NFL Rewind subscription access through the end of July is only $25, so I jumped on it. T&C's were for three years, but I am able to view '09 right now, so We get to relive a Wade moment before the team disappeared on him.
Some highly regarded FPWs, moderators, and members have dismissed my craziness over the years. Not always in the most polite, tolerant way. I am not a coach, and have never played in pads. But I have played a TON of tackle and street football and I am a fan that calls things three-to-ten seconds before they happen, or before the announcers point out a nuance. I'm lucky to have friends who do the same. I was conceived at the start of the '79 season, and see things and feel things that only fans from the warm womb of a football lovin' mama feel, apparently.
I came to BTB to better my fandom; our season affects my emotions and it was out of respect to the game. Excellent X's & O's and great camaraderie. You all have taught me a lot, and I continue to soak things in. At times I can contribute nothing more than comic relief, hope, or an extraordinarily jaded POV based on intangible gut feelings that have proven true to an end of total mediocrity and a lot of upheaval.
During these reviews I am going to link to some of the things I have said through the years, for better or worse, and things that others have said that impacted me. This is not to be cheesy; hindsight is 20/20 and it is easy to break down game tape to your own end when you already know how that tape results. Caveat to this is that I did not join BTB until after the Vikings PO loss, 24 hr rule killed me! When reviewing I watch presnap and notate formations, then watch the play and presnap repeatedly and notate. I do not watch chunks of plays or drives then notate, and I don't listen to announcer babble before notating.
As far as where we are currently, I think we have as good a shot at the playoffs as anyone. We have a vet core and a ton of young studs, a tenured GM, coach, fresh playcalling insight and a simplified D-scheme that is more suited to the current landscape of the NFL. Our own execution is our best friend; square the circle and we win.
GIA Wk 2
The game opens to a raucous crowd, the Cowboys composed as they stroll through the bar onto the field. Collinsworth comments on the astounding proportion of our stadium in relation to the Beijing Olympics' facilities. Ware says to Andrea Kramer the 12th man is the X factor, along with stopping the run in order to create pressure on Eli. Former pres GW Bush tosses, we win and choose to receive.
Felix fields a bouncing kick from Tynes and follows a designed return right, slow going to the 24. Micheals calls our line a "good, veteran line..." and Romo manages to hit Barber on a designed swing pass to weak side before getting railed by a stunting NT. Presnap motion had moved FB D. Anderson to strong side and Romo could have delivered ball earlier. It is a good combination of awkward play call and imperfect execution that landed Romo on the turf that first play at Cowboys Stadium.
2nd & 5 - delayed ss draw to Barber W/ Bennett and Witten blocking as H-backs, nice play with tough line play.
3rd &1 - Empty bf, Barber motions wide weak side, with Witten and Bennett covering ws of line. Bennett's route from weak side TE is covered, Romo has time and they improvise, but Romo delivers a fastball that had to be high due to MLB, instead of touch pass to open field where Bennett was running. Could have been a completion.
first punt in new stadium brings obligatory jumbotron comment and what would have been good coverage by us if not for a couple massive blocks-in-the-back by the GMen. Coughlin makes the same face as always, funny how much more goblin-like he appears since Maragate, he used to have a full face like he was on botox... Three and out, 1:30 TOP
GIA 1 & 10 from 18. Olshansky chops Ware in the face while firing up the crowd, but they hug and it's alright. Our line shifts to ws, and an isolated Spencer does a nasty inside swim move but barely misses Eli, who is bootlegging to ws after paf to ss. Eli hits Steve Smith for 32 over TNew, who had good coverage for about four seconds.
GIA 1 & 10 from midfield. Eli over middle of field, past Brooking and TNew for about ten. Crowd is quiet, they have come out passing.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 38. GMen motion to '21' and run up the middle for 4, we were getting tossed, Hamlin and Sensi made the stop.
GIA 2 & 6. Approaching FG range and owning momentum, GMen try a ws draw, but Rat blows it up, completely, in backfield.
GIA 3 & 11 from our 39. Eli again avoids Spence, who provided our only early pressure, and completes a floater where I'd imagine our ILB or TNew should have been. Good for 26, Wade makes a frump face, WR Steve Smith has 2/58 and the GMen have used more than twice the time we did during our opening possession. Our pass rush is being schemed against effectively and they are scheming mismatches on our secondary and ILBs.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 13. Scandrick gives great effort and cleanly breaks up what would have been a 10 yard strike over middle, good zone coverage, Eli's jersey still clean.
GIA 2 & 10. Jacobs ss draw for one. This was a pursuit stop, as ss of our line was pancaked. Good effort by our secondary and Spence, who trailed from ws.
GIA 3 & 9. We put 6 at line and disguise a nice pass rush and exotic coverage. Eli, however, keeps his cool and slides into a perfect pocket. He delivers a pass that Mike Jenkins would have intercepted due to great positioning, but Hixon became a defender. Well-played zone coverage.
4th down Tynes hits a well-contested FG, and the GMen are yet to hit paydirt from rz this season. No glaring holes from our D, good effort beside a couple well-schemed long balls that Eli 'prayed' through... GIA up 3-0, 9:00 left in 1st.
Second Possessions GIA 3 Us 0
Jones backpeddles to receive KO at the goalline. Nice coverage by Giants, Felix sneaks and bursts to the 36.
1 & 10 Cowboys run Felix to ss, good blocking and it looks like he may find daylight but the D-line pursues nicely and limits Felix to 4. Felix loses his helmet, Gurode shares a laugh with a Giant, and Collinsworth begins talking about Roy Williams bearing burden due to loss of TO...
2 & 6 Play action to Barber sets up a designed ss screen To Witten, who is pursued nicely. Romo fakes Witten open by drawing MLB Boley, completion for 2.
3 & 4 Choice enters the game and catches a designed screen to ss. Good effort, makes hit to get fd yardage. Nice protection for Romo as GMen only rush 4
1 & 10 Barber back in game, Witten motion to ws HB. Romo has an artist's touch on pa to Barber, who releases up middle of field trailing Witten, who flares left and catches a nicely timed pass from Romo. Good for 8, Witten never really set after shifting backward, could have been an illegal motion.
2 & 2 ss draw to Barber, O-line opens a nice hole, but Kiwanuka beats Witten from wsDE and catches Barber before he can make the LOS. Great play by Kiwanuka, almost like he smelled it, not the best blocking from Wit but would have looked better if Adams' body would have been present instead of smashing a blocker into second level. Gotta ask yourself if a faster back would have hit that hole when it was open...
3 & 3 brings a ws inside draw to Choice, who makes an excellent effort to net us a fd. GMen were tough and our o-line battled, just tough football and Choice puts enough of a hit on their safety to eek out the last inches when landed on by a flying DE.
