Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Giants: Look ahead to Jets game

There are some things I really don't like about the match ups for this game on Saturday against the Jets.

Jets pass defense vs. Giants passing offense: Jets have very good CBs and have been effective at taking away the dangerous WRs of opposing offenses. The Jets weakness in defending the pass is when they have to defend talented TEs and RBs in pass routes in the middle of the field. The Jets S position and LBs are not good in pass defense and they have been hurt there this year. However, the Giants do not have really dangerous TEs to exploit this weakness. Ballard has played well this year, but is not a big time threat, rather is a nice complimentary role player. On top of that, Ballard dinged up his knee last week against the Redskins and will be out this Saturday. Beckum and Pascoe are also hurt and their availability is unlikely, so not only do the Giants not have a dangerous threat at TE to go after the Jets S position, they may not even have a healthy TE on the roster to line up at all. Giants should get Ramses Barden to run the TE routes, he might be a good threat. He is not as big as Ballard, and may not be a great blocker, but Ballard was not a great blocker either despite his size, so the running game might not be damaged that much. Jets play a 3-4, so the TE will probably not be called on to block the bigger DEs as often, more often will block the LB, so the size disadvantage may not be as damaging. Giants need a huge game for their OL and from Hynoski if they go with this plan, but it seems like the only choice.

Anybody's offense vs. Giants defense: I am particularly concerned about the Dustin Keller - Giants LB match up. I always thought that Keller was the best player on the Jets offense. Santonio Holmes is a real threat, I am not knocking him and Plaxico looks like he's playing pretty well. But Keller has the combination of athleticism, size and quickness that the new age TEs seem to be coming into the league with. He is big enough to block, is too fast to be covered by a LB and can be too physical for some of the safeties in the league. Mark Sanchez is not a great QB, but he does have some talent. When he is sure where he wants to go with the ball and when his first read is open, he can deliver a good ball confidently and accurately. Sanchez is a little shakier when he has to come off his initial read and find secondary targets. He tends to hold the ball too long and is a little inaccurate. Giants have to penetrate the Jets pass blocking, but it seems we say this every week. Who knows what will happen this week.

Giants OL vs. blitzing, scheming Ryan defensive game plan: Ryan has backed off from his creative, gambling, blitzing schemes in the first year or two that he ran the Jets defense. He now has a slightly more conservative approach. But with the Giants weakness in last few games pass protecting, with their inability to  attack the Jets middle with a dangerous TE and with the Jets great cover CBs, Rex may decide to change his ways this week. If I were Ryan, I would think about rolling the dice with Revis locking up Nicks and with Cromartie locking up Manningham, take my chances with Cruz and return to the blitzing from all angles approach to disrupt the Giants passing game. To combat this, Giants have to be solid with their blitz pickups, make sure they know who the hot receiver is on every play and try to exploit it with Cruz in the middle when they get their chances. Makes me a little nervous - not a slam dunk that Giants can handle this tactic. Giants and Eli handled Rob Ryan's Dallas game plan which included lots of blitzes and is probably not dissimilar to what the Jets would try. But Rob had terrible CBs behind those blitzes in Dallas, while Rex has Revis and Cromartie back there.

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