clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Film Breakdown: How Mike Kafka successfully used 21 ‘PONY’ personnel vs. Minnesota

The Giants added an effective wrinkle against the Vikings

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

The New York Giants modified their offensive personnel usage in their 31-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Fans and pundits have suggested that the Giants should utilize more 21 Personnel - also known as ‘PONY.’

Mike Kafka ostensibly heard the suggestions, and the Giants used more 21 Personnel (two running backs/one tight end) against the Vikings. New York rode PONY personnel on 20.6 percent of their offensive snaps for a positive EPA.

Kafka’s utilization of jet motion to the wingback assisted the Giants in removing second-level defenders from their responsibility. Saquon Barkley’s 28-yard touchdown run was a product of 21 personnel, as was the Statue of Liberty play.

The diversified rushing attack kept the Vikings' defense guessing, and it added new wrinkles to an offense that consistently evolves and adapts. Daniel Jones also found Darius Slayton for a 47-yard reception on the Giants' second drive in 21 Personnel.

The adjustment isn’t a reinvention of the wheel. We did see some 21 personnel throughout the season - the Giants ran it on 6.2 percent of snaps - but it’s just another example of how the Giants' offense avoids predictability. Here’s a quick breakdown of some interesting PONY plays from the Wild-Card Round win.