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Film breakdown: Get ready for the RPO

How have the Giants employed the Run-Pass Option in the preseason?

Cincinnati Bengals v New York Giants Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The New York Giants are undergoing an overhaul after a banal few years of offensive football. Big Blue hired former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to lead the revamped Giants team. Daboll’s offense in Buffalo finished top three in points in each of the last two seasons, and hopes remain high with Joe Schoen running the personnel show.

A lot of the plays ran in preseason are early install or base plays for the offense. They can be rudimentary iterations of concepts or corp plays; they could also be trial runs to see if it works with the offensive personnel. One aspect of Daboll’s play-calling that seems to have carried over from Buffalo is his love for the RPO (run pass option)

According to Pro Football Reference, only Jalen Hurts of the Eagles ran more RPO plays than Josh Allen.

The RPO is a methodology of building contingency plans within a play that exploits a defender's action. If the defender does A, the quarterback hands the football off; if he does B, the quarterback throws the ball. It’s an excellent way to gain a numbers advantage, and it positions the defense in a disadvantageous situation as long as the quarterback can quickly diagnose and execute his read.

Jones has experience running the RPO, dating back to his time at Duke. So far in the preseason, Jones has made the correct read in a prompt manner and delivered a solid football on in-breaking routes off the RPO and on the back-shoulder fade to David Sills V.

The RPOs ran in preseason aren’t complex - read one defender and react to his reaction, but more creative RPOs will be used as the season starts. In the video below, we break down what an RPO is, why it’s run, the anatomy of the play, and how the Giants have used it so far in preseason.