WEEK 5 GRADE SHEET (the last eight "garbage time" snaps were not documented similar to Week 3)
…the chop block penalty called against the Giants was incorrect and was actually a great block by Ahmad Bradshaw and a physical finish by Chris Snee. Great job on the tag team for two guys who have made a career out of playing through injuries, sans excuses. This game was no different as Snee battled a hip injury and Bradshaw continues a recover from his neck injury. Not only did Snee play, but he still was consistently able to get 2-3 yards push at the LOS. Nice to see that they got to take their aggression for the fluke fumble out on the defender.
…it was great to see Bradshaw get downhill in a way we haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it was the fumble, maybe it was the talk of Andre Brown as a potential replacement, or maybe it was the Browns defense, but Bradshaw ran differently this week then he has in a few years. As goes for the Giants across the board, Bradshaw will be faced with a much stiffer test this Sunday. The Giants will need him to continue to be a strong pass blocker as well.
…Will Beatty led the group with a grade of 4 and turned in a solid rebound effort after struggling in Philadelphia. He once again showed that he can be a VERY good NFL offensive lineman but now we need to see him hold his own against quality competition.
…the best way for Kevin Boothe to succeed is to get him on the move, especially in the run game. He showed against Cleveland that he is at his best run blocking when he is able to get the wheels rolling. This includes getting up to the second level to clip a LB. It is like watching two different players. His 2nd quarter block (6th possession 2nd play if you have DVR) on D’Qwell Jackson was impressive. Even if you don’t pull him in counter situations get him even coming from under Beatty or Baas jus to get him moving. He really struggles getting any push on most DTs and even DEs.
…one of the great things about watching the offensive All-22 is getting to see the respect that teams show for Eli Manning. Once again I counted less than five blitzes for a Giants opponent a sign of the understanding of Manning’s ability to shred a defense and his awareness of matchups all over the field.
…another thing that you notice after watching the tape consistently is that the Giants really do a great job of creating throwing lanes for Eli. So many times it goes unnoticed but they are excellent at giving him a great look downfield.
…the group will be at full strength for the first time this season in SF as David Diehl is expected to return at RT. While Locklear was at times serviceable in the replacement role (he was solid in pass pro and great on draw plays) a healthy Diehl will be an upgrade. Locklear just seems uninspiring at times and that will not cut it against the 49ers. Diehl is the kind of guy who lives for games like this.
…the group collectively was more or less assignment sound but missed a ton of tackles and these guys just didn’t make enough plays (outside of the Blackburn pick in the end zone) to offset those negatives on the score sheet. Boley did have six tackles but they came primarily in coverage and were simply plays that are supposed to be made. Part of it was they ran a lot of screens and draws to keep them off balance. Draw was a huge part of their run game. The "high hat" reads they would get from the offensive line in these situations explains to some extent why they were not playing as aggressively downhill in many cases.
…twice in the redzone and at least in one other instance they gave run action from the offensive line with a quick slant from an outside receiver. It appeared Weeden was reading the outside backer post snap and was responsible for making a decision. Impressive for a rookie QB and it got them stuck in no man’s land a couple of times. It’s a "damned if you do damned if you don’t" type of thing, but I would rather see our guys just make a decision and go with it at full speed. Still not much they could do, but another example of how they had the linebackers on their heels much of the game.
…a ton of missed tackles. This accounted for an unacceptable number of negative plays. Blackburn had at least three in the first half from over running plays. This was something I though he was improving on but he regressed this week. As much as I like his aggressive play he has to do a better job of controlling his tempo when flowing to the ball.
…speaking of Blackburn, he was exposed badly early in the game on the long touchdown by Gordon. I have been impressed with his ability to handle running with the seam route when the Giants play their Tampa 2, but in this case, he did not even make a bad read, he was just too slow and got toasted.
…overall the grades do seem harsh and that is mostly attributable to our poor tackling. I understand Trent Richardson is a beast and will get his yards after contact but completely whiffing in some cases because someone is not under control is unacceptable. He also wasn't the only one. Bottom line is they did enough to win the game and now they have to look forward to San Francisco this weekend. I know better than to question what Eli can do with the offense, but with the 49ers having given up three points over the last two weeks, the Giants may need a big time game defensively to come away with the W.