1 & 10 Barber bounces a play left and follows a Roy Will block for 27. Our O-line blocks as though this is supposed to be a draw to ws, but may have been a result of Dline attacking to ss at snap. Barber either thought it was a middle play, or makes the latest cut to left I have seen; he almost ran into the pass rush. First down at the 13 with a generous spot, we are in the rz.
1 & 10 from the 13 Romo hits Bennett, who was on an island split wide left. Pass was thrown as soon as Romo touched the ball, well executed and Marty B fought for the extra 2 yards to net us a first at the 2.
1 & 10 We come out and shift into a pure running formation. And sure enough, Barber takes it up the middle, to paydirt, almost uncontested. EP is good, we are up 7-3 on a sustained drive that featured diverse playcalling and two third down conversions. Our O-line and secondary look like they are communicating, and we have no penalties.
4:11 remaining in 1st, we give a good designed kick right, return man slides at 24 to avoid being smashed.
GIA 1 & 10 GMen draw up TE K. Boss releasing to ws flat from traditional TE spot. Problem is Spencer covers him, takes better position, defends the pass and almost picks off his own tip.
GIA 2 & 10 Spence recovers from deriding his soul just in time to see the GMen are lined up, trying to sneak one in. Sensi lines up on the WR lined up wide to the ws, and drops into a 10+ yd deep cushion; Eli does not toss the ball to his receiver, who ad-libs a stop route. We stop Jacobs' attempt up the middle. Again. Our D attacked gaps in layers like it was supposed to, and Bradie James pours some energy into his teammates for smacking Jacobs like that.
GIA 3 & 8 GMen bunch 3 WR/TE on end of line to ws, one WR right. At snap, Jacobs stays in to block, which proves futile, as our entire front seven converges on Eli. Ware comes around edge to hit Eli's arm and Carpenter drills Eli in the gut, forcing a duck that is almost intercepted by James. Our crowd is in the game, our defense is asserting itself. Giants punt is effective, fair catch by Crayton at our own 24. We can seize a little momentum, let's see how it goes.
Third Possessions GIA 3 Us 7
1 & 10 from our 24 - Romo from shotgun, Felix in bf. Three receivers right with Witten TE, Crayton slot and RW wide. Marty B is lined up left. Crayton's defender shows blitz pre-snap and does end up coming, Felix stays in and delivers a nice block which gives Romo a moment. Romo sees blitz and checks to Marty B on weak side, throwing through a lane that was filled with pass rushers. Romo has options, as designed underneath toss to Crayton comes open due to nicely schemed routes and Crayton's defender blitzing. I watched this play twenty times and I get the feeling you could watch it 100 and see something every time; just one of those plays. Could have been an easy pitch and catch with Crayton for a decent gain, and I def put this as a QB decision and effective D scheme, as the line was sent to fill gap to Tony's check side and they effectively bat the ball down. Plus Marty B would have been tackled with no yac had the ball been delivered. The new D coord Bill Sheridan gambled that Romo would see something presnap and sell out away from blitz.
2 & 10 We try to isolate RW with the football using a kind of inside drag at the los, with Witten the 'pick' from the TE position, but RW's CB drags him down from behind for no gain. Romo was staring Tuck in the face and had to pull a Houdini or throw the ball. This is also the type of play that you get illegal men downfield if the ball is not thrown quickly, so I'd say it was an awkward play call that limits assured ball travel to, well, zero. To pass zero relies heavily on your playmaker, timing and a belief that your opposition will miss a scheme or tackle. RW was dragging into the teeth of the D, at los depth... High risk and low prob of 'succesful' yardage, which is like 60% for second down, right? After play Romo looks at sideline and does not have the eye of the tiger.
3 & 10 We line up RW wide and Crayton slot ss, Wit TE and Austin wide left. The S # 20 shows blitz from ws presnap and Tony checks, telling Jones to stay in then signaling to RW. The Giants' MLB goes nuts and starts patting his helmet as though he knows the play and is communicating (think Buc's D in SB against Gannon,). The entire GMen secondary joins in on the fun just for display, and shift accordingly. Romo does nothing in the chess match, he says 'Omaha, Omaha" which we have all heard ten-million times now. At the snap Romo looks left, then turns and delivers a wobbler to no-man's-land halfway between RW and Crayton. The ball is intercepted and returned for a TD by a rookie FA. Romo slumping as he approaches bench, RW got himself open and may have had the fd if Romo makes an easy throw. Momentum question was three plays ago and this one definitely goes down as our D holding up their end of the bargain and our O getting beaten. EP good, GMen up 10 - 7
Fourth Possessions GIA 10 Us 7
Zoom to Garrett and Romo looking at film, announcers talk about how Garrett turned down BAL job and him no longer being one of the hottest coaching commodities. They start talking about how they were surprised Wade survived the plane ride home after the 44-6 debacle to end the previous season, and how the decision to keep him is beginning to pay dividends. They show zooms of Cupcake wiping his beleaguered face, Eli looking like he is dumbfounded God handed him this gift, then pan out to Jones who receives the kickoff only to succinctly fumble with minimal contact, right into the arms of the waiting Giants. Special teams, but one of our offensive stars at the time. Jones' first career fumble but he was carrying the ball 'casually' as Collinsworth put it.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 27. Jacobs ss draw for 7. TE Boss motioned right and picked up DWare, then we ran right at him. Our ILBs got caught doing a late stunt and were both chipped by one player. The Giants looked faster than us on this play.
GIA 2 & 3 from our 20. Giants stack trips on ws edge, but Eli does not look what he sees and callsTO.
GIA 2 & 3 B James reads and slides into a perfect gap, then lays wood on Jacobs for loss of 1.
GIA 3 & 4 Eli is confused presnap, and hikes as play clock expires. Eli sits in a clean pocket and ball is out at three seconds. He hits Steve Smith on a crossing route at the six yard line, over Ken Hamlin, who tackles Smith cleanly.
GIA 1 & Goal Rat blows up center of line and Jacobs picks up one. End of 1st quarter.
End of 1st Quarter
GIA 2nd and goal Coming out of commercial the crowd is again audible to begin the second. Our defense swarms and stuffs a Bradshaw sweep to strong side. Loss of seven another great play from Rat and Spence
GIA 3 & Goal from the 11 Giants come out showing pass, and it goes to Smith, who is crushed by Mike Jenkins as soon as he catches the ball. Prob would have been helmet-to-helmet today/
GIA 4th down fg attempt is good. Our defense handled the situation and we are down 6, 7-13. Wade sweats some more.
Fifth Possessions GIA 13 Us 7
Felix still returning kicks, uses one arm to carry the ball to the 27.
1 & 10 delay draw to Barber. Our O-line opens a nice hole and Romo sells the pass nicely. Good for nine.
2 &1 brings a shift to our three headed monster occupying the backfield. We end up handing to Barber, who goes up the gut for two. First down!
