I have added some things and a summary up front for quick reference.
I will continue to add to this article until gametime. I will refine the format for
future articles to make it an easier read.
This is 4 pages long so click on page 2, 3 and 4 after this one.
Warning, this is a biased opinionated article and is not meant to follow any
objective viewpoint but my own.
The following is an opportunity to allow us to discuss strategy and expose the opposing team's tendencies and weaknesses and how to attack them.
It would be great to provide a breakdown like this on a weekly basis for whoever the Raiders play.
Can you imagine if all the readers were doing our homework to help expose the other teams weaknesses and tendencies? If you want to help your team out, do the work.
Add comments to this article when you see an area of weakness or a tendency.
Do this and show how dedicated you are to your team. If the suggestions are valid, I will add them to this article.
When these become popular we can post them toward the end of the week so that the opponent cannot prepare against it.
If you see definite weakness or a real tendency (of the opponent), call it out here and readers can evaluate it. Tendencies are good to know, as they can give away the play that is called. Weaknesses are the area's to attack.
Summary of Weaknesses
When on D, Attack the left side of the Giants Oline (9.5) sacks given up vs right side (5.5)
Attack Left Tackle—David Diehl (Giants) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts).
Put Seymour on the Left side.
Dallas accumulated 251 Yards running by playing physical on the O-line.
Giants give up big plays when on Defense (pass or run) stick with the play.
Attack Aaron Ross when passing.
Make Manning run on the bad foot with pressure up the middle.
When all 3 Giants Linebackers start 5 yards deep in coverage and move back on the snap, send receivers deep and the QB has wide open space for a QB draw.
When all 3 Giants Linebackers start 5 yards deep in coverage audible to a short pass to the RB in front of them.
Summary of Tendencies
Giants best run plays occur by pulling Guards
Giants are very successful with the screen pass, with Manning's bad foot look for many.
Manning likes first read this year especially to Steve Smith.
Manning still stares down his first read and does not check off.
Giants D gives up big run plays by over pursuit, a delay run or draw up the middle worked well.
A screen not on the edge but closer to the middle may break it.
Slants of the line of scrimmage when Aaron Ross is in bump and run covering the slot.
Giants DB's gave up on some plays when protection was good. Receiver's should stay with the pattern, don't give up on the play after the route, if the route ends, continue to get yourself open.
How Teams Beat the Giants in 2008:
Cleveland 35, Giants 14
Cleveland Scored first with Field Goal
Edwards 70 TD Catch getting behind Giants CB Aaron Ross
Edwards 60 Yard catch on quick slant again on Ross while trying to play bump and run.
Edwards 10 Yard TD Catch again on Ross
Ross abused by speed of Edwards.
Cleveland ran the ball well (144 yards)
Win the Turnover battle Manning 3 picks, Giants one fumble lost.
Philly 20, Giants 14
Ran ball well through big holes 100+ yards
Worked the pass in behind NY Giant Linebackers
Clock Control, Philly Time of possession 34min vs Giants 25min
Vikings 20, Giants 19
#24 CB Terrell Thomas got speed burned for 55 yard bomb
Vikes stopped Giants in the red zone 3 times (3 Field Goals)
Vikes ran the ball well 100+ yards Peterson broke a 67 Yarder for a TD
Dallas 20, Giants 8
Manning sacked and fumbled, Speed rush on left side Giants Guard Rich Seubert too slow for Ware.
Manning stares down his first read and gets picked on man to man coverage.
Shotgun draw run plays worked well.
Big 38 yard play action run play up the middle for a score right by Aaron Ross.
Summary of what it took for those teams to beat the Giants
Run the ball and stay with it, NY gave up big run plays in losses.
Attack CB Aaron Ross when we need to pass.
Find the hole in the Zone behind Linebackers when passing - create a mismatch with a line backer in coverage.
