Okay, this is going to be a short one. The New York Giants season abruptly ended in the Divisional Round of the playoffs as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated Big Blue 38-7. Philadelphia took a resounding 28-0 lead at halftime.
The Giants received the football to start the half and preceded to go three-and-out, just as they did in the previous three drives. By the end of the game, many Giants fans did their best Roberto Duran impression - no mas. The Eagles controlled the game, and it was evident that the two teams were not in the same weight class.
Boxing references aside, there weren’t many takeaways from the timeline. The Eagles only blitzed on 20 percent of snaps, yet they pressured Daniel Jones on 47.7 percent of drop backs. Philadelphia’s secondary was united in their match principles in quarters and Cover-3. Routes were passed off with ease, and there was little room for Jones to deliver the football.
Philadelphia sat on the Giants’ quick game and even baited the interception throw on the Giants' second drive:
Of course, it had to be James Bradberry (24)...like Michel Jordan, a lot of us took that personally. It was a great play design from Gannon, who sent Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (23) on a nickel blitz with Josh Sweat (94) on the line of scrimmage. Sweat stepped to the line and expanded laterally after seeing Saquon Barkley (26) flare to the flat, which prompted Andrew Thomas (78) and Nick Gates (65) to kick outside, leaving a void in the A-Gap for Garnder-Johnson.
Jones diagnosed the blitz and knew the pre-snap look was Quarters, meaning two-deep safeties with the corners 7 yards off in outside leverage. The blitz was not picked up in the five-man protection package with four rushers, and Jones threw the quick hot route to Slayton. However, Bradberry reacted quickly and closed downhill to intercept Jones. Shortly after, the Eagles scored a touchdown to DeVonta Smith and extend their lead to 14 points with time left in the first quarter.
Bradberry is a very smart cornerback, and I’m not shocked he intercepted Jones in quick game. Jonathan Gannon also used Cover 1 on 28.3 percent of snaps, and the Giants’ receivers struggled to consistently separate from one of the best secondaries in the league.
Beginning of the third quarter 2nd & 6 incompletion to Darius Slayton— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) January 22, 2023
Got to put that in front of Slayton pic.twitter.com/hMUyTfa73J
Here’s a man coverage look on second-and-6 where Slayton (86) beats Bradberry in press. Bradberry punched, and Slayton won outside. There’s some illegal contact by Bradberry as well, but despite that, Slayton is able to create ample separation with no safety help over the top since Bradberry was outside of the divider line to the field.
A great release by Slayton, but the ball was underthrown by Jones. Look, the Giants did not lose this game because of Daniel Jones. The young quarterback made significant strides in his first season under the tutelage of Brian Daboll, but this is a flat-out underthrown pass - Jones would be the first to say so.
It’s a missed opportunity in one of Jones’ only clean pockets of the day. Defensive pass interference or defensive holding does not negate the fact that the ball is not where it should have been. Regardless, I’m happy with the quarterback Jones’ is developing into, and this was one mistake in a game where he had little chance to compete due to circumstances out of his control.
39-yard run by Saquon Barkley off a solid combo from Glowinski & Neal up front pic.twitter.com/j2tNSMhTUT— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) January 22, 2023
Not much went right for the Giants in the Divisional Round loss. Here was a 39-yard run off a zone-read where T.J. Edwards (57) blitzed the B-Gap, and the Giants right side double team executed an excellent combo block up to the Eagles’ defender.
Mark Glowinski (64) contacted Ndamukong Suh (74) with eyes on Kyzir White (43) Evan Neal (73) did a great job swinging his hips around Suh to assume control and replace Glowinski as the duo drove Suh into the lap of White as Darius Slay (2) went to undercut the line of scrimmage.
Barkley hit the hole with speed but had to erase the angle of Marcus Epps (22) by adjusting his path between the far side hash and the numbers before truly pressing vertically.
Some have suggested that 2018 Barkley would have housed this football; I don’t believe it’s unfair to think that, but Epps did a great job readjusting his path to account for Barkley’s speed. Epps stopped coming downhill once Barkley reached the 25-yard line. When Epps changed his path, Barkley was about five yards and some change from Epps. Maybe 2018 Barkley would have housed it, I don’t know. But Epps did a better job adjusting his angle than other safeties that faced Barkley this season.
Wildcat read 'QB' GT Power touchdown to Matt Brieda in the red zone— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) January 22, 2023
Great decision by Barkley at the mesh to give. pic.twitter.com/wmhNFp0OD0
POINTS! The Giants have used this look during the season - A ‘BASH’ concept where the ‘quarterback’ reads the defense and either hands it off to the back running away from the blockers to the outside or keeps it following the backside guard and tackle who are pulling.
In this case, Barkley handed the football off to Matt Breida (31), with Jones motioning to the boundary, prompting Reed Blankenship (32) down into the box. This removed Blankenship from Breida’s side, and all Breida had to do was beat JSweat (94) outside, and the edge rusher was not aware of the ball’s location out of the mesh point. Both Daniel Bellinger (82) and Slayton (86) threw excellent blocks to assist Breida in the Giants’ lone touchdown.
Unfortunately, there weren’t too much more tales from the timeline to go through. The Giants’ season was a gigantic success, and that should not be forgotten after this loss. The future is bright for New York. There will be a time when the Giants are ‘Sugar Ray’ Leonard, but until then, let’s see how Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll continue to reshape this roster.