine pressures and was called for a holding penalty.

But ... and isn’t there always a”but?” When you watch the film Flowers was never beaten cleanly for a sack, almost always pushing Leonard Floyd or whoever else was lined up in front of him past the pocket. Yes, Eli Manning had to step up or move in the pocket, but Flowers’ performance wasn’t nearly as poor as you might think if you simply look at the number of pressures allowed.

The Giants and the screen game

Remember how awful the Giants were in the screen game when Kevin Gilbride was the offensive coordinator? It is stunning now to watch them execute the screen pass and see how good they are at it.

Here is an image from a first-quarter screen to Rashad Jennings that gained 16 yards:

Here is one to Paul Perkins in the second quarter that went for 13 yards:

The blockers in front and space to run on both of these really is noteworthy.

About Dwayne Harris

Coach Ben McAdoo was critical of Dwayne Harris’s judgment Sunday in running back kickoffs out of the end zone, and there is no doubt Harris has been too aggressive doing so this season. In the second quarter Harris brought a kick out and only reached the 15-yard line. The problem wasn’t that he was only 2 yards deep, the problem was how far he had to run and the reality that he wasn’t even facing upfield when he caught the ball.

That’s Harris in the lower left still running toward the sideline after catching the ball. By the way, when Harris ran the opening kickoff of the second half back 46 yards, credit “The Missile,” Nat Berhe, with a tremendous block.

More notes

  • The OV penalty: I’m still not sure about this one, mostly because I’m not sure what a defender is supposed to do here. Yes, Olivier Vernon drove Jay Cutler into the ground but he didn’t really hit him late. I’m not sure how Vernon pulls up and avoids driving Cutler to the turf here.
NFL: Chicago Bears at New York Giants
This is the play on which Olivier Vernon was penalized for roughing the passer.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
  • 19-yard TD pass to Zach Miller: With Giants in their base defense primarily, linebacker Devon Kennard ends up in coverage here. Kennard is beaten quickly off the line of scrimmage by Miller, and a great throw from Cutler leads to a touchdown. This is a situation the Giants have tried to avoid this year.
  • Odell comes up short: In my “Five things” post I referenced Odell Beckham Jr. twice coming up just short of first downs in the fourth quarter that forced the Giants to punt. On the first, Beckham runs a shallow cross, comes back to catch the pass and can’t quite get the first down. On the second, he runs a quick hitch and is tackled before reaching the sticks. I don’t know if either of those routes should have been deeper but I doubt we’re talking about play-calling at all if the Giants convert at least one of those two third downs.
  • A question for the Bears’ coaching staff: Why, on Jason Pierre-Paul’s forth-quarter strip sack, is Pierre-Paul blocked one-on-one by right tackle Mike Adams while Owa Odighizuwa, lined up next to JPP, draws a double team? That, friends, was perhaps not the best plan.