And we're back. The first quarter review was posted last night. As always, the basic play by play is taken from the NFL Gamebook, then I add my commentary after each play.
2-11-NYG 43 (15:00) T.Hightower left end to NYG 37 for 6 yards (A.Rolle).
Pretty good zone blocking tandems on the left side as Lichtensteiger and Cooley manage to get out to the LBs, meaning a safety is forced to make the stop after a decent gain.
3-5-NYG 37 (14:18) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass incomplete deep right to J.Gaffney [M.Kiwanuka].
Chris Chester is initially working with Montgomery in a double team on the lone DT on the Giants’ three man nickel front, but he spots the LB on a delayed blitz, hands the DT off to Montgomery, and is waiting for the blitzer – and somehow, inexplicably, just whiffs on the block. Despite getting nailed Rex manages to float a perfect pass to Gaffney at the sideline, who despite his reputation for good hands just drops it.
4-5-NYG 37 (14:12) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short right to S.Moss to NYG 27 for 10 yards (T.Sash).
First of all, I love the call to go for it here. All coaches should do this all the time. If you try a 54 yard field goal, you have a high chance of missing it and giving up good field position, but with a maximum payoff of only three points. If you go for it, you are still risking field position (though 7 yards better), but for a possible eventual payoff of 7 points. If you punt, despite Sav Rocca’s demonstrated ability, this is an awkward distance that still has significant chance of a touchback, meaning you accept a guarantee of 0 points for a possible gain of a mere 17 yards in feel position.
The decision leaves me with more to say than the play, as the Giants inexplicably rush just three while playing very soft coverage, leading to a super-easy conversion to Moss at the sticks with no one around him.
1-10-NYG 27 (13:31) (Shotgun) T.Hightower right end ran ob at NYG 24 for 3 yards.
Trent whiffs on a cut block on the RDT, who ends up placing himself exactly in the hole Hightower initially aims for. But Hightower quick change of direction ability lets him bounce outside to salvage a few yards.
2-7-NYG 24 (13:06) T.Hightower left guard to NYG 19 for 5 yards (D.Grant; J.Pierre-Paul).
The LBs bite on the counter action, meaning Hightower has a lot of open space. But Santana fails to hold his block on the safety.
3-2-NYG 19 (12:23) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass deep right to A.Armstrong to NYG 1 for 18 yards (A.Rolle).
Hightower squares up the blitzing LB but completely blows the block and ends up on the ground. But Rex quickly makes it to his third read and places a picture perfect pass into Armstrong’s hands despite tight coverage. Seriously – perfect.
1-1-NYG 1 (11:31) T.Hightower left end for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
I always feel sorry for defense at the goal line, as they just have no good options. The sell out on the up the middle run and blow up the line, but Hightower easily bounces it outside for the score.
G.Gano extra point is GOOD, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-S.Rocca.
NYG 7 WAS 7, 11 plays, 66 yards, 5:32 drive, 3:35 elapsed
G.Gano kicks 58 yards from WAS 35 to NYG 7. D.Ware (didn't try to advance) to NYG 7 for no gain (A.Armstrong).
New York Giants at 11:25, (1st play from scrimmage 11:24)
1-10-NYG 7 (11:24) A.Bradshaw up the middle to NYG 13 for 6 yards (R.Doughty).
Rocky overpursues and gets sealed off by a second level block, so when Bradshaw cuts back to his left it’s up to Doughty to nicely shed the TE’s block and make the play.
2-4-NYG 13 (10:46) E.Manning pass short left to H.Nicks pushed ob at NYG 19 for 6 yards (B.Orakpo).
1-10-NYG 19 (10:17) E.Manning pass incomplete deep right to M.Manningham.
Fletcher’s blitz is easily picked up by both the RB and the FB and Manning has plenty of time to step up and make his throw, but Redskins are bailed out by a route miscommunication.
2-10-NYG 19 (10:08) A.Bradshaw right tackle to NYG 26 for 7 yards (L.Fletcher).
The Redskins are playing two-gap, and Carricker gives up his outside gap discipline. Kerrigan would have been able to compensate, but he got momentarily lost in a moment of “holy crap I’m a linebacker now” confusion and started to drop into coverage well after the ball was handed off, then was slow to recover.
3-3-NYG 26 (9:25) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass incomplete short left to D.Hixon [D.Hall].
A beautifully disguised cornerback blitz form Hall forces the throwaway. Hall looks for all the world like he’s in man coverage on the WR tight to the Giants’ right, and Atogwe waits until Manning is deep into his snap count to creeeeep up to compensate as Hall gets an unopposed path into the backfield.
4-3-NYG 26 (9:19) S.Weatherford punts 37 yards to WAS 37, Center-Z.DeOssie, downed by NYG.
PENALTY on NYG-T.Sash, Ineligible Downfield Kick, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 37.
Washington Redskins at 9:11
1-10-WAS 42 (9:11) T.Hightower left end to WAS 41 for -1 yards (M.Kiwanuka, M.Boley).
The MLB shoots the gap and Chris Chester is unable to pick him up.
2-11-WAS 41 (8:32) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short middle to T.Hightower to WAS 47 for 6 yards (M.Boley).
Lichtensteiger and Trent both cut block – Lichtensteiger’s DT impressively maintains his footing, but Trent’s DE is sent head over heels in highly entertaining fashion.