Win the turnover battle
Play hard on D in the Red Zone
Time of possession - control the clock
Defensive preparation discussion
Enemy Subject: Eli Manning (if Eli plays)
Whether or not Manning plays there is one certainty. The Giants will be a run first/screen pass team on Sunday without a doubt.
They will look to have success running out of the gate and their entire game plan may be based on achieving that success.
Just so happens that I have the same injury (Plantar Faciitis) that Eli has. I have had it twice and for over a year now. The most intuitive description I can give you is "Eli tore his arch where it connects to his heel."
I will be very surprised if Eli plays. This injury will be with him all year.
If he does play with this injury, it can become chronic and will plague him throughout the rest of his career. Six to eight months is the minimum time to heal and guess what the rehab consists of? Staying off of your feet when at all possible.
Eli mentioned today that he would play if he felt like he could do everything he could do before. He also mentioned that his rhythm and mechanics are very good now and did not want to jeopardize screwing those up.
Again, I really doubt he will play.
By chance, If Eli does play, here is some helpful info.
The injury took place on a seven step drop when Eli dropped back and used his normal technique, six steps and a hard plant on his right foot at the seventh step.
He often uses an exaggerated hard hop on the last step on drop back passes.
This exaggerated hop is and a tight calf is what caused the injury.
To generate power, he relies on that hard-planted right foot on the last step.
It will be extremely difficult to plant this way with the injury he has.
Look for a modification to his technique as the game goes on or even early.
Look for passes to not have as much zing on them, instead using more touch then power.
Eli likes a rhythm game and very often goes to the first read.
Meaning the ball is often on its way out a after that that exaggerated hop onto the last foot is planted.
Like his brother, he is a master of disguising the play but (believe it or not) Eli still does at times stare down his read and fails to check off the safety.
The bump and run is perfect to disrupt his rhythm and the first read.
If the route is not disrupted with a bump, we will get burned. It is critical to get that bump in.
It is very difficult to change direction or cut side to side when you have Plantar Fasciitis. I would not expect Eli to roll out much if at all. Going straight ahead is not as bad.
If Eli does play, the Raiders should focus pressure up the middle (early in the game) and force him to him move to either side. That is easier said than done
against the 2008 NFC Pro Bowl Center (O'Hara).
The left side of the center O’Hara is the weakest of the Giants O-Line giving up 9.5 Sacks vs. only 5.5 on the right in 2008.
Left Tackle—David Diehl (Giants) 6.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
Left Guard—Rich Seubert (Giants) 3.0 sacks allowed (16 starts)
Center—Shaun O’Hara (Giants) 2.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
Right Guard—Chris Snee (Giants) 1.0 sacks allowed (16 starts) *PRO-BOWL*
Right Tackle—Kareem McKenzie (Giants) 4.5 sacks allowed (16 starts)
To attack this weakness, on pass plays, play Seymour on the Left side.
If we do blitz, it should also be on the left side.
With this injury, Eli would rather get rid of the ball before throwing on a (undesigned) forced rollout.
The above strategy will leave gaps open if the play turns out to be a run and you guessed pass.
The Raiders I'm sure will study the tendencies and alignments over past games on film and focus on guessing if the play will be a run or pass. Also find which downs the Giants historically run on.
Good preparation would be good to play film several times and before the play, ask each player to guess the call.
Dream Play (just for fun)
Have Mike Mitchell in on Nickel creep up and find a gap on the left side of the line of scrimmage after the Giants Offense is already set. The Giants do not know who he is yet.
Mike Mitchell is hungry.
Send him into the middle of that line, he will find the QB and quick. Worst case, is that he can lay the wood on one of their big running backs and set the tone. I can imagine Mike Mitchell putting on a hit on Brandon Jacobs like Tatum on Campbell.
Something that would be replayed forever and would jump start his career. As long is Mike is ready to plant the hit of his lifetime and RB (preferably Jacobs) is not, Mike can light him up.
Of course any blitz is a very risky play. If Eli see's you, he will likely audible and it could be seven points. It would be good to be in the same area covering the slot for a few plays before attempting.
