We have looked back at the New York Giants’ 21-0 loss to the Buffalo Bills a number of ways. We did “Kudos & Wet Willies.” Chris gave you his takeaways. We looked at the poor play of the offensive line. We heard from coach Ben McAdoo.
Let’s turn to the film for one more look back. These are some of my impressions from a lengthy second look at the game taken throughout the course of the day on Sunday. I always use the caveat that I’m not a scout, and I won’t try to be one. So, I won’t give you technique breakdowns. These are simple general impressions.
Here we go.
Larry Donnell is miscast: I like Donnell, I really do. The problem is that Donnell is miscast in the role the Giants are asking him to play at tight end. As a Jimmy Graham-type glorified wide receiver, Donnell is passable. As a multiple role guy often asked to block inline or from the backfield, Donnell is simply out of his element.
Donnell has never been even close to an adequate blocker. He has neither the fortitude for the role nor the aptitude.
Chris wrote Saturday that Donnell “whiffed on at least four blocks.” In my study of the game I can verify at least three times when Donnell, as a lead blocker, ran right by the guy he was supposed to block and one other time when he made an ineffective block. There was also an incompletion by Ryan Nassib where a missed block by Donnell on the edge forced him to run for his life.
Coach Ben McAdoo says the Giants are doing their “due diligence” with the roster in giving guys chances. Let’s hope that’s the case with Donnell because if they are serious about using him in a blocking role it’s not going to work. Will Tye, Will Johnson, Matt LaCosse and maybe even Ryan Malleck or Jerell Adams are all better-suited to that task.
Marshall Newhouse didn’t play well. I gave Ereck Flowers a “Wet Willie” for his work Saturday, and he earned it. In reviewing the game, Newhouse didn’t play any better.
The sack charged to Flowers was as much Newhouse’s fault as it was Flowers. Newhouse was pushed all the way into the lap of Eli Manning, forcing him to move toward Flowers. That contributed to Flowers losing his man and giving up the sack. At least two of the Giants’ eight first-half running plays were blown up primarily because Newhouse couldn’t hold the point of attack.
Bobby Hart struggled at right tackle. I know many of you want Hart to replace Newhouse, but to my eyes Hart really struggled at right tackle in the second half. In the first series of the second half, he got stood up on a run, then lost his guy in pass blocking, forcing Nassib to run. Later, he got bull rushed all the way into Nassib, again forcing him to run.
Landon Collins played even better than I thought. We talked in “K&WW” about Collins’ two touchdown-saving plays. There was also at least two other tremendous plays he made against the run, one knifing into the backfield to cause a 3-yard loss and the other at the goal line.
Ryan Nassib again didn’t play well. It’s true that the second-team offensive line didn’t do him any favors, and that a couple of his passes were dropped. But, there were too many off-target or ill-advised throws during his 2-for-12 performance. He is not inspiring confidence.
Logan Thomas is not an NFL quarterback. It took him four plays at the end of the game to prove that. Well, actually two. He threw two interceptions in four passes. One was an ill-advised throw into coverage that never had a chance. The other was an attempt at a touch pass that, if thrown properly, could have dropped into the arms of an open Anthony Dable. Instead, it sailed well over his head and into the arms of a Bills defender.
Bobby Rainey’s 67-yard run was all him. There was no hole on the play. Rainey simply danced around the trash in front of him until he found a little crease, then off he went.
Ishaq Williams’ aggressiveness was fun to watch. Williams had seven tackles, but I really don’t care about the number. What was impressive was to watch Williams identify the run and attack the line of scrimmage play after play. He didn’t hesitate, he attacked blockers and ball carriers.
That hit by Romeo Okwara. Good Lord! Coming from the side in the third quarter he knocked the helmet off Buffalo QB Cardale Jones and left him sitting on the ground holding his head. Jones is a 6-foot-5, 250-pound man.
McAdoo said running back Paul Perkins missed the blitzer on the sack/fumble by Ryan Nassib. On the play, you clearly see Perkins, lined up to Nassib’s right, never identify or even look for, the blitzer coming from his left. Instead, he goes out for a pass. Ball security and inability to pick up the blitz are the things that keep rookie running backs on the bench, and Perkins has had issues with both in the first two preseason games.
You want physicality? I give you Donte Deayon. McAdoo complained that the Giants were not physical enough up front on offense, and they weren’t. The 158-pound Deayon was a different story. He broke up two passes by simply ripping the ball out of the hands of bigger receivers.