Eli Manning is being blamed for putting the New York Giants in a losing situation to start the 3rd quarter, throwing his first interception of the regular season that was batted by Redskins rookie LB Ryan Kerrigan, caught and then ran in for a defensive TD.
Be that as it may — this is not the entire story. The Star-Ledger alleges that former Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield may have tipped the Redskins defense off to the play Eli Manning was about to run because he recognized the audible after 5 years practicing against the Giants starting offense. Go figure…
Watch the clip of the play below:
Now Daniel Shiferaw of SB Nation has a great breakdown of the Pick 6 from the Redskins perspective, and there is no mention of former Giant Barry Cofield in it:
“The crazy part [about Kerrigan’s play] is we had a max blitz,” defensive captain London Fletcher says. “They checked to a ‘Rocket Screen.’”
That meant the ball is coming Kerrigan’s way. “Rocket Screen” is designed to be a quick hitch to Hakeem Nicks, who would then run behind the vacated area for what would be a big play offensively for the Giants. The blitzers are Fletcher, linebacker Rocky McIntosh, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe and, of course, Kerrigan. The Purdue product is lined up outside of right tackle Kareem McKenzie’s outside shoulder. He is planning on turning the corner on him and engaging Manning.
But before he blitzes, Kerrigan notices that the Giants’ quarterback has called an audible. He immediately realizes a quick pass is coming in his direction. “I knew it was a quick pass, because [McKenzie] was trying to cut [block] me,” the rookie recalls after the game.
But how did he know? I didn’t see Cofield do anything immediately after Eli’s audible, I saw Rocky McIntosh pull up and make a comment and an adjustment as SB Nation points out. Cofield simply looked his head over after everything had been adjusted — not before. And it should be mentioned the Giants had already run that same wideout screen about a dozen times instead of a slant or a pitch… so it’s possible the Redskins defense simply remembered the terminology from earlier in the game, right? Went to the well one too many times perhaps?
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, we’re going to return that screen for a game changing TD.
[clip via NFL Videos]