! & 10 Umenyiora jumps and Gurode snaps the ball. Refs blow play dead for unabated to QB, five yards.
1 & 5 Barber sweep left, Anderson lays a sweet lead block. The GMen pursue and collapse nicely, though, and stop Marion for no gain.
2 & 5 we send five receivers, two are TEs. One of them happens to be Mr. Miles Austin and Romo waits in an eroding pocket to hit him in stride over the middle for about 35. Facemask on Safety Johnson # 20 makes it a first and ten from their 21. We moved up the field in a hurry and Collinsworth noted Romo taking a deep breath, stepping up in the pocket.
1 & 10 in the red zone effectively, we reverse to Crayton with Romo as his lead blocker. Yup, remember those plays... Romo lived and it worked. Good for 18
1 & Goal from the three We try a ws draw to Barber with Witten leading. No-go
2 & Goal we come out in a 3TE set, Anderson and Barber in backfield. GMen have to call to to save themselves.
2 & Goal after TO we have same formation, and Barber gives a great effort on a dive. He does not get ball extended due to Giants D, and we are looking at third and goal
3 & Inches-to-Goal 2TE, FB, RB, and Hurd, who motions from wide right to slot right. This was one of the most elaborate plays I have seen to isolate Wit. We pa fake behind Wit, who releases and snugs in shallow to Hurd and flares right. He is still trailed by two defenders, just a nice toss and catch between Romo and Witten. EP good, we are up one, 13 - 14. I want to know what Wade and Giants DE #96 were thinking after that play, they both had the constipated look of 'That never should have happened.'
Buehler kicks to right side of ez, three yards deep. Sanorice Moss runs it out to 24, nice coverage by us.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 24 Designed toss right, but Bradshaw cuts in and tries the center of our line. Four yard gain doubles the Giants' rushing total for the night.
GIA 2 & 6 Manningham receives pass isolated behind los with Scandrick. Scandrick does not attack, but poses like he might jump or tackle. Manningham is by him and gains thirteen before I can drop a witty one-liner. They needed six and an isolated Scandrick was playing seven yards off...
GIA 1 & 10 from their 42 PA fake, and they are lucky it was not a handoff because Spencer was already on top of Bradshaw, who ends up picking up the blitz cleanly. Eli makes a crazy pass over the middle in the face or our pass rush. Sets his feet and delivers a strike to Manningham into Dallas territory. I hate that man.
GIA 1 &10 from our 43. Another ws iso play to Manningham, who is in the slot this time. Scandrick attacks but misses the tackle. Ware recognized and released to squelch the play for a loss of two.
GIA 2 & 12 Bradshaw ws draw for 7. Nice piece of running and blocking to get what they got. Bradshaw loses his helmet and there are five Cowboys around him when he is brought down. Bradsaw yells to his sideline that he is staying in.
GIA 3 & 5 Bradshaw gleefully picks up a blitzing James, Eli lofts a touch pass down the ws sideline to Manningham. Scandrick has him one-on-one and plays it nicely. Hamlin would have destroyed him had he caught it. Tynes punts right on fourth, scooped oob by Giants at the one, though originally touched at five yard line. Beautiful punt and layered coverage.
Sixth Possessions GIA 13 Us 14
1 & 10 from our 5 Poorly faked play-action, and a pass over the middle to Witten. The GMen MLBs were all over this. Ball hit Pierce in the back, would have been a pick, but he was focused on occupying the space rather than watching for a pass. Garrett shown scowling at play chart.
2 & 10 delay draw up the middle, stopped for loss of one.
3 & a long ten, we run up the middle with Choice. Excellent blocking nets him a hole wide enough for a truck, or Kenny Phillips from the single-deep position. He had cheated up to the line of gain pre-snap, but Romo could not audible out because the playclock was expiring. This would have been a good spot for a timeout, we had three and there is under 4:30 in the half. Romo again comes off the field with body posture that says he should be kicking rocks. On fourth down McBriar booms a huge punt from his own endzone, Bradshaw receives it and scampers for seven before being brought down. Nice punt and decent coverage by us.
GIA 1 & 10 from their 42 Handoff to Jacobs again goes nowhere, and is coralled by Spencer and two other 'Boys. Spence came from more of a SAM position and shot the zero gap.
GIA 2 & 11 GMen come out with three receivers right. Smith runs an inside curl from slot, and Boss runs a delayed fly, designed to 'rub' off Smith's defender. Pass is complete to Smith only a few yards deep. Brooking misses tackle and Scandrick cleans up. Gain of 5, We are rotating players and for the first time a member of our coaching staff is caught on camera looking like they are confident and thinking about aggression. It was Wade.
GIA 3 & 6 Carpenter shows what may possibly be the most futile pass rush in history, against a TE who is essentially a second tackle. The rest of our front defense looked good in what was blended coverage. Eli passes to a receiver over the middle but is forced to throw low due to our pass rush and solid coverage, incomplete. After the two minute warning Tynes drops another punt to the right, Crayton receives and jumps out of bounds at the twelve.
Seventh Possessions GIA 13 Us 14 (still,)
1 &10 from our own 12, and the crowd is going wild. Crayton actually turns to our end zone and signals the crowd to keep it down. Barber is flanking Romo in the shotgun, RW wide left, Crayton ss slot and Austin wide to ss. Barber releases to ws flat at snap, clearing the middle of the field for a beautiful touch pass from Romo to Crayton, who is running a fly. Complete to the 47, but there is a flag. Tripping on Flozell, it was blatant. Prob could have been avoided, but Kosier paused for a split second after passing his block to the center. The penalty was unnecessary, as Romo had the ball out. Tuck was injured on play after being tripped. That was our team's first penalty
1 & 16 brings a toss to RW, who is wide left. He makes a good play and shrugs his defender off for a first down. Romo stared him down but the ball was timed with Roy's break. Our crowd is awake still.
1 & 10 from our 24 Romo rolls to ss, with Crayton flaring to same side. Good coverage, Romo places the ball where only Crayton can get it, but it is incomplete and would have been out of bounds. 1:25 remaining in half
2 and 10 Romo in shotgun with Barber flanking. RW wide ws, and strong side is Wit TE, Crayton slot and Austin wide. At snap RW goes deep, clearing the ws flat for Witten, who released and is crossing the field. Barber stays in and does an excellent job picking up a blitz from the zero gap. Witten is wide open and Romo has time. the ball is not thrown in front of Witten, however, it is thrown behind his back shoulder. Wit tries to one hand it but fails and forgets about it, strolling out of bounds. Problem was that the ball bounced off his foot and into the arms of Kenny Phillips, who would never have seen the ball if it did not bounce into his lap. Play is reviewed but the fluke stands, though not as a pick-6 as it should have been. Our offense, specifically Romo, has again killed our momentum. Should have been an easy pitch and catch, not like Witten was streaking across the field...