NY has been successful with designed screen passes. With the injury, look for these to be a big part of the gameplan.
Look for any play that does not require the QB to move much.
NY sometimes sets up a screen with a single back to the Eli's right while in shotgun.
To minimize aggravating the injury, look for the Giants to be in shotgun more often then usual. Manning may not rollout this game even though designed rollouts are very much a part of their game.
Whether or not Manning plays there is one certainty. The Giants will be a run first team on Sunday without a doubt.
They will look to have success running out of the gate and thier entire game plan will be based on achieving that success.
Stopping the Run
I noticed that many of the big run plays executed by the Giants were done by pulling both guards, where both guards get out and take on the the LBs.
We should do our best to gameplan against this. Keep an eye on the guards and know what to do when they pull up.
Here is a play the Giants are very successful with
Bradshaw running with Pulling Guards.
They try to sell the play as a handoff to the left with with the Fullback heading that way as a decoy. Bradshaw will take (one) big step to the left to try and sell the play to that direction.
Both the Left and Right Guards pull out and head right into the clear to the right side to take on linebackers.
The Right Tackle and Tight End (Kevin Boss) seal the right as much as possible not allowing the D-Linemen over to the right.
The Right Guard takes on the Middle Linebacker and the Left Guard takes on the Left Outside linebacker creating a big wide open hole.
Much of the Defense is over-committed to the right and the back has a full head of steam.
The Linebackers may want to try to get to the hole before the Guards do.
A key to defending this play would be to not focus on the Fullback, since he is misdirecting. React to the Running back and where he goes.
Again, Bradshaw will take (one) big step to the left to try and sell the play to that direction. His second step is to the Right following the Guards. Don't commit your pursuit until the Running Back makes his move.
The Guards always start pulling well before Bradshaw gets the ball in his hands.
As soon as the Guards start pulling, you will know this is the actual direction of the play.
All three linbackers will have to get over to that left side before the Guards do and disrupt the play.
As for the D-Linemen, the Giants Center, Tackles and Tight End will try to seal the right side and push you right. As soon as you see the Guards take off to pull, if possible spin off to the left and pursue—they will have to hold you in order to stop your spin.
Do whatever you can not to get sealed off. Backfield troops may want to keep an eye on those guards too, allowing them to head left with run support.
The Giants may never run this play in the game but it is important to know that many of thier long runs have resulted from pulling guards. It would be handy to know on which downs and which situations they pull guards most often.
Like every game the Raiders have played, look for all the media outlets to try to put you in your place and say that you do not belong on the same field with the Giants.
They will ignore all the Raiders positives and dwell on the Negatives. As for the Giants, they will do the opposite.
The Raiders are underdogs. When I was a young Raider fan, even in SB years, the Raiders seemed to always be the underdog each week. This made it all the sweeter when we won.
Shock the world? No not to the Raiders. Expect to win, play your asses off, focus
on your responsibility and you will win! We are fast in all three phases. Showcase your speed, the time is now.
This game is on our Offensive Line. Specifically to get the run game going. It is tough to lose our under-rated pro-bowl caliber leader Gallery (only 1.75 sacks allowed in 2008 and the best run blocker around).
He obviously is the heart (and QB) of the O-line. You will have to get nasty from the first snap to the last. Dig Deep and win this game for us. Think about how you manhandled San Diego; it will take this type of effort to win.
Find their weaknesses on the D-line (on film) and attack them relentlessly. You do that, we win.
When in the heat of battle, when the refs take away the momentum with bad calls, do not allow this to take the wind out of your sails. This is what that bad call is designed to do; believe us, we have seen it for too long and we are not idiots.
Sometimes I feel I like am watching a WWE Pro Wrestling match out there with these clowns who call themselves refs.
Something has been going on for years now and my best guess is that refs are betting on games and the Raiders are where they can lay thier money without too much heat.
