ReFo: Giants @ Redskins, Week 4

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Giants @ Redskins, Week 4

2014-REFO-WK04-NYG@WASThursday Night Football is developing a reputation for embarrassing losses.

This time we can thank the Washington Redskins who took an Eli Manning-sized beating at the hands of the New York Giants, where the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback left the Redskins’ coverage unit chasing their tails, while the Giants’ defensive backs feasted on some poor decision-making courtesy of Kirk Cousins.

The game threatened to get out of hand and eventually did, but there was still a host of performances worth delving into on both sides.

Giants – Performances of Note

Eli Manning, QB: +4.4

Breakdown: What has happened to Eli? In the preseason he looked like a guy who couldn’t hit the a barn door from ten paces, yesterday he looked like he couldn’t miss. He was money on the intermediate throws, going 9-of-12 on those balls that travelled 10-19 yards in the air and looked incredibly composed as the Giants line kept him clean.

Signature Stat: Had an impressive 79.5% Accuracy Percentage score.

Robert Ayers, DL: +4.4

Breakdown: Ayers hasn’t just backfilled a free agency loss, he’s looking like upgrading a key position in the Giants’ defense. He doesn’t do an awful lot on early downs, but he’s proving a handful and then some in pass rushing situations from the DRT spot. He ended the day with two hits and a hurry as he went to work on Josh LeRibeus.

Signature Play: Knocks LeRibeus off his feet with 11.45 to go in the game, hurrying and hitting Cousins as he throws a pick.

Weston Richburg, LG: +2.8

Breakdown: Got a Jason Hatcher-style whooping on the first play from scrimmage, but was much better after that. Giants were not shy about using him to pull and after some bad attack angles got in the right position to help the team set up a power running game.

Signature Stat: Two positive games on the bounce after his first two starts, where he looked like a man in over his head.

Redskins – Performances of Note

Kirk Cousins, QB: -5.9

Breakdown: Where do you start? As good as he was at the weekend he was bad tonight, doing a horrible job of reading the coverage and an even worse one when it came to ball security. When you live by the sword you die by it, and he was caught too often going for big plays that were not there. Robert Griffin can sleep easier tonight.

Signature Stat: Three of his picks came when there was no pressure at all.

Ryan Clark, S: +0.1

Breakdown: It’s a little amazing how Clark, who takes more than a share of responsibility for the numerous coverage busts in the secondary, came out on the positive side but he just about does. He owes a debt of gratitude to his own ability to come up quickly on dumps-offs and in the run game, because that was key in his defensive display.

Signature Stat: Led team with four defensive stops.

Josh LeRibeus, LG: -0.3

Breakdown: I’ve spoken about Ayers and the way he had with LeRibeus, but outside of those instances the fill in left guard looked good. Crazy to believe right? Trent Williams got the praise on Alfred Morris’ touchdown run, but it was the reach and seal from LeRibeus that really got the job done.

Signature Play: Alfred Morris gets the touchdown with 13.03 to go in Q3, and it was the reach and seal from LeRibeus that helped put those points on the board.

PFF Game Ball

Making it look easy, Eli Manning is making those doubters of him in this system (amongst whom, I was one) eat their words.


Follow Khaled on Twitter: @PFF_Khaled


  • Jay

    Manning played well but it’s going to take a great performance against a top D to shake off the doubters. Give him credit he made the throws but how many times did we see Redskins DBs completely oblivious to where their man was?

    • SteveS

      I think that is partially true, but look at what he has done this season minus week 1. 71% comp, 8 TDs, 811 yards. Two of those games against a good Arizona defense and a decent Houston defense.

      • Jay

        Arizona’s defense is good but they only scored 15 I believe. And I’m not sure how good Houston s defense is. Their secondary is weak and they are missing a key pass rusher. If the Giants can play well against the Seahawks D (who admittedly don’t look as strong as they should) they they can shake off the doubters.

        • Chris

          Arizona’s defense is among the best in the league. They’ve allowed 17, 14, and 14 points in games that included 2 playoff teams (SD, SF).

          PFF has them ranked in the top 10 in run defense but in the bottom half in pass rush and near the bottom in coverage. This doesn’t seem to make much sense to me?

          I understand how one player’s grade could be different from the stats but how can a whole team grade so poorly when they’re allowing 15ppg?

          • eYeDEF

            Because of PFF’s analytical assumptions they use to come up with unit rankings. They’re treating defense as reducible to individual performance so all they’re doing is aggregating the grades of the individual players on the defense. PPG is never considered. When it comes to grading collective units this is where footballoutsiders leaves PFF in the dust. FO grades the collective unit as an emergent quality instead of reducible to the performance of its individual parts. PFF is fine for player assessments, but breaks down on more complex emergent units of analysis (defense, OL, DL, offense, ST).

