Film Room: Ballentine May Not Be The Answer

by Spiro Kasabian @nyspawtsguy_spi

Corey Ballentine has been given a golden opportunity to become a starting Cornerback for the New York Giants.  When news came down that DeAndre Baker was being released (arrest) and Sam Beal was opting out of the 2020 season, Corey Ballentine became the de facto starter.  Through two games, the experiment has not gone well.

We must take into account that Ballentine is still a young player that is getting his first crack at the outside Cornerback position in a new defense.  Having said that, the numbers and play on the field do not suggest that Ballentine is going to last long as a cornerback in the NFL.  The thought was that he was playing out of position as a Nickleback last year, but 2020 does not look any better.

In Game Two of the Ballentine Experiment, the young cornerback saw his snaps drop from 92% to 45% following a benching in the 2nd Half.  The numbers are not pretty.  Ballentine has allowed a Passer Rating Against of 151.5 and is allowing 83% of the passes thrown his way to be completed.  He has allowed

Sunday’s Game vs the Chicago Bears

Ballentine wasn’t involved a lot in this first half, but he was one of the main culprits in a back-breaking late TD to end the first half for the Chicago Bears.  The play resulted in his benching for what appears like the rest of the game.

On 3rd and 8 from the New York Giant 15-yard line, Trubisky lined up in shotgun in an empty set.  With a three-man rush, the Giants were playing back to prevent the big play, as there were only 24 seconds left in the half.  Ballentine was tasked with covering Bears rookie, Darnell Mooney.

Patrick Graham’s decision to rush three in this moment can be questioned, as it allowed Trubisky to have seven seconds to find Mooney.  Ballentine appeared to be in good coverage for most of the play but allowed Mooney to break open in the end zone for an EASY touchdown catch with only 17 seconds remaining in the half. 

Ballentine went from being in this position….

To being in this position…

In this matter of a tenth of a second.  If he made a play on a ball and got outmuscled, that could be forgiven.  To give up that TD at such a crucial moment, when your main objective is to prevent a TD in that situation, you cannot have that.  It would be one thing if there was a lot of ground to cover, but the Bears were already at the 15-yard line.

Spi’s Take:

I was beating the drum for Ballentine to be given a chance on the outside this year when Beal and Baker were known to be unavailable.  I look a bit foolish now.  The Giants already traded for a cornerback in Isaac Yiadom (who didn’t look much better in his first two games) and I would not be surprised if they brought another veteran in within the next week or two. 

Ballentine has been very suspect and will need to pick up his game soon or else he will find himself on the bench.  This coaching staff has no loyalty to him, as they were not in the building when they were drafted.  If he is not cutting it on the field, he will not play.

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