Game Notes: Giants, Jets, Raiders, Eagles

This off-season, we spent some time watching each and every NFL team again, trying to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses with players we might have missed in the rush of the regular season. The intention was to feel more confident in our analysis for what turned out to be our biggest player profiles ever.We spent more time on some teams than on others, and even the teams we spent the most time on we were only able to watch a handful of games. But we thought it might be cool to publish a series of blogs detailing what we saw from the teams we watched with our raw notes.

These notes were never intended for publication, so forgive grammatical errors or the occasional poor language. Nor were they intended to be comprehensive, or definitive takes on fringe players (especially WRs, who are difficult to watch on TV angles). We simply thought it’d be a neat way to show a little extra insight into some of the players that we might not have felt like we had a great grip on this season. Each of the games that follows in this article is from Week Two.

New York Giants

Week 2 – Stl

Eli Manning
- 1st-quarter INT was a horrendous throw… totally fooled by zone pressure and never saw S Quintin Mikell.
- Great chemistry with WR Nicks.
- Know he was great in the playoffs but there is still a hot-and-cold element to his game, more so than you see from a Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. He was terrible against the blitz in this game, and his deep balls were inaccurate.

Ahmad Bradshaw
- Looked good early in this game… great with the cutbacks, willing to absorb contact.
- He can go anywhere with the ball… I know he struggled this year but he looked like a complete back in this game.
- Capable, natural receiver.

Brandon Jacobs
- He does what he does. When he gets a head of steam, he’s tough to bring down. But that head of steam is not consistent or even the majority. He stinks in short yardage.

Mario Manningham
- Attacked CB Justin King on first play… comeback route on designed PA rollout from Eli.
- Hands can be frustrating, had a big drop on 3rd-and-3, ball hit him right in the chest.
- Can get deep against safeties, Eli missed him 2nd quarter.
- Late 2nd-quarter catch on a bobble… he bobbled a perfect throw and fell down catching it. Good concentration but should have been a 50 yard-TD instead of 24-yard catch.

Domenik Hixon
- Tore ACL on acrobatic TD catch… will he be Manningham replacement?

Hakeem Nicks
- I know he has problems with drops, but in this game it looked like he had glue on his hands at times. Huge hands, allows Eli to throw tough back-shoulder balls.


New York Jets

Week 2- JAC

Mark Sanchez
- Very efficient opening drive. Got going with shorter passes, then uncorked two longer throws to Keller and Holmes.
- 1st-quarter TD to Holmes a fantastic throw. Holmes only wideout on play, Sanchez pump froze defense, stuck it in between two defenders high. Excellent timing and location throw… helped that he had perfect protection.
- INT on second drive “vintage” Sanchez. Never saw CB underneath WR Derrick Mason in bracket coverage, and throw wasn’t strong enough to get into window before CB William Middleton made easy pick.
- Used mobility to his advantage in this game.
- Second INT similar to his first in that he tried to stick a throw to a receiver he locked in on, allowing defender Rashean Mathis to undercut WR Holmes. Defenses can bait Sanchez.
- TD throw to Keller in 3rd quarter was fantastic. Keller had little separation from LB Paul Posluszny, Sanchez put it right on hands. His 2 TD throws his 2 best throws of the day.
- You get the feeling watching Sanchez that he’s a ticking-time bomb… even when he’s throwing the ball well (as he did most of this game) you hold your breath on any throw down the field.

Shonn Greene
- Clearly at his best when he just moves forward and uses his size. At times, he made multiple moves before he even got to the line of scrimmage. He’s not elusive or fast enough to recover from doing that. He needs to build a head of steam.
- Don’t get the feeling he’s a lead back.

LaDainian Tomlinson
- Used as a change of pace from Greene.

Santonio Holmes
- Absurd route on 17-yard 1st-quarter TD. Three stutter steps/quick moves to create just a little separation from CB, then leaping catch in end zone between CB and S. The type of play that makes you wonder why he’s not more productive.
- On Sanchez 2nd-quarter INT, Holmes made no effort to come back to the ball and play “defender” against Mathis… pick was Sanchez’s fault but Holmes must make effort when he sees defender jumping route.

Plaxico Burress
- Total non-factor in this game. Didn’t even notice him until 4th quarter, when Sanchez targeted him twice in the red zone.

