Focus: Giants / Redskins Review

Our friends at Pro Football Focus have finally posted their Giants / Redskins recap — as if I thought they’d see something different than we all saw. To the reasons why the Giants lost the game it’s abundantly clear the offensive line had issues, and the corners had an off night giving Rex Grossman plenty of room to complete passes.

Here is their analysis:

1) A New Offensive Line – New Concerns

All of New York’s offensive linemen had some issues in this game. Left tackle William Beatty was just below average (-1.0), but when you consider that David Diehl has been worse than that on many different occasions, then maybe the four pressures he surrendered against Brian Orakpo may be an upgrade. Diehl was moved to left guard to alleviate his propensity for giving up sacks, and he managed to achieve a new low here, giving up three sacks against the Redskins, which is more than he ever gave up at left tackle in a single game. Ex 49er’s center David Baas was having a reasonable game until the last play of the third quarter when he gave up a horrendous sack to rookie nose tackle Chris Neild. Pass protection was an issue for him last year, so watch this as the season progresses.

So basically, the whole left side of the line stinks. Got that? Good! I cannot believe David Deihl stands by his 2009 Pro Bowl year as his defining moment, he made it only as an alternate… by the way. The Giants played so much better without Diehl last year it was ridiculous. Someone get @IMShawnAndrews on the horn for Pete’s sake – he can reunite with his brother.

2) Living without the Veterans

None of the starters on the defensive line are rookies and only Chris Canty was a regular starter in 2010, which is interesting because he was arguably the least effective of the group (-0.2). He did pick up a sack and a couple of tackles, but that was it, as he never really filled the leadership void in terms of his performance. Jason Pierre-Paul started the game off slowly, but was starting to get the better of Trent Williams by the end of the game, garnering two sacks and a hurry against the young left tackle. With that being said, the best performance came from Linval Joseph (+2.5), as he played against the run well and chipped in with a hit and a batted pass on only 17 passing plays.

JPP and Linval are the future of this group. That said I can’t wait for Tuck and Osi to get back in there and round this group out. The Giants are missing one of the most productive DE tandems in the league right there. Imaging Linval Joseph and JPP working the left side… while Tuck and Osi work the right side — Kiwi’s roaming and you don;t know where he’s coming from. The thought kinda makes me want to river dance….

3) Cornering the Market on Injuries

No group on any team has suffered more loss to injury than the Giants; secondary, and frankly it showed.

Corey Webster, who was once regarded as an elite player, was so far off at times, that I wasn’t sure he had fallen over trying to cover a Redskins receiver. As it became more and more obvious that Grossman was actually going to complete passes, he played tighter defense. Although playing closer to the receivers did help him initially, he still ended up allowing 85 yards and a touchdown, while missing an easy tackle. Aaron Ross, who was targeted less than Webster, probably should have been thrown at more, as he gave up 13.8 yards per target.

Some good news in the Giants’ secondary was the play of Kenny Phillips (+4.5). Phillips was all over the place, making four stops in run defense and getting a couple of hurries and batting down a pass . This sort of display from the safety has All-Pro written all over it.

The corners, as I said perfectly the other day – STUNK.

Webster was awful the first half, Ross was even worse the second half. How you cannot get up for a game on 9/11 I have no idea. How you cannot come within 5 yards of the player you’re defending while in stride, I have no idea. Webster played like he was out of shape from the get go, and only came on strong in the 3rd quarter. And to think at one time (2008) he was a top shut down corner in the NFL… unbelievable. He let 3 passes in a row go for huge gains on his watch, that’s something you do to rookies not top flight corners in this league. Pitiful performance for the bulk of the game as far as I’m concerned, and he let a slant for a TD get by him late in the 4th when the game was on the line.

Aaron Ross — I think the only useful position he can play is rushing the passer. I’m serious. Perennial corner blitzer Aaron Ross is the only thing I can think of. He can’t press, can’t play zone, can’t stop a run, can barely tackle anyone but a QB. Just send him as the 5th pass rusher on every down, viola! Except for this one facet of the Giants defense, I’ve all but given up on #31.

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