GIA 1 & 10 from our 28 Eli comes out slinging and hits a quick slant from ss. Our D is all over it and there are no yac.
GIA 2 & 4 They try a quick curl route to ss slot, but Spears, who is stonewalled, gets his whole body into the throwing lane and bats the ball.
GIA 3 & 4 Giants come out showing pure pass. They have Manningham isolated wide right on Newman, and Eli takes the shot. Manningham is wide open due to a well-run route and a Newman stumble, but almost drops the ball in the endzone. He maintains focus, however, and the Giants are again in the lead, ep is good. Our defense finally shows some frustration.
Eighth Possessions GIA 20 Us 14
Austin takes the kickoff and has a smart return to our 35. We have all three timeouts and forty seconds.
! & 10 Witten releases from ss TE and flares right after getting 9 yards deep. He almost gets out of bounds, but wastes a few seconds trying to save a timeout, which we use immediately.
2 & 2 We show pass, Romo eats the entire pass rush before throwing an ill-advised ball to no-man's land. It falls harmlessly.
3 & 2 we run up the gut with Barber. First down, but we waste a timeout and gain two yards...
1 & 10 from our 45 Romo checks down to a crossing Barber (may have been a designed release,) who makes what was a smart play, picking up a nice chunk before dancing out of bounds with thirteen seconds remaining.
1 & 10 from GIA 30 We take our shot, and Romo delivers a perfect ball to RW at the goalline. RW removed his hands from the catch, using them to position the DB, and can not recover focus by the time the ball arrives. Ball hits RW in the hands, drops and we trot our fg unit out with six secs left. FG good, we are down 3. There is 1 second remaining, and our kickoff is a squibb, return squashed quite nicely.
End of Half GIA 20 Us 17
Our second half kickoff is not touchback material, but our coverage wrecks Sanorice before he can make the twenty.
Gia 1 & 10 from their 18 Ws draw to Jacobs, who runs straight into his LG and LT because our men have bull-rushed them back. The problem lied in the gap that was left to Jacob's right, Spence and Rat definitely got blocked well out of position, Hamlin and James take themselves out of position and the rest of our secondary was slow to react. When Jacobs is taken down after a gain of nine he is being touched by six Cowboys, it was Sensi who laid a hit that held him up. Could have been an easy stop for minimal gain but we do not contain our gaps, Jacobs matches him rushing total for first half. We kind of look deflated or like we know something is about to happen, and the crowd is silent.
GIA 2 & 1 Giants come out in their base 2TE set, and we are in our traditional 3-4 with our OLBs lined up over the TEs. Jacobs sweeps right and is slowed by DWare, but he shrugs him off then is met by Brooking. Brooking has the chance to take a good angle, but rotates his axis too far inward so that when he lines up Jacobs he is not square. Jacobs lays a massive stiffarm on him, and Brooking is never going to make this tackle alone. Enter TNew, who also had hs choice of angles on Jacobs. He chooses to hop into a squat, then launch into Jacobs, but Jacobs is already past and Newman lays a thunderous hit on Brooking. While all this was happening Hamlin wandered on-screen long enough to get demolished by Steve Smith, Hamlin saw him and acknowledged him as zero threat, apparently. Keep your head on a swivel, young man. If you don't, Jacobs is going to barrel 31 yards to our 41 before Sensi can run him down from the other side of the field. Newman hurt himself smashing into Brooking, announcers wonder lightly if Newman was avoiding Jacobs
GIA 1 & 10 from our 41 Giants come out in a 21, TE is Boss to ws. Our CBs are playing seven yards off at snap, and Eli throws a quick toss right to Manningham, who is hit by Scandrick as the ball arrives but still catches the ball and slips the tackle. He is finally taken down after a gain of ten by DWare, who immediately reacted to pass. Hamlin, on the other hand, took forever to respond and never got involved in play. After the play Collinsworth says it was a horrible throw by Eli that led Manningham into the tackle, on replay you can see MM reach out to catch ball while avoiding area Scandrick was squared up to defend; nice play by Manningham.
GIA 2 &1 from our 32 GMen in a 2TE set and we are in a pretty traditional 3-4. Hamlin shows blitz presnap and Eli does not audible. Hamlin has a clean bead on the handoff to Bradshaw but does not attack, and instead sits on his heels. Rat has driven his block four yards into the backfield and Ware stunts into the zero gap (he played ss quite a bit in this game,). Hamlin was sent there to set the strong side edge and proverbially falls on his face. Newman becomes a spectator and allows himself to be well blocked. Bradshaw gains a lot before being run down by Sensi.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 14 GMen again in thier base 2TE set, they run left with Bradshaw. This is some of the nastiest blocking... Pure football. We stuff Bradshaw, but he regains footing and pushes forward again. We stuff him again, and he climbs out of a pile of slow rising Cowboys clapping his hands and yelling 'LET'S GO!' Ever hear a mouse fart in the midst of 105,000 people?
GIA 2 & 7 from our 11 Pre-snap Giants are in what I would consider an off formation. Kind of a packer sweep thing with WRs offset to opposite side of TE and FB. TNew appears to be in man with slot receiver Smith, and sure enough follows him across the field when he motions. They try to design a FB release to ss flat, but Brooking sniffs it and hits the FB as the ball arrives, forcing an incompletion. After play Collinsworth points out that TNew and Sensi collided in man coverage and Eli did not capitalize.
GIA 3 & 7Jacobs releases from backfield and fakes Eli out by looking as though he is going to go under James. He bounces outside, though, and Eli throws a ball into James' breadbasket. James does not capitalize, but we have held them in the rz again. They miss the kick also, and it looks like Tynes may have kept it left to avoid rush, so our D held and ST did their job. Seriously painful three and a half minutes of tape to analyze, our energy compared to the first half was very low. We were coming out of half, so I am wondering if it was more due to something that was said or changed during halftime more than the extra drives we gave them in first half or the fact that they came out running the ball in the humidity. Rest assured the owner's box has AC, still, Jerry wipes his brow and we go to commercial.
1 & 10 from our 20 We are in the 21 with Wit as FB. At snap Wit leads left, but Felix takes the play right as designed, I believe. Felix displays his shiftiness, making Giants miss tackles from the backfield into the secondary, and racking up twenty-five. Ball was in one hand, far-removed from his body during a lot of contact. Our crowd def responds and seems to be waiting for a reason to let the top off.
1 & 10 from our 45 We run another draw with Jones but he is again forced to cut in the backfield, the cut is a little later this time and he picks up a few.
2 & 8 Romo hits Bennett, who has crossed and sat into a zone. Play is a few yards shy of the line of gain, and Marty B drops the ball.
3 & 8 Columbo is pointing out assignments pre-snap, and shifts everyone over one blocker. This is the wrong read and the defender Columbo should have blocked goes unchecked to Romo, who dumps a complete pass to Crayton for five yards. He is tackled as soon as he catches the ball and our punt team.pins them at their 6.
