The sun does indeed rise in the east. For once, the “good” will heavily outweigh those other two less appealing adjectives. The Giants finally played an all-around respectable football game, and earned the victory.
Quarterback Eli Manning was ‘accurate’ on 81.8% of his aimed throws. He completed 15 of 16 passes between the hashes for 179 of his 279 total yards. Despite being sacked four times, Manning connected on 6/9 pressure passes including a touchdown toss to Rueben Randle. When afforded upwards of 2.6 seconds in the pocket (not often), he posted a QB Rating of 129.5. His average time to attempt was 2.2 seconds according to Pro Football Focus.
Brandon Jacobs workload was predominantly limited to short yardage opportunities, and that’s how he should be utilized going forward. Getting low into a packed line hasn’t been a strength of BJAC throughout his career, but he did the job effectively versus Green Bay. On the first 4th and 1 he displayed uncharacteristic patience waiting for a crease; on the second 4th and 1 he lowered the boom on linebacker Mike Neal and safety Morgan Burnett, carrying them for the first down.
It wasn’t a bad early evening’s work for Jason Pierre-Paul; bum shoulder and all. JPP got disruptive penetration on three of his ten run snaps, and added two QB hurries on Scott Tolzien. But of course, his game sealing, otherworldly pick-six will be all anyone remembers.
It was a solid tackling effort on all levels, from the front line, to the backers to the d-backs. As a team the Giants missed just three tackles while recording 24 “stops” – solo tackles that result in a failed offensive play. Prince Amukamara was notably engaged in run defense from his cornerback position, shooting the gap on Eddie Lacy twice for no gain or negative yardage.
The Giants offensive line committed two handcuffing penalties on the opening two drives, but the G-men played cleaned football for the remainder. Only a 4th and long running into the kicker, which they snuffed out a fake punt on the following play, tainted the penalty ledger.
Special Teams – Steve Weatherford punted five times for an average of 53 yards per kick and a net of 42.2. A 32-yard punt return by Rueben Randle set up the Giants’ first scoring drive.
The secondary allowed too many big plays downfield: 52 to Jarrett Boykin, 45 to James Jones, 29 to Jordy Nelson, 26 to Brandon Bostick and 25 to Nelson again. Those five completions made up 54% of Tolzien’s composite pass yardage. And there was no single culprit either. Outside of Antrel Rolle, every single d-back got burned. If a quarterback is struggling to read coverage in the short to intermediate routes, force him to make those throws, back off the wide receivers.
ZERO sacks… four quarterback hits does alleviate some of the pain.
How shall I phrase this – David Diehl… can’t play. Diehl graded out at -4.3 in pass blocking by Pro Football Focus, his sixth consecutive negative week since returning to the field. He allowed five QB hurries and a clean shot on Manning. Can you say, “the whiff”?