Posted in New York Football Giants

Eagles 27 NYG 24 – McAdoo: A Village Idiot or Smartest Guy in the Room?

Written by:  Glenn Warciski & Peter Scott Furman

Undaunted by the pressure, Eagles rookie placekicker Jake Elliot made a franchise record 61-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Eagles a 27-24 comeback win against the New York Football Giants. With this win, the Eagles improve to 2-1 overall (more importantly, 2-0 in the NFC East). On the other hand, this crushing loss drops the Giants record to 0-3 overall (0-2 in the NFC East & 0-3 in the NFC Conference). Needless to say, Elliot’s leg drove the penultimate nail into the Giants 2017 playoff coffin.

For the Giants to make the playoffs, it is going to be a steep climb. Over the next four weeks, the Giants play at Tampa Bay, home vs. the Chargers, at Denver and home vs. the Seahawks. In our opinon, the Giants have to win three out of the next four games to revive their once-promising season. If they continue the avalance of losses, without question, there will be major changes made by the organization once the season ends.

Speaking of endings, before we get into McAdoo’s lapses in judgment against the Eagles, we have to go back two years ago, when the Giants major blunder cost them a victory against the Cowboys. Recall, in the opener to the 2015 season, the Giants lead the Cowboys 23-20 with 1:54 seconds left in the game. The Giants have the ball first and goal  on the Cowboys four-yard line. Keep in mind, Dallas had two time outs remaining. If the Giants scored a touchdown, the game was over. Instead, there is confusion with Eli Manning, RB Rashad Jennings,Tom Coughlin and OC Ben McAdoo.

New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings said he was told not to score near the end of the Giants’ loss to the Dallas on Sunday night. Jennings carried the ball twice inside the Cowboys’ five-yard line around the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter but avoided the end zone because Giants’ coaches lost track of Dallas’s remaining timeouts.

So with a third and one on the Dallas one yard line and Dallas with NO timeouts, Ben McAdoo dials up a passing play. What happens? Eli inexplicably throws the ball away as an imcomplete pass, which stops the clock. Keep in mind that prior to this play, there was a timeout. What the heck was the head coach, quarterback and offensive coordinator discussing? Dinner plans. Did they go over scenarios? Did they discuss what happens if the intended receiver was not open or if Eli is under pressure, what to do with the football?

Reading Steve Young’s book, My Life Behind the Spiral, Young discussed his quarterbacks coach, Mike Shanahan. Because Shanahan was a stickler for detail and annoyingly repetitive, Young referred to him as “Let’s go over it again.” We do not see this with McAdoo. What choices should Eli make? No. The rest is history. Dallas had enough time to mount a fantastic finish, defeating the Giants, 27-26. To this day,  we have not uncovered McAdoo’s role in this fiasco. Coughlin covered for Eli and vice versa. One would think McAdoo would have learned from this major gaffe.  Unfortunately, he did not.

Last week, the Giants were trailing the Lions 17-7 with the Giants on the Lions’ two-yard line. It is fourth and two with 5:20 left in the game, with the crowd urging McAdoo to “go for it.” He bows under the fans’ pressure and pulls the trigger. But what happens? The Giants screw up. A delay of game penalty is called, which forces the Giants to kick a FG. Two years ago, McAdoo was involved with a blunder, and it repeats itself again. What preparations were the Giants making in goal-to-go situations? Was McAdoo ready? Were both coach and quarterback clear on what the play call was? Evidently, no, as the result was an unacceptable delay-of-game penalty. After the game was over, McAdoo did not take the hit for his involvement.  He called out Eli Manning for the mistake.

Sloppy quarterback play, “McAdoo said. “Quarterback and the center need to be on the same page there. We’ve got to get the ball snapped.”

Why not call timeout yourself?

“Because we have a veteran quarterback who has played a lot of football. I expect us to get the ball snapped,” McAdoo continued. “Usually the clock goes from three, two, one, zero. Once it hits zero, they look at the ball, then look at the clock. Usually we have a tick once it hits zero to get the ball snapped without being a delay of game. I thought we had a chance to get it off.”

This brings us to the Eagles game. With 24 seconds remaining in the first half, the Giants have fourth and goal to go on the Eagles one-yard line. Trailing 7-0, coming out of a timeout, McAdoo decides to go for the touchdown and not settle for a field goal. Why? What was he thinking? Coming into this game, the Giants have scored a total of 13 points. Kick the field goal and go into halftime down FOUR points. The Giants were also receiving the second-half kickoff. The right choice was to gain momentum by putting points on the board and parlaying that into more second-half scoring. As my friend at UltimateNYG.com, Andy Furman, stated, “Fassel actually explains this…the FG is the correct choice on fourth down because you can’t take the field position into the second half if you miss.”