Second 2nd Half Possessions GIA 20 Us 17 (still,)
GIA 1 & 10 from their 6 Eli is under center, Giants are in an offset I, and they try the ss draw with Jacobs. There is no edge to our DLine, as Spence and James again both allow themselves to get sucked inside, and Jacobs bounces it out. Newman, who was covering Steve Smith in the slot, comes up and makes what would have been a solo tackle had Spencer not recovered and pursued well.
GIA 2nd and 8 Giants motion Boss to ws, and are in an I formation with a receiver in each slot. They set up a pass to the FB, who releases to ws flat. Prob a really good call by Wade, as James blitzed from ss, and DWare dropped into coverage. The FB drops the ball due to DWare's footsteps.
GIA 3 & 8 Our crowd again is going nuts. Eli has to take a TO. We come back from commercial to the O and D sorting themselves out, respectively. Very obvious there is some confusion in our defensive backfield. The crowd is still raucous, we send James again and he gets to Eli, who delivers a duck into good coverage. The crowd explodes, but not enough to mute out the announcer declaring there is a flag on the play. Bobby Carpenter committed a minor, unnecessary hold on Boss. Just a dumb play in my best estimation. Wade looks more beleaguered/bewildered than normal. Impressive...
GIA 1 & 10 from their 13 Giants are in a 2TE set, Jacobs the single back. Newman is playing press on Smith just wide of ws slot. Jacobs stays in to block, Eli steps up into a perfect pocket and lofts one down the right (Giants,) sideline. Newman has perfect coverage and sees the ball. The pick was his to make had he turned inside and looked at the ball, instead he turns outside, looking at Smith and cutting off his route. The ball drops to the turf and our crowd explodes. Another late flag, another defensive coverage infraction. They were both tough but correct calls, we made unsound football plays in big moments. Wade looks like someone spilled his biscuits AND gravy.
GIA 1 & 10 from their 46 Same sets as last play. Jacob tries the middle of our line and his line opens a pocket, James and Hamlin tackle him on contact, gain of four yards. DWare from ss was lined up on TE and makes a move upfield at snap, upon seeing it is a run he throws the TE to challenge Jacobs, but is late due to verocity of heave.
GIA 2 & 6 from our 49 Same sets. Jenks has press on ws receiver, who is on the '0' of the 50 yd line. DWare is again on ss, but this time the TE does not engage him, and chips Hatcher before quickly disengaging and moving on to Brooking at the second level. Ratliff adeptly splits the C/RG double team and spits out into the backfield just as Jacobs passes him (If Eli kept this ball Rat would have had a bead,). Ware has an open run on Jacobs and hits him low, Hatcher comes off his block and applies the finishing touch. We controlled the line of scrimmage and there were five Cowboys tackling him. A recurring theme is becoming the Giants' unnecessary roughness. Everything from landing with forearms on necks instead of hands on backs, to extra shoves in the back of our defenders into the pile; Boley slamming Crayton oob, pulling him from the game prob rings a bell. Classy type stuff. Four plays later, though, Tuck is shown out of pads with his arm in a sling from the Flozell trip....
GIA 3 & 6 The crowd is quiet again, but come alive when the Giants get to the line. Eli is in shotgun flanked by Jacobs on his right. Boss is TE ss, and Manningham motions in to cover him, the giants also have ws receivers wide and in slot. DWare sets the ss edge, to his right are Spencer, Rat and DE # 72 (not Bowen he was on Giants this year, though was inactive for this game,) Jenks is in press on left receiver, Scandrick has press on slot. Newman has press but when Manningham motions in to cover Boss he drops behind Sensi. Manningham runs an eight yard cross and Newman reads it perfectly, covering a lot of field to tackle him from behind as soon as the catch was made. Newman was still in man and had he missed the tackle it would have at least been a first down, the refs on our sideline let TNew screaming in Manningham's face as he straddled his chest slide... Feagles hangs a high, shortish punt to Crayton, who fair-catches at the 17.
1 & 10 from our 17 We come out in an I form, Wit TE ws, WRs slotted and wide right. Anderson and Jones both release into patterns, and Romo steps up into what is a clean pocket. He never settles, though. He shuffles forward literally five times before dumping a pass over the head of a wide-open Felix, who had settled in behind the ref. This is not what a QB confidently stepping into a pocket looks like.
2 & 10 We come out 2TE, I form with RW slotted ws. Wit has motioned from ss and covers LT. GMen have only a four man line, but they have 10 men within 5 yards of line, CB is in press on RW. Wit blocks two men left, and the rest of our line blocks right. Deon sees a hole to the left wide enough to park TX Stadium in, and Felix follows him for 50+, running right by the single-high safety Rolle. Felix, who is 5/86 gets up looking gassed or shaken.
1 & 10 from their 27. We come out in I Form, Wit ws TE, WRs slotted and wide right. GMen in a formation much like the last play; Barber is in the game, so they did get to choose their set. Romo pump fakes and delayed-draws to Barber, who has daylight to ws and bounces the play wide via stiff-arm for 10. Nice call and example of a playmaker making a play. D is breathing hard and Coughlin looks like he knows he is losing. This is turning into another game that feels like we should have well in hand though we trail by a score.
1 & 10 from their 17 We show pure run to ws with stacked TE (Wit outside,), RW in ws slot and Barber the RB in I Form. This is another play, though, that looks like it was designed to ss, but bounces to ws. Thank God for Witten as his block shines some light and Barber runs to it, challenging the goalline before being run oob at the 1.5.
1 & Goal from the 2 Wit again motions into the same formation, with Austin now filling the ws slot. GMen are in the goalline 'wide ten' and Austin is iso'd in press. The play in another draw up the middle, but this time the GMen are a bit quicker and prevent a cut in the backfield. Loss of one, finally see a Giant ask if a Cowboy is alright. Life from the lifeless :-)
2 & Goal I am going to use a couple screenshots here, I am limiting them because, frankly, I do not want to piss the NFL off. This is good pub for The League, not profiteering.
This play develops into Crayton jumping inside of Phillips and seeing nothing but daylight. Barber picks up the blitz cleanly and Romo has nothing but time, but he delivers a high fastball to Crayton instead of a touch pass in front of him. I do see a pattern, Romo even hopped into his plant before quick-releasing what Collinsworth appropriately called a "Nolan Ryan fastball' This next shot does not do full justice, as Crayton has more momentum and speed moving to the ss than Phillips does; truly should have been an easy pitch and catch at the back of our 'B'. That blur covering Barber's backside is Romo's arm.
3 & Goal Garrett spreads the offense, calls Romo's number up the middle and he follows Barber for the stand-up score. Nice run by Romo, if he would have been slower he would have been contested. 7 plays, 83 yards 2:33 TOP, you can't write this stuff. EP is good we are up 4 and are in control of this game handily.
