The New York Giants are on a roll. Four wins in a row, a little revamped offense, and some weak opposition have allowed the G-men to jump back in the NFC East race. Eli Manning has managed to cut down on his turnovers and while the Giant offense is still not a juggernaut, they have managed to find a way to win. I reviewed the All-22 film from the Giants last game against Green Bay to get some insight into the Giants offense at this point in the season.
-- As I mentioned earlier this week in reviewing the Giants, they are not attacking downfield nearly as often as they used to and they are using a lot more short throws to move the ball. The only time the Giants ever got something downfield on the outside of the hashes was on a broken coverage by the Packers. Besides that, New York is using screens, hitches, quick slants and other short patterns as the majority staple of the offense. Dallas needs to protect against Victor Cruz taking the top off the defense, but otherwise they need to press the line of scrimmage and not allow Eli to continuously throw short.
-- The area where the Giants had the most passing success against Green Bay was in the intermediate zone in the middle of the field. Crossing routes, slants, tight ends on the seam and the like were very effective for the Giants. This is going to put a lot of pressure on Bruce Carter and Ernie Sims. They will need to be effective in coverage and they will need to be sure tacklers. Dallas may want to push Barry Church or J.J. Wilcox up to be a "third linebacker" in coverage over the middle and let the other safety help a corner protect deep on Cruz.
-- The Giants didn't run the ball particularly well, but they did stick with it. The running backs (Andre Brown, Brandon Jacobs) are physical backs but are not home run hitters. They won't be bouncing the ball outside of the tackles or running sweeps. The Cowboys must be physical along the interior of the line and they must tackle well. The linebackers and safeties need to go low and wrap up, or pay the price. They need to organize their run defense to push from the inside out.
-- New York's offensive line is not that good, one of the main reasons the play calls are for shorter routes and why Eli is getting rid of the ball quickly (at least most of the time). The right side of the line was getting abused by Green Bay, especially right guard David Diehl. Dallas should do everything in their power to isolate Jason Hatcher on Diehl. Placing a linebacker over the center will help occupy the center and allow Hatcher single-up, creating a mismatch. Justin Pugh at right tackle wasn't very impressive either, the Cowboys might want to get DeMarcus Ware over him as often as they can and if they are going to attack with blitzes, work on this side of the line. By the way, they should attack with blitzes. The Giants had a very hard time dealing with them, even though they've shortened up their passing offense.