          • Gèr Steffens

            It’s not just that. It’s also the fact that PFF doesn’t take into account scheme.

            For example if a great playcall by the defense leads to a free rusher and a sack, that will grade highly on FO. However since it’s not exactly a hard play to make it won’t get a high grade over on PFF. Another example would be if a D-lineman makes a great play to rush the QB but he manages to dump it off to the RB who takes it for a long run, the play by the D-lineman was great, but the result was still bad for his team

            Ratings here are about how well players perform within the play that is called, however it says nothing about the overall effectiveness of the play that is called.

            In essence what it means is that the Cardinal defense consists of average players, being put in really good positions and making up for each others flaws, creating a great unit without any star power (with the exception of Calais Campbell).

          • eYeDEF

            That’s not what’s known as ‘scheme’.

            It’s the grading of the qualitative play of the emergent unit as a whole that gives FO better accuracy when assigning unit rankings, which is what I said. The way a defense ‘schemes’ has nothing to with how either FO or PFF grades their defensive rankings.

          • Gèr Steffens

            That’s not quite accurate. The scheme (aka the positioning and responsibility of individual players) influences what plays they’re able to make. So a good play in a good scheme or playcall will lead to a positive result, and will give a positive rating on both PFF and FO. However PFF doesn’t take into account if the playcall was good or what the end result of the play was, just if the player made the right play. So when a number of players make great individual plays, but the actual call on the feel can’t stand up against the opposing call PFF will still give good grades, FO will not. PFF only grades the players on the field, FO grades the coaching staff as well.

          • eYeDEF

            Ok I see what you’re saying now. You’re right that neither site takes scheme into account in their grading. I’m just not sure that it those kinds of discrepancies occur often enough to be of stastistical significance, let alone account for the disparity between their individual player and rankings being referred to here. For instance when you say:

            For example if a great playcall by the defense leads to a free rusher and a sack, that will grade highly on FO. However since it’s not exactly a hard play to make it won’t get a high grade over on PFF.

            How often is a great play call going to result in a rusher having an unobstructed path to sack the QB? In the pros I’d guess that it’s pretty close to zero. I’d hazard to guess that when a play does unfold like that 99.9% of the time it’s because of a blown assignment on the other side than because of a great play call.

            Another example would be if a D-lineman makes a great play to rush the QB but he manages to dump it off to the RB who takes it for a long run, the play by the D-lineman was great, but the result was still bad for his team

            I don’t see the problem here. The dlineman gets credited for applying pressure on the QB by creating a hurry. PFF would assign him a positive grade for creating pressure. It’s only because the QB spots the open RB and manages to complete a successful throw to that back that it turned out negatively for the team. The lineman was not responsible for QBs successful pass to the RB. The lineman will be appropriately given a positive grade for doing his job. Whoever was supposed to be covering the running back will get a negative evaluation because his job performance was poor.

          • Chris

            What I’m saying is I don’ t get how the individual parts could grade that differently than the entire team played defense.

            I can understand if one CB played a lot worse than his good statline showed, but a whole defense at once? I would think as you described it ‘reducing a collective unit to the performance of individual parts” would work better.

  • Jason Williams

    what happened to home teams are the prohibitive favorites on thursday nights? Yikes!

    • Jay

      They still are. The Giants ran into a team playing with their backup QB and injuries on the defensive line and secondary.

      • dubinsky

        and the Giants beat them soundly… despite having their best interior lineman unavailable and injured and with having more significant injuries in their own secondary.

      • Justin Edwards

        The Giants starting nickleback, MLB and Backup LOLB were both out (starting LOLB had to go to the middle) which forced us to have to use an awful special teamer that absolutely lost Roy Helu on the few big gains the Redskins actually got. Also remember a coupke of days ago everyone wanted to anoint Kirk Cousins the QB of the future for Washington.

        • Jay

          That’s where the a QB with only 6 or 7 starts to his name comes into play. An inexperienced backup QB compounded by all the injuries doesn’t make for an encouraging game. And for the record I wasn’t one of those people who thinks Cousins is the future. His successes as a QB usually seem to come against lesser Defenses and usually don’t amount to wins. But like I said with Manning I believe Cousins will start against Seattle in a number of weeks. We’ll see what sort of Performance he can put on then.

  • Dohkay

    Kirk finally ran into an above average defense. Just goes to show how atrocious the Jags and Eagles defenses are.

  • Brian

    What a beautiful game! For years I was griping about Gilbride and this has been even more proof he held us back, and we won in spite of him, what a 180 this has been so far. Eli looks like 2011 again, except there’s a lot less nail biting with every throw ha! thanks to the simpler offense. I was worried about the Eagles being class of the NFC East but now I see their defense really is this atrocious…. I am, hopeful! Credit to Reese who also rebounded and got some nice pick ups (at least so far) in Ayers, Richburg, John Jerry and this stud TE.