Dustin Keller
- Got going with 2 catches on opening drive, including 33-yard gain on crossing pattern. S Courtney Greene slipped. Throw from Sanchez a little behind him, but he was wide open.
- Another big gain down the seam 3rd quarter, Sanchez snuck ball into tight window. Threw it behind him a bit, might have had a bigger play if he led him up the middle of the field.
- True difference maker.


Oakland Raiders

Week 2 – @BUF

Jason Campbell
- Slow delivery is apparent when watching him.
- Campbell’s “slow” play is exceptionally dangerous when he throws near the sidelines. Allows defenders to jump routes on WRs, CB Drayton Florence in particular had a near pick six in 1st quarter.
- Raider line struggled to protect at times. Not a good recipe because Campbell is very deliberate.
- When he has time, capable of throwing a perfect deep ball. But time was an issue with this line often.
- Not a lot of shotgun in this game for the Raiders, but it was effective when they did use it.
- “Touch” isn’t a word you’d use to describe Campbell’s throws. Doesn’t have a feel for what kind of speed he needs to put on the ball.

Darren McFadden
- Hard to imagine a back in the NFL more willing to just run someone over than McFadden is.
- Raiders set up screens for him pretty often…clearly because they were missing firepower at WR in this game. Jackson putting the ball in his playmaker’s hands.
- Totally unstoppable in first half. Gained something on every run.
- Focus is ALWAYS upfield, even when forced to bounce. Eyes never wander. Anti-Chris Johnson.
- Did not have a single negative-yardage play all game.
- Not many moves. Just goes. Fun to watch.

Michael Bush
- Clearly the Raiders’ goal line back. Surprising because McFadden was so effective in short yardage in this game. Bush just doesn’t have the acceleration of DMC. Took him two tries to score from 1 yard in 2nd quarter
- Raiders view him as a similar player to McFadden – he’s not as straight-line explosive, but they run all their standard plays with him, including shotgun draws. Invites contact.

Marcel Reece
- Raiders’ wild card – how often in the NFL is a guy listed as a FB and splits out wide? He had to play WR in this game with so many guys missing.

Taiwan Jones
- Took an end around while split out wide. Perhaps a design of Raiders missing WRs in this game.

Denarius Moore
- First real shot of the game was taken to him. Designed double move against CB McKelvin, route was a little sloppy, throw was slightly long. Tough throw between Leodis McKelvin and safety help over the top.
- Spectacular catch on McKelvin in 2nd quarter. Went up and challenged for the ball from slot. Throw was an ill-advised lob… Campbell should have stuck it in lower. Great catch by Moore. Not just deep threat.
- Beat McKelvin in single coverage for 42-yard gain on go route in 2nd quarter. Nothing fancy, just a little move and ran past him. Great throw by Campbell.
- Gained 24 yards on 4th-quarter reverse.
- 50-yard 4th-quarter TD a spectacular individual play. Went high over S George Wilson and CB McKelvin to pull down the ball. Was a little bit underthrown.
- Was the only Raider WR capable of going deep in this game. Led to some forced throws by Campbell.

Derek Hagan
- Veteran WR featured in this game thanks to key injuries at the position.


Philadelphia Eagles

Week 2 – @ATL

Michael Vick
- The thing that makes Vick so frustrating is that, even when he struggles, you can see just HOW GREAT he could be. In this game, he was careless with the ball, and it cost the Eagles despite them outplaying the Falcons completely.
- Think about it. The Eagles put up yards WITH Vick being inconsistent and frustrating. Imagine if a full off-season could eliminate just a few mistakes?
- Vick’s inability to see a blitz evident in this game.
- Overall, this has to be the fastest offense in the league, INCLUDING the OL. Jason Peters plays LT like a freaking running back the way he gets downfield.

LeSean McCoy
- He’s good. Really good. It’s hard to imagine any player in this game having more short-area elusiveness than he does.
- The Eagles run a ton of draws with him, and he’s unstoppable out of them.

Jeremy Maclin
- Absolutely dominant in this game. He looked like a #1 WR… unfortunately it ended with a terrible drop on his part on 4th down.
- People talk about DeSean as the deep threat, but notice that Maclin’s speed also forces defenders to play off coverage… he takes advantage of it with quick slants and comebacks… he’s a more polished and complete receiver than DeSean.
- Effective on WR screens.

Category: Joe Dolan

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