1. NY Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale
We really want to defend Wink Martindale, but as each week goes by, it gets harder and harder due to his incredibly incompetent play-calling at times. The Giants secondary is banged up and missing its two best players in Adoree’ Jackson and Xavier McKinney, so to blitz time and time again and repeatedly leave players like Fabian Moreau and Nick McCloud left to guard arguably the best WR in the league in Justin Jefferson one-on-one is just plain stupid.
When looking back at some film, two plays come to mind when thinking of Martindale’s rough play-calling during this game. First was in the third quarter when Cousins threw a 15-yard TD to T.J. Hockenson. Martindale sent a heavy blitz on this play and left Hockenson one-on-one with Julian Love who has notable struggles in coverage at times.
The other play: the final completion before the game-winning field goal on 3rd-and-11. For some reason, Martindale decided to blitz on yet another third down, and the Vikings ran a WR screen to Jefferson, who didn’t even have anyone guarding him. He broke free for a monster gain, setting up the Greg Joseph kick.
Not knowing when to blitz or not blitz is something that his hurt Martindale all season. For as long as he’s been in the league and the experience he’s had, this is unacceptable. You’d think Martindale would learn from his time in Baltimore that you must adjust to your secondary’s weaknesses.
Hopefully the Giants get both Jackson and McKinney back soon so Martindale’s blitzes can be much more successful, as we all know just how talented these players are. Looking back at the loss to the Vikings, he’s sure going to regret some of his decision, especially the one that led to Jefferson setting up the game-winner.