3-5-WAS 47 (7:57) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass incomplete deep right to A.Armstrong.
Armstrong is completely blanketed by the CB here, yet Grossman throws up the kind of lob you see QBs try with Larry Fitzgerald in the hopes that he can just outleap everyone and make an amazing catch. Armstrong is okay, but he’s not Larry Fitzgerald. Not even close.
4-5-WAS 47 (7:50) S.Rocca punts 38 yards to NYG 15, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS.
4.8 second hang time; not that it matters since Rocca angles it a bit too hard and it goes out of bounds anyway. The 38 yards is pretty impressive since, as always with an out of bounds punt, the refs walk it way too far back upfield before spotting it. As bad punts ago, that’s pretty damn good. I would have killed for a 38 yard net from any of the three punters last year.
New York Giants at 7:32
1-10-NYG 15 (7:32) S.Andrews reported in as eligible. E.Manning pass deep left to M.Manningham to NYG 39 for 24 yards (O.Atogwe).
Manning is protected, as the Giants line up with 6 OLs and the RB picks up Doughty’s blitz.
1-10-NYG 39 (6:44) E.Manning pass short left to H.Nicks to NYG 45 for 6 yards (R.Doughty).
2-4-NYG 45 (6:17) B.Jacobs left end to NYG 49 for 4 yards (B.Orakpo; L.Fletcher).
Doughty reads the play early (as he so often does) and blasts through the offensive right C gap but has to cross the backfield and is only able to get a hold of Brandon Jacob’s ankles, but ankle tackles just don’t bring down Brandon Jacobs.
1-10-NYG 49 (5:29) E.Manning pass short right to M.Manningham to WAS 40 for 11 yards (R.Doughty).
1-10-WAS 40 (4:52) B.Jacobs right end to WAS 37 for 3 yards (R.McIntosh; R.Kerrigan).
Redskins defensive linemen attempt to play one-gap but Kedric Golston gets shoved off the line and leaves his gap open (does this sound familiar at all?), but Doughty’s solid run instincts allow the play to be stopped after only a modest gain.
2-7-WAS 37 (4:12) E.Manning pass short right to H.Nicks to WAS 20 for 17 yards (R.McIntosh).
DeAngelo Hall plays well off to guard against a go route from the WR, so the guy easily gets open at the sticks on the hook. Doughty is in position to cut off the passing lane, but hesitates for a second to see if he will be responsible for the FB, who ends up staying in to block Kerrigan, so he is slow getting over.
1-10-WAS 20 (3:34) B.Jacobs up the middle to WAS 6 for 14 yards (O.Atogwe).
Oof. Rocky again runs himself out of position and cannot recover in time to keep Jacobs from blasting up the middle, and the tight ends gets a good block on Doughty to spring the big yards.
1-6-WAS 6 (2:54) A.Bradshaw right end for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Kerrigan is held in the backfield, then Bradshaw badly beats Doughty with a subtle move, and Rocky can’t get off the guard’s block until it's too late.
L.Tynes extra point is GOOD, Center-Z.DeOssie, Holder-S.Weatherford.
NYG 14 WAS 7, 8 plays, 85 yards, 4:44 drive, 12:12 elapsed
L.Tynes kicks 65 yards from NYG 35 to end zone, Touchback.
Washington Redskins at 2:48
1-10-WAS 20 (2:48) R.Grossman pass short left to S.Moss ran ob at WAS 31 for 11 yards.
Hightower picks up the blitzing OLB, which allows Rex to cleanly throw to Moss, who he had his eye on from the snap. This is a great bit of route running from Moss. You can barely see it at the edge of the TV view, but after stemming the route wide he takes a hard step upfield to sell the CB on the go, then breaks to the sideline wide open.
1-10-WAS 31 (2:24) R.Grossman pass short left to C.Cooley pushed ob at WAS 46 for 15 yards (G.Jones).
1-10-WAS 46 (2:00) R.Grossman pass deep left to J.Gaffney to NYG 15 for 39 yards (D.Grant).
Gaffney kills CB Aaron Ross, and the safety help is slow getting over. With a stronger arm this is an easy touchdown, but Rex forces Gaffney to slow up to make the catch.
1-10-NYG 15 (1:18) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short left to T.Hightower to NYG 6 for 9 yards (A.Ross).
Screen. Both Lichtensteiger and Montgomery do only a mediocre job with their blocks, but the complementary routes draw most of the secondary so deep that a good gain is assured anyway.
2-1-NYG 6 (:43) R.Grossman pass short left to A.Armstrong for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
I don’t want to take away from Rex’s accurate throw or Armstrong’s awareness of the ball, which was thrown while his back was still turned. But I have to think a better CB than Aaron Ross would have turned his head sooner and seen this fade being lobbed right at him and either defensed the pass or picked it off.
G.Gano extra point is GOOD, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-S.Rocca.
PENALTY on NYG-C.Webster, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced between downs.
NYG 14 WAS 14, 5 plays, 80 yards, 2:11 drive, 14:23 elapsed
G.Gano kicks 60 yards from WAS 40 to end zone, Touchback.
New York Giants at 0:37
1-10-NYG 20 (:37) (Shotgun) A.Bradshaw right end to NYG 20 for no gain (B.Cofield).