Third 2nd Half Possessions GIA 20 Us 24
Buehler's KO is a TB, followed by Olshansky fighting through some tough blocks to contain a ws draw by Bradshaw. We controlled los, but gap contain would have been a prob had Bradshaw backed out of the tackle and bounced outside.
GIA 2 & 10 from their 20 Giants are in an I offset to ws, WRs flanked to both sides, and TE to ss. We have another beautifully timed ss blitz by James (who is blatantly blocked-in-the-back by a beaten RT,), but our OLB (Spencer this time,) gets too far upfield and we do not contain Manning, who rolls right and delivers a strike over the middle to a wide-open Steve Smith. Eli had nothing but daylight and could have run or made a softer pass.
GIA 3 & 10 Giants come out showing pure pass from a variation of their base set. WS TE is open, with outside leg back, Eli is in shotgun flanked by RB who goes nowhere at snap. We have a four man line and Brooking is playing a very flat Mike roll, CBs in press. Eli is forced to dump to Bradshaw, who flared to ss after selling the block. We read it and contact him in backfield. He breaks the tackle and almost sniffs a fd before we can stop him. But stop him we do, with authority. Coughlin still looks like he knows he is losing, and they show Romo looking concerned, quasi-suckling a Gatorade towel while Garrett talks to him on the bench. Feagles' punt is well challenged and it angles oob, spotted at our 43. We have clearly established momentum and will start with great field position.
! & 10 we come out in a familiar formation with Wit motioning to be the twin TE to ws, Hurd ws slot and backs in I Form. Barber stays in to block, but does not get all of his defender. Romo escapes and directs hurd into a hole, then delivers a nicely placed touch pass, good for 7.
2 & 2 we show run and Barber grinds out the tough two up the middle. Clearly a first, marked as a first, but the ref slows us down and brings in the chains. Good by 3/4 of a football. Barber is 14/73 with a TD. They show Jones and Choice standing unified on sideline.
1 & 10 from their 46 We come out showing run but we run a play-action fake. Romo again has time, but shuffles into the pocket and lobs one deep right. The pass sails over the head of Hurd and into the breadbasket of Giants' safety Kenny Phillips. Most of us remember this play as one of Romo's particularly ugly moments. I am going to come back to barely-tangibles right now. Body posture is a high % of communication.and Romo was not strong as he shuffled up and lobbed this ball. Even worse after play as he hangs head and dumps ice water over himself. His WRs and other teammates surround him and see him. Believe it carries over and is prob worse than ever after the Redskins debacle.
Fourth 2nd Half Possessions, GIA 20 Us 24 (still,)
GIA 1 & 10 from their 27 The Giants offense comes out and sets as one, our D is pointing and shuffling but sets into a relatively flat formation well before the snap. Eli play actions to ws, then turns to see Manningham get deep to Hamlin. Eli lets the top off, beating Scandrick and gaining almost 50. We end the third to a shot of Eli's new wife agasp at the dramatic turn.
End of 3rd Quarter
4th quarter opens to another blimp panorama of God's peephole. On first down the GMen try a ws draw and gain three. There was a hole but we collapsed and made some contact.
GIA 2nd and 8 from our 22 GMen are in a 21, with TE covering line on ws. slot WRs bilaterally are pressed in man. We are in 3-4 with Hamlin deeper than Sensi. Eli checks into a handoff right, and DWare grabs an ankle from behind, holding him to no gain. They show numbers stating that Manningham has doubled his career totals for receptions, yards and TDs tonight. Hixon was out, and this game gave Giants fans big hopes for the kid.
GIA 3 and 8 Giants come out showing pass, we have a four man front and are playing pretty flat again, except for Safeties, who are too deep to be relevant in coverage shy of the line-of-gain. So, of course, Eli (who has all day,) waits for his slot receiver to clear our front seven and throws a lob into the soft spot between our safeties, who are both slow to react. Smith faked Scandrick out of his cleats to get open. TD Giants, EP good, they are up three. Pan back to our "professional dance team" in their cages. Ensuing kickoff has five yards tacked on due to Hamlin's offsides on ep, and Jones should prob not have brought it out. He jukes what was decent coverage and returns it to our 17. 24 of the Giants' 27 points came from takeaways.
1 & 10 from our 17 Toss left to Jones for a few. Nothing remarkable, nice blocking and nice tackle by GMen secondary.
2 & 7 we show pass and Romo comes out throwing... To no one. This one skipped in the dirt in the middle of the field due to Romo being hit as he throws; Flozell got beat on an inside swim move. Had Romo delivered this ball it is most likely batted or picked. It looked forced, Romo felt pressure before he threw the ball and it could have been costly.
3 & 7 Romo's third down numbers tonight are 3/5 for 8 yards with a TD and an INT. I think that is a QB rating of about 27. We show pass with three WRs and two RBs flanking Romo, who is in shotgun. Romo has time and clearly stares to the right, where his pass is nearly tipped after being forced to Crayton, who was double covered along the sideline. The ball ended up being catchable and would have went for first down yardage, Collinsworth calls it a brilliant throw. IMO it was a well-placed ball, but considering Romo was in no rush to throw and Crayton was triple covered when counting sideline, not the smartest play available. Romo had Austin slanting across the middle or he might have been able to run for the first. McBriar comes out and hangs one 57 yards in the air. Our gunner #25 misses his bead, but Anderson cleans up after a small return. Quick 3 & out.
Fifth 2nd Half Possessions GIA 27 Us 24
GIA 1 & 10 from their 40 Bradshaw ws draw, but Spencer stuffs him with help from Rat and James. Our crowd is awake, but not rabid.
GIA 2 & 11 Gmen are in a passing set with Eli in shotgun flanked by Bradshaw. Four man rush moves the pile backward, but at the time Eli throws the pass, our ILBs are on heels covering precisely no one. Manningham has made a double move and Jenks had good position but failed to turn around (another perceived meme I have harped on over the years,). The pass splits Jenkins and Hamlin, good for 25.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 34 2TE, WRs flanked and lone back 7 yards deep. We are in our base 3-4. Spencer is LOLB, and he removes himself from play, again, by attacking too far upfield. He just runs right by the play and yells 'F***' extra loud. TNew and Hatcher and Scandrick have shots on Bradshaw, but partially whiff, and the Giants make LOG before we bring him down.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 23 GMen are in same set, while we play our CBs off and Safeties staggered. Spencer is also back at ROLB and he sets the edge well, allowing our interior line to smash Bradshaw, minimal gain.
GIA 2 & 9 sweep right by Jacobs, our D gets stretched too wide, but James dances through gaps, occupying blockers and allowing Saavi to make a very strong tackle. James even recovered enough to aid in tackle, gain of two.