Should McAdoo have gone for it on fourth down? Based on his previous experience with goal-to-go situations (except for the Bengals game last year), the Giants have not executed. Perhaps McAdoo is a fan of Cal-Berkeley professor David Romer.  According to the economics professor, a team facing fourth-and-goal within five yards of the end zone is better off, on average, trying for a touchdown.

What’s mind boggling is McAdoo still had confidence in the offensive line. From the one-yard line, McAdoo called a running play. Giants running back Orleans Darkwa was tackled for a loss. This resulted in a turnover on downs. Philly 7 and Giants ZERO at the half.

Bill Belichick backs up Fassel’s claim: “I think, basically, he was saying that if you get down there and don’t score, you’re putting the other team 80, 90 yards away from the goal line anyway, and the chances of them scoring aren’t very good. You’ll probably get the ball back in good field position. And the percentages added up to his conclusion, which was to go for it.”

So what happens on the first Giants possession of the second half? Three and Wing. The Giants come out flat and continue to look like crap on offense. We believe this play affected the Giants because after three quarters, the Giants scored ZERO points on 186 yards of offense.

Down 14-0 in the 4th quarter, Eli Manning caught fire. Manning finished the game with 366 yards passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Giants scored 24 unanswered fourth-quarter points, but the heroic effort fell short as the Eagles won the game.

Other Observations:

Over the last four games, which includes the Green Bay playoff game, the Giants have been outscored 108-50.

OBJ: His talent was on display once again. As we have written here before, he is an outstanding football player. He finished with nine catches for 79 yards, including two incredible touchdown grabs. But we have to question his lapse in judgment. What the heck was his thinking with his dog-urinating celebration? This celebration cost the Giants a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Furthermore, McAdoo gave him an earful on the sidelines. His antics are unacceptable. We hope managment has a talk with him about personal conduct. He needs to clean up his act.

Special Teams: Last week, the Giants surrendered a punt-return TD. Since 2012, this is the fifth-punt return touchdown the Giants have given up under Tom Quinn’s watch. Yesterday, what did he say to punter Brad Wing? Although Wing did admit his 28-yard punt was a “shit kick,” the crappy punt set up the game-winning field goal. Was Wing trying to kick it out of bounds? We think so because of what happened last week. Instead of kicking the ball deep and sending the game into overtime, Wing gets too cute and shanks the punt.

The Giants defense cannot stop the run. Are they missing DT Hankins? You bet. Over three games this season minus Hankins, the Giants have allowed 129, 138 and 193 yards rushing.

Flowers is a train wreck. On the Giants final drive, Ereck Flowers was flagged with TWO costly penalties: illegal shift and holding. Again, he cannot open holes for the Giants running backs and commits foolish penalties when the game is on the line.

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Author:

New York Football Giants blogger since 2007. Appeared on ESPN radio, New York Times, Long Island sports talk 1240 am.

3 thoughts on “Eagles 27 NYG 24 – McAdoo: A Village Idiot or Smartest Guy in the Room?

  1. Great article. Well thought out. I’m worried more and more about McAdoo. He doesn’t appear to be up to this job. I hope he can have the sense to give up the play calling at least

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    1. I watched the all-22 on every running play from this game, since there has been some discussion of Tomlinson’s effectiveness. The results are below. Most of the Eagles’ success came outside the tackles. I saw 3 plays where I would say Tomlinson was defeated resulting in runs of 8, 14 and 9 yards. The big plays came when they ran outside the tackles. Also, Okwara was dominated in the run game.

