News of the Game - Giants

Harry

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Well it was fun for awhile! Dobbs played much better. The Cards running game was actually productive. Yet they still lost. It doesn’t gets easier to be a Cardinal fan. Once again the end result was all to familiar. Actually this was one of the weirdest games I’ve seen. In another thread I said the Giants played the first half like the Walking Dead. I’ve rarely seen a flatter team. In the second half they came our revved up to play and gradually broke the Cards’ self confidence. It was yet another game the Cards should have won. I still feel okay about the game. Not just because of the draft, but because with the league’s weakest roster the team played decently. That’s a sign of coaching impact. Mark that, hope for the future.

The Good News

No question Dobbs played much better. He overthrew a few, but he actually showed the best ball placement I ever seen him achieve. Plus, Dobbs made an excellent throw on the run. He also displayed better ball security. In the end though with the game on the line the coaches still didn’t trust him enough to let him throw for the win. Remember the Giants were playing 2 rookie CBs and the defense, without Baker, was looking shaky. The Cards did show some semblance of a running game, though it wasn’t good enough to runout the clock. Connor showed patience, but lacks breakaway speed. Hernandez looked better at RG and both Tackles played well. On the whole the line also did mostly well when picking up blitzes. Wilson validated those who felt he could contribute, but he did cost the Cards when he blocked while a pass was in the air. Ertz had a productive game, but on a crucial play late the coaches chose to throw short to Ertz and ask him to run for the first. That’s not his game. I thought Brown played a solid game. I realize I’m undercutting many of my compliments, but that’s how it went; one step forward and two back.

On defense Clark made his share of mistakes, but also showed enough to indicate he could develop into an NFL CB. Nonetheless coverage problems likely cost the Cards the game. The linebackers did a good job of filling DL gaps. Gardeck may have been the best defensive player when he was on the field. Thompson held onto the interception this time. Collins made a couple of nice plays. The defense displayed good discipline and for the most part stayed home. They weren’t as effective at rushing the passer, but this was a better QB and the Cards’ blitz package now was on film.

The Bad News

Once again the emphasis on reducing penalties failed spectacularly. Wilkinson, who’d been pushed around the entire game, committed 2 consecutive motion mistakes. Cut him! That’s a message that should be sent. I don’t care how they get the replacement; get one. Brown’s penalty can be fixed with coaching. Next time he just needs to get in the way to obstruct the defender. Let his opponent initiate the contact. Blocks in the back are hard to avoid on kick returns, but Boyd’s holding was essentially a 25 yard penalty; that’s avoidable. Froholdt did run block a little better but again committed a costly penalty. He and Wilkinson were the least effective linemen against the blitz. Stills’ late hit should have gotten him benched for a play or more; rookie or not. Discipline has to be the priority. It should be learned early. It looked liked Dobbs multiple moves to the line during the last 2 series may have been a distraction. Did he sound calm? If he audibled to that running play, that was a mistake. I’ll be glad when Murray returns.

The defense was overall weaker. Both corners got beaten often and looked powerless to contain slants. The zone responded quicker this week, but the linebackers‘ drop was way too shallow contributing to the failure to control slants. Wilson did better early at reducing the cushion he gave, but later may have lost a little self confidence. When the Cards’ secondary got beat to start the third quarter, it looked liked there was no help over the top despite getting beat deep on a fly pattern last week. This was more of a skinny post, but again it was a “no move” route. Barnes was no match covering Barkley. The Cards did a poor job of containing edge runs and let Jones repeatedly burn them. Despite the poor Giants’ O-Line, the Cards too often failed to pressure the passer.

While Dobbs easily played his best game there were still issues. He was still high on a few throws and delivered a couple of balls behind receivers. Dobbs was fortunate not to get an interception that counted. He seems to lack polish on deep throws. For example, on the deep attempt to Brown it required a back shoulder throw. I’ve yet to see Dobbs make or even attempt that throw. He just threw it long even though Brown never got behind the defender. The Giants’ pass rush was only minimally effective, creating a little more second half pressure. Dobbs didn’t burn the pressure by finding the area left open by the blitzer.

The coaching was up then down. The Cards came into the game pumped up and had the Giants on the ropes. The Giants staff did a great halftime job of getting their team to settle down and play their game. The Cards coaches were hampered by a lack of personnel. Baker & Woods being out might have cost them the game. The lack of a quality RB backup may have left Connor tired at a key segment of the game. Fotu‘s & Collier’s absence likely exhausted the DL. It’s fine to talk about people stepping up, but the Cards clearly haven’t added quality depth yet. Chachere even being on the field makes it clear how thin the roster is. I must add I’m disappointed Dortch isn’t seeing more playing time at receiver. The man gets open.

The play design on offense is encouraging. I especially liked the 2 adjacent TE pattern. It was nice to see a QB sneak. I wonder how Murray will handle that. I do side with those who’d like to make that technique illegal. I thought going for 2 was a smart call even though the card would have said otherwise. Nice to have coaches not restricted by tradition. On the whole though coaching looked inexperienced but still much better than last year. In-game adjustments are lacking. It appears no one is talking with Dobbs on the bench during the game. I wish they had signed a veteran Assistant OC or AHC; preferably the former. I do think there’s a chance the Cards got it right with the coaches they chose.

There were some other concerns. They still can’t execute a screen pass. My biggest complaint again comes at how the last 2 offensive drives were coached. Again the Cards played not to lose. I know some will say they were just putting it in the hands of the defense but by then that defense had repeatedly failed. I’d opt for giving the offense a shot to win the game. If they fail the defense still gets a chance. On the final drive the penalties would make winning by aggression a long shot. Still my observation again this week is what did the Cards have to lose? The game? Well, they lost that anyway and may have undermined the offense’s self confidence. Dobbs had played the game of his life. Like him or not, I think he deserved the chance to win it.
 

MadCardDisease

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The coaching was up then down. The Cards came into the game pumped up and had the Giants on the ropes. The Giants staff did a great halftime job of getting their team to settle down and play their game. The Cards coaches were hampered by a lack of personnel. Baker & Woods being out might have cost them the game. The lack of a quality RB backup may have left Connor tired at a key segment of the game. Fotu‘s & Collier’s absence likely exhausted the DL. It’s fine to talk about people stepping up, but the Cards clearly haven’t added quality depth yet. Chachere even being on the field makes it clear how thin the roster is. I must add I’m disappointed Dortch isn’t seeing more playing time at receiver. The man gets open.

Yep the lack of depth has been my concern from day one. I've been saying that the starters could be competitive with most teams. However once this team started losing quality starters to injury the lack of depth across the board would start to rear its ugly head. These next few games could get really ugly fast. Especially on the defensive side of the ball.
 

Outerlimits

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Awesome writeup Harry! I always enjoy reading your analysis.

Dobbs deserves immense credit for the game despite the loss. Agree with you on the coaches should have just let Dobbs be aggressive in the 4th. Perhaps he would have made mistakes, but the defense had completely collapsed by that point anyway.

With this team having no shot at the playoffs this year, there is zero reason to deploy the conservative BS at any point in my opinion
 

football karma

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three key third downs in the game:

Just before the half: 3rd and 11 from the 24 and they handed it off to the third string RB. Such a give up with a QB playing reasonably well -- plenty of time left to try for 7

last two drives: on 3rd and teens on each, and both times Dobbs immediately throws short with no chance for a 1st down. Both felt like give-ups with the game on the line each time.

Dont know if the last two were the calls or if the read based on the D said go underneath, but a VET qB with good mobility ought to have held the ball a tad longer or moved to actually try for the first down
 

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