GIA 3 & 7 Our crowd is losing its mind. We are shifting, Scandrick trails his target across field and at the snap our DLine blows them up. Manning does a couple nifty pirouettes while keeping his eyes upfield, and makes a heroic effort to dump the ball three yards downfield to Smith, who is taken down immediately by Scandrick. Another almost=sack from Spencer. GMen kick a well-contested fg, we are down 6 with 7:30 remaining. Our D was finally sweating at the end of that drive but held tough in what was effectively the red zone. The kickoff bounces short, Felix stays patient and follows his blockers. he brings it out to the 29.
1 & 10 from our 29 The announcers are talking about Romo having the highest 4Q QBR a season ago. We come out with Witten motioning from stacked ws TE to a ss TE position. I Form, RW is our only WR. We have used this set a lot, of course, and we use it to pound the ball with Barber up the middle for 12. Romo and Barber faked the camera guy with the handoff.
1 & 10 from our forty We stack 2 TE ss, I Form, with RW flanking ws. At the snap Marty B fails to get Clark's inside shoulder, and the defender is able to aid his interior linemen in bringing down Barber after a minimal gain. Announcers talk about TX Stadium being a murderhole for the Giants...
which I like as long as you have a good O-line. With 10 quality blockers, respectively for their positions, and 5 receivers we are strong and force the GMen to carry ten within 3 yards of 'the box'. If we pass our receivers have downfield momentum and the power to set up their moves with a fake; basically we can just make a lot of chaos and a good chance to beat the single-high is there.
At the snap we run pretty much the least imaginative play you can think of, with Romo staring down the weak side, Wit and RW both run outside slant/curls. Romo delivers a ball to RW a second too late and three yards too wide, like, out of bounds wide. Romo was probably protecting the ball, but I can not see as there is no All-22 coaches' cam for this game. The DB had his body turned to Romo, but was all over Roy when ball arrived, it would be interesting to know if that was sloppy route running or if Romo's staring cued off the defender, he had even given the presnap glance before giving Marion the Mike. Nevermind, after the play the CB is jawing, they show a replay, and he was reading Romo all the way. Romo clearly stared it down and if the ball would have been on time, in the normal place it would have been defended or picked. Roy did not run the crispest pattern either, just bad football and another odd call.
3 & 8 Romo is given a clean pocket and doubles+ his passing total for the half, hitting Witten at right hash for fourteen. Great route by Witten, chose the right zone and settled, Romo threw high and behind, leaving Witten exposed to a clean kidney-shot tackle from the safety, who gets up shaking his head to clear the cobwebs :-)
Romo's real problem on this play, however, was that he stared down Witten and missed RW beating his CB like a stepchild then releasing into a green pasture on the weak side. Most definitely a missed play by a shaky QB staring down his safety net on third and long.
1 & 10 from the GIA 45, we come out with four WRs, Jones flanking Romo. The Giants are clearly in zone and we have passing mismatches. The GMen call our play, and Romo kills. No movement tekes place, and we are still in respective formations. The play is a delay slam with Barber, Romo throws up an awkward pump fake before the handoff. Marion runs hard for about four, our exposed line did not get smashed. Collinsworth comments on the chess match between Romo audibleing to inside runs after the GMen repond to our receiver/TE heavy sets.
2 & 7 we have 3WR set, Barber the lone back and Pierce again calls our play, Romo kills and quickly calls for the snap, catching Pierce with his back turned. Marion makes another great move and jukes himself to daylight. He plants to accelerate at the same time he stiffarms a trailing defender and two steps later pulls up lame with a pretty obvious leg injury. Marion did stuff like this a lot and paid the price for his style, still I LOVED watching him play. Now is also a good time to mention that we got a ton of generous spots in this game. I was going to wait until recap to mention it, but wow that one was three yards off he was touched in the process of falling and landed at the 9, they spotted it at the six.
1 & 10 from GIA 6 we have twins left, Marty B is ss TE and Anderson/Jones I Form. We run right up the middle and we have great blocking. Felix changes stride to miss a couple of guys who are blocking each other, but other than that clear path to goal line. As Collinsworth notes, second great Kosier block on a run TD tonight. FG good, we are up one with 3:40 remaining. Not once did the red playclock pop up on that drive, I believe, and our D gets pretty minimal rest for a sustained TD drive... We have all of our timeouts. The kickoff coverage is pretty good and we stop progress at their 25. Things are not so chippy anymore.
Sixth 2nd Half Possession GIA 30 Us 31
GIA 1 & 10 from their 25, 3:34 remaining. Stats pop up showing we have run for 250+, and Collinsworth says it is 'Eli Time'. Crowd is in full throat. Giants are 3WR, TE ws and RB flanking Eli, who is in shotgun. Cowboys rush four but Rat draws a holding call. Negated pass was to Boss after he released Ware into Eli's face, was for eleven. There was also a personal foul by the GMen but it was downfield. Did I mention Coughlin looks like an imp?
GIA 1 & 20 from their 15 Rat drops into coverage, picking up Bradshaw in the strong-side flat. Eli makes the pass and Rat could have defended the pass had he taken a more aggresive line. Instead he makes a sure tackle for minimum gain. He gets up tlaking smack with our fans and then is shown breathing heavy at the line.
GIA 2 & 18 Giants are in a four WR set, we rush four. Spencer gets blocked well behind Manning, who steps right and delivers a strike to Hagan, yes, Hagan at the ss sideline for thirteen. Our pass rush had good push and effort, but lacked gap discipline. Rat even had a chance to cover the hole Spencer left, but jumped inside, encumbering DT #72's passrush, knocking down DWare (who had Eli clean,) and getting blocked out of the play. Spencer literally fell on his butt and never recovered, his OT turned and placed the final little block as Ware was on the ground. Little things... We go into the two minute warning with a chance to force a fourth down, but it was very clear that if that edge was contained and/or Rat did not bowl over his own teammates, we had good coverage for five seconds... Collinsworth calls their line brilliant due to cleanliness of Eli's jersey.
GIA 3 & 6 from their 30 They come out with 3WR, lone back flanking Eli's right, and a TE covering ws of line with a very open stance. We are in a formation that we have not been in all game. Our CBs are playing press with Jenkins iso'd ws, but Scandrick in the slot pulls back to line of gain. Four man line with Spencer as ws DE. James and Brooking are playing tight to center of field, with Sensi deep to them on the weak side, just beyond line of gain. Hamlin is in almost a single high, but is offset to ss. At snap Spencer has a one-on-one with a TE on the weak side, and is again blocked upfield, off of the screen this time. All three of the other linemen get double teamed, and Eli steps into a pocket. Ball is out of his hand in about 2.5 seconds on its way to Smith who is not yet out of his break after driving Scandrick back two more yards. James swings at the ball but is coming from what was nearly the Mike position, and the ball and receiver greet each other warmly for a first down.Scandrick calls for a push, Rat checks out of the game.
