Giants vs. Steelers Recap: Rant & Rave

Stop the 3 Wide Receiver Sets

by Shane Sharkey

I wish it was that easy to say…moving on to Dallas.  

Rant: Yesterday, it was the same story. Steve Spagnuolo doing his job, Sullivan and McAdoo not so much.  It’s a bit obvious at this point in the season to acknowledge the offense has taken a step back under Coach Ben McAdoo and he needs to change something quickly.

Rave: Eli Apple had a very nice game, including a great open field tackle and an interception.   His pass coverage was good and for the first time this year he looked comfortable.   He is not ready for Prime Time, yet Spags seems to know how to make JJ, DRC and Apple work together.  

Rant: I have heard writers at NY Giants Rush.com complain about the 3 receiver sets…and they are 100% right.   The offensive line is not good enough and quarterback is too worried about getting hit to utilize this formation.  However, this formation dominates the game plan every week.  Manning is getting rid of the ball before his receivers are in the second progression of their routes.  

Rave: Olivia Vernon seems to have settled in. Earlier in the season he looked very one-dimensional, recently, he seems to be trying a few different moves when rushing the QB. His play against the run is as advertised: Great.  He has now registered a sack in five straight games, which he had never done before at Miami.  

Rant:  When the season started Odell Beckham Jr. was frequently lining up outside the numbers or had outside routes.  The result was a slow start.  He was quickly moved inside and his production jumped.  Victor Cruz is not an outside receiver at this stage of the game and should be used as Amani Toomer was. (out routes, wheel routes, receiver screens) Shepard can easily be used on the outside with his speed.   

Rave:  Damion Harrison and Jonathan Hankins continue to do a great job upfront.  They are constantly in the mix and the improvement over last year is dramatic.  These two defenders make a huge difference to what was a horrific defensive in 2015.   While they do not possess great speed in the middle, the power and ability to shed blocks is worth every dollar spent.  Hank needs to get paid.

Rant:  Eli Manning needs to play better…much better.   The consistency of his mistakes can be maddening.  This quarterback needs to learn how to extend a play and make smarter decisions for this team to gain momentum.   Without a running game…the offensive production starts and stops with Eli.  Every forced ball, interception or poor decision never allows this team to dictate the next offensive series. You can only play from behind so long.   

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