Sunday, December 25, 2011

Giants: Jets game Review - initial thoughts

I still have only seen the game once and need to review it again to do some good analysis, but in the afterglow of victory, I have to publish my initial, off the cuff reactions.

The defense played its best game in a long time, maybe all year. I think there are a few contributing factors: Fewell came away from the soft zones which the Giants have been playing so poorly this entire year and resorted to more straight up man to man coverage. The DL had a huge game, getting in Sanchez face often, thoroughly outplaying the Jets flawed OL. More than the play of the Giants defense, however, could be the fact that the Jets really do not have a good offense. Their QB is mediocre; he has average arm strength, is not particularly accurate, is prone to make some poor decisions and  tends to hold the ball too long when he is looking off his primary target, all of which are important qualities for a QB. He has some talent, is a good runner and does throw a nice ball when he is confident where to go with the ball. Anyway - this is a Giants blog, not a Jets blog - so I guess to make a long story short, the Giants defense had better results partly because they played better and partly because the Jets offense is not very good. Giants stopped the run and held Sanchez under check in the passing game, giving up very few big plays.

Giants offense had a lot of trouble getting open receivers against the very good Jets pass defense. Their CBs knocked down a lot of passes, and Eli threw away a bunch because of bad communications with the WRs, but they made just enough plays on offense to give the defense a chance to win the game.

Gilbride made the stupidest call of the game which almost gave the game away. Giants were up 20-7 and had just stopped the Jets drive after Sanchez fumbled the snap and the Giants recovered in the end zone. There were 8 minutes left and the Jets limited and unexplosive offense had not scored a point since the first drive of the game. The Giants should have run the ball 3 times, taken 2 minutes off the clock and punted the ball back to the Jets. There is no way that the Jets anemic offense could score 2 TD in 6 minutes. The only way the Jets could get back into the game is with a turnover. Gilbride calls a pass, Nicks bobbled it, tapped it up into the air, Jets picked it off and the Jets were set up again at the Giants 10 yard line. This is the kind of call that made Buddy Ryan punch Gilbride in the face back about 15 years ago when they were both coordinators on the Houston Oilers.

Victor Cruz has been an absolute revelation this year. If he were the number 1 WR on the team, the offense would not be great. But as the second or third WR, he is a great play maker. This is the second time this year that he took a short, mundane pass, broke a few tackles and made a long TD run. Remember he did the same thing against the Eagles all the way back in game 3 this season.

Considering he completed only 1/3 of his passes, Eli had a very good day throwing the ball. Sounds crazy to say, but the Jets defense really disrupted the Giants offense and this had nothing to do with Eli's accuracy.


yankel the nachash said...

That was awful playcall. I think equally worse were the 3 straight runs with two and a half minutes left, only up 6 points, essentially saying that rather than let the team MVP win the game, we will leave it to our defense, possibly worst in the league, win the game.
Tuck looked alive for the first time in a looooooong time.

wolfman said...

I hear you, but I didn't mind running there, putting the game in the hands of the defense, which was playing well.