Since the beginning, its been the Raiders vs. the NFL, if you didn't know that before, I'm sure you know it now.
A bad spot (ah, no big deal), a blatant no-call (no biggie, its just one play), an instant replay that reverses a call on the field when the ref is standing two-feet away (oh, that shouldn't determine the outcome), an instant replay initiated by the refs in the last two minutes?
I take the term "game of inches" literally. Also, football is all about momentum and rhythm. Any call that disrupts the offensive rhythm or changes momentum can determine the game.
Take the Murphy vs. San Diego play, that was a critical turning point in terms of momentum. Take the Murphy overturned catch in Houston—we all saw the foot drag, the whole world could see, the ref called it a catch. That drive was looking like
one of our best of the year before the momentum was stolen. Literally stolen.
The everyday fan or even so called experts and reporters will say, oh you would have never beaten Houston anyway. Those who have played sports and "been there" no nothing could be further than the truth.
There were two horrendous non calls last week. Both by Cushing. One where he snapped JRuss's head way back after the play and the ref was standing and watching.
The other that caused the concussion on Zack Miller where Zach went up in traffic and on his way down and defenseless, Cushing did the same thing, a blow under the
chin that caused Zach's head to bang off of the turf.
When the bad call, no call, bad spot, clock overrun, clock under run happens and it will, this is the most critical time, momentum is gone and you have to find a way to overcome.
I truly believe it will help if Coach would get really animated. Get furious!! Hell, get kicked out the game if that's what it takes. Maybe this will help straighten the refs out?
The old school would say, ok cool then, if you are going to "let us play", it is a given that everyone understands that when Shaub drops back, he is going to get the same blow to the head or worse.
Also, on the next pass, your best receiver (Andre Davis) is going to experience similar pain that Zach did. It is very important that this happens during the very next Offensive series.
At minimum we need to get even more focused—get even more nasty but without room for a ref to throw another flag. The other team has to know what they say about payback.
If the bad calls continue, I would seriously consider a walk-out. Walk off of the field and into the locker room. Let the world know that the BS has to stop and an demand an investigation. Forfeiting one game may end this nonsense.
In my view...
The Raiders can play with any team provided they run the ball, not turn the ball over and play good special teams.
The Raiders can beat any team handily provided they run the ball, not turn the ball over and play good special teams and the passing game comes around.
The Raiders can dominate any team handily provided they stop the run, not turn the ball over, play good special teams, the passing game has a very good outing.
I didn't mention the defense. I have been very proud of the D this year.
Imagine what they could do provided they have rest and the other team must throw...enough said.
Our game plan—Always have a plan B waiting in the wings.
Again, the media will attempt to minimize who you are and prop up the Giants. Don't even read the paper unless it is required reading. It is all B.S.
Here are some facts that will not be stressed in the media.
This is your team's Legacy.
The Raiders are 7-3 all-time against the Giants.
The Raiders won three Super Bowls before the Giants ever won their division following the 1970 merger.
This is your Defense
The Raiders are playing better against the run then the Giants. Don't believe me?
Here's the proof.
147 Rushing attempts
Rush Yards Allowed per rush attempt: 4.0
Longest run given up: 34 yards
TD's given up:four
85 Rushing attempts
Rush Yards Allowed per rush attempt: 5.5
Longest run given up: 56 yards
TD's given up:four
Despite having to play 62 more rush plays, the Raiders D has outperformed
the Giants D.
Even though the Raiders have been on for 70+ more Defensive plays, both teams have the Same number of Passing TD's given up (four).
The Raiders have more sacks (nine) than the Giants (eight)
Keep in mind, the Raiders have had tougher QB opposition thus far.
Giants have only one more interception (five) than the Raiders (four).
But Romo threw 3 uncontested picks directly into the hands of the Giants DB's.
The Giants have given up only three sacks. When the Raiders stop the run, this number will rise.
Make no mistake about it, the Giants are a top-notch team.
Now get out there and show them who you are.