GIA 1 & 10 from their 39. We are both in our base sets, as Eli has been in shotgun almost all half. At the snap Ware gets blocked too far upfield and Eli steps into a nice pocket. Ware recovers while Eli scans the field, Eli hears the footsteps and dumps it over Hatchers arm into the ss flat, to Manningham. Scandrick had picked up good coverage and play was going to be stopped inbounds for a gain of two, so Manningham intentionally drops the ball to save a timeout. Never seen a receiver sell a drop that wasn't a fumble, and he quickly knocks the ball out of bounds with Anderson standing over him talking smack. Wade stifles a stool, Coughlin calms himself, Jerry is getting seriously crunk, Romo sees a nuance and calls it to TNew. 1:30 left
GIA 2 & 10 We bring out a five man line of Ware, Spencer, Hatcher, Olshansky, Carpenter. James comes on the same ss blitz that was working in the first half, into the gap left when Spencer stunts. Bobby dances a pirouette for us. Spencer does nothing, I am assuming he was waiting to pick up a releasing RB. Bradshaw is busy giving Eli all day to throw, and throw he does, to Boss for a gain of twelve yards. Sensi had picked up his release from ws and had good coverage, perfect spot by Eli. 1:07 remaining, this is when we could have thought about using our timeouts, especially since Rat is out of game.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 47 Clock is ticking, down to 1:06 at the snap. We are again in base sets, but GMen have 2WR and Boss to ws. Hatcher gets spun by his facemask, apparently not a penalty. Spencer is either tired or checks out, he does not chip a releasing Boss, barely engages the LT and escorts himself upfield. Eli changes arm trajectory to avoid Olshansky's rush and is hit as he throws. Smith sits in a hole and Jenks comes up to make a sure tackle at our 41 with 1:00 remaining. We should call a timeout, imho
GIA 2 & 4 from our 41. GMen do not use a TO, Eli guides them to the line in a timely manner, and Collinsworth comments on Eli's calmness. :44 second mark brings the snap, and five confused members of the Cowboys secondary. GMen same set as last time, we have a four man line with James at Mike, showing blitz. The play unfolds with With Eli overthrowing Smith in the same spot he had hit him in the play before. Pass was high because Hatcher again was in Eli's face. Carpenter throws up his hands in confusion.
GIA 3 & 4 Tynes is warming up, he has a career long of 53. They show the field and The Giants are confused, with the play clock winding down. Our confusion is greater, and we now choose to take a timeout. Our crowd was loud and Eli was trying to communicate to outside receiver, he was shifting himself to shotgun. We definitely threw them another bone.
GIA 3 & 4 Jery frets, Collinsworth notes that the timeout probably let our passrushers breathe/ Rat is back in the game. He have a five man line and show two blitzers. Jenks is in press on Manningham in the ws slot, but at the snap he jumps backward and gives MM the inside slant. Rat tips the ball at the line, but Jenkins had removed himself so completely from the play that he had no chance. Another inexplicable mixture of bad football and luck, tackle by Jenkins at the 33 yd ws hash with :33 remaining. They are in Tynes' range, Jenks sits on field like he wants to kick himself.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 33 Giants take their time to the line, as do we, and the clock ticks to :20 at the snap. Hamlin is signalling the play as he strolls through what is becoming the new los and continues signalling for about seven seconds. When the ball is hiked Hamlin and Scandrick are still signaling the play and Hamlin is not looking at the Giants. We have a four man line, Ware is playing ws DE and the tailback is on the same side. Carpenter and James are four yards deep, our CBs are all playing 6 yards off, safeties are about twelve yards deep on the inside hashes; they all packpedal at snap. The GMen stayed three WR, this time two to strong side, which Boss is covering. Boss comes off the line unchecked and Spencer is near Eli at the throw, but the RT gets just enough. Boss goes five yards and slants under Carpenter, who turns to chase. Smith, from the slot, follows Boss and at the time of the throw Scandrick is five yards off. Manningham was also open at bottom of screen but Eli did not wait for him to come out of break due to Spencer. Smith catches the ball seven yards deep at the strongside hash and travels three more before he is touched. Carpenter reacts quickly but due to his momentum compared to Smith's it was an uncontested first down and Carpenter makes a sure tackle at the twentyone. Giants immediately take a timeout with :13 remaining, Tynes walks onto the field.
This was pretty bad scheme and I would even call it a prevent defense; any of the WRs could have run a seven and stop, but we really gave up the center of the field. Hamlin was incredibly slow to react and after the play throws his hands up at the sideline. IDK how much longer he was thinking the Giants were going to wait to snap the ball, regardless of his confusion he should have focused with his team and this is another example of our lack of unity (peace or confidence, if you will,) reverbing through the team. Eli saw them confused presnap and was all over it. Bad scheme, bad execution. Giants immediately take a timeout and they review how Jenks and Scandrick let the inside slant beat them in short distance situations. Eli's wife's heart is having some pretty little palpitations.
GIA 1 & 10 from our 21 Coughlin chooses to let his team take some more time off the clock, as they have a timeout remaining. Ball is at exactly the center of the field, Giants have a WR and TE each side and Eli is under center. For them, this game, total run formation. We are in our 3-4 and are flat, with safeties only seven yards deep. Eli sneaks up the middle for two and is tackled with nine seconds remaining, we do not call a timeout and we let the GMen run the clock to four seconds. They walk off the field giving fist bumps.
GIA 2 & 8 Wade is shown presnap telling DeCamillas he is going to call a TO. He has expert timing, and Tynes gets to run the gauntlet of emotions from a game-winning kick to finding out he'd been iced. The Giants come out and withstand another tough push from us and Tynes drills it dead-center this time.
Game GIA 33 Us 31
My overall impression from this game is wild inconsistency. Romo, Spencer, and our playcalling are the best examples. Spencer, however, looked bad on the final drive and I do not think it is fair to put so much blame on him given we refused to call a timeout to rotate, and the GMen were given extra TOP due to Romo's errors. Our offense had moments when the playcalling cost us, and moments when we completely destroyed our momentum. I'll take it one step further and say that every time we started to build momentum our offense cost us. Romo Vs Eli is no contest, Eli keeps his eyes downfield and glides around pocket. Special teams' play was solid, probably more solid than average considering we contested FGs and they had no large punt returns.
Our defense did a great job through most of this game, very resilient. Don't know why Wade got away from the pressure and started rushing four, and don't know why he would not burn a timeout on that final drive. It was as if he was perfectly happy staying with our set and putting the game on Tynes. When we did call TO it was due to confusion, not at the end of a play.
Considering that this was four seasons ago and under a different head coach, it is incredibly reminiscent of our team under Garrett. We had good energy but never took the jugular, and it felt like we won this game on the field. The main difference would be our lack of penalties. We actually had a disciplined game compared to what we have seen the last two years.
Here is the NFL.com box score