      Q1 14:35, 2nd & 12. Tomlinson lined up at right DT (offensive left), line spread wide. Sproles goes off tackle in between Snacks and JPP. 1 yard gain.
      Q1 8:59, 2nd and 18. Snacks and Bromley in at DT, collapse the middle on a power up the gut. Good play; 1 yard gain.
      Q1 4:03, 1st and 10. Bromley LDT, Dalvin RDT. Run right at Tomlinson, stopped for a 3 yard gain.
      Q1 3:16, 1st and 10. Tomlinson LDT, Bromley RDT. Run goes over Bromley to Vernon’s side. 17 yard gain.
      Q1 2:38, 1st and 10. Tomlinson LDT, Snacks RDT. Tomlinson gets caught by a trap block; run goes through his hole for an 8 yard gain.
      Q1 1:26, 3rd and 2. Tomlinson LDT, Snacks RDT. Run goes between Snacks and Vernon, snuffed after 1 yard.
      Q1 1:07, 4th and 1. Snacks RDT, Tomlinson LDT. QB sneak, straight up the middle. Tomlinson credited with the tackle, but Wentz got it by half a yard.
      Q1 0:40, 1st and 10. Weird formation: Going left to right, Vernon, JPP, Snacks, Tomlinson. Run goes towards JPP who can’t make the tackle, bounced outside past Vernon for 11 yards.
      Q2 15:00, 1st and 10. Thomas LDT, Snacks RDT. Toss sweep towards Vernon, who makes a nifty tackle. 1 yard.
      Q2 13:58, 1st and 10. Thomas LDT, Bromley RDT. Another sweep towards Vernon. Thompson makes the tackle and broke Sproles in several fashions for a 1 yard loss.
      Q2 13:28, 2nd and 11. Snacks LDT, Tomlinson RDT. Snacks gets penetration but pushed towards Tomlinson. Run goes right past Snacks but JPP seals. 3 yard gain.
      Q2 11:15, 2nd and 2. Left to right, Wynn, Snacks, Tomlinson, Vernon. Run up the gut, no hole. Tomlinson forces Smallwood to spin out towards Wynn who cleans it up. 2 yard gain.
      Q2 9:56, 2nd and 5 (from the 5). Tomlinson LDT but split wide, Snacks RDT close to center. Run blitz by Kennard in between those two. Blount cuts between Snacks and Kennard, Tomlinson sheds and tackles but after a 4 yard gain to the 1.
      Q2 9:50, 3rd and 1 (from the 1). Left to right, JPP, Snacks, Tomlinson, Bromley, Vernon. Run goes right at JPP. Touchdown.
      Q2 7:56, 1st and 10. Snacks LDT, Tomlinson RDT. Off tackle, stopped by Vernon for no gain.
      Q2 5:27, 1st and 10. Thomas LDT, Tomlinson RDT. Tomlinson gets caught inside, run goes through his hole for 14.
      Q2 4:49, 1st and 10. Tomlinson LDT, Thomas RDT. Tomlinson double-teamed, Thomas misses tackle. 8 yard gain.
      Q2 3:23, 2nd and 10. Thomas LDT, Bromley RDT. Good penetration by Thomas, Bromley cleans up. 2 yards.
      Q3 14:10, 1st and 10. Tomlinson LDT, Snacks RDT. Sweep outside of JPP. LB (couldn’t see who) taken out by WR. 20 yard gain.
      Q3 13:51, 1st and 10. Snacks LDT, Tomlinson RDT. Sweep towards Vernon, but Snacks damn near got the handoff (but missed the tackle). Vernon gets sealed, Casillas overruns, Tomlinson pursues and tackles after 5.
      Q3 11:52, 1st and 10. Snacks LDT, Tomlinson RDT. Run at JPP for 1 yard.
      Q3 8:58, 1st and 10. Snacks LTD, Tomlinson RDT. Run at Vernon, but Tomlinson shed block and tackles for no gain.
      Q3 6:47, 4th and 1. Bizarre formation. Snacks LDT, Kennard (!) RDT. Sneak goes right at Kennard and succeeds.
      Q3 6:02. 1st and goal from the 3. Tomlinson LDT, Snacks RDT. Run goes at Vernon who gets blocked inside, but Cockrell busts in for no gain.
      Q3 1:17, 1st and 10. Snacks LDT, Bromley RDT. Sweep at Vernon. Snacks makes tackle after 2 yards.
      Q3 1:01, 2nd and 8. Snacks LDT, Bromley RDT. Smallwood hit in backfield but several missed tackles as he goes left end for 4.
      Q4 10:48, 1st and 10. Snacks LDT, Thomas RDT. Run goes right past Thomas up the gut for 7 yards.
      Q4 10:34, 2nd and 3. Thomas LDT, Snacks RDT. Sweep towards Vernon goes backwards for 3 yard loss.
      Q4 8:44, 2nd and 10. Tomlinson LDT, Snacks RDT. Snacks and Vernon hit Smallwood 4 yards behind LOS but he splits them and turns a 4 yard loss into a 2 yard gain.
      Q4 6:36, 1st and 10. Snacks LDT, Tomlinson RDT. Run goes at Tomlinson, no hole, tries to bounce towards the right, JPP cleans up. 2 yards.
      Q4 5:46, 1st and 10. Left to right JPP, Thomas, Tomlinson, Okwara. Run goes at Tomlinson, no hole. Bounces wide around where Okwara in theory should be. In reality, he has been pushed 10 yards downfield and towards the middle. Absolutely destroyed. 15 yard touchdown.
      Q4 3:02 2nd and 1. Left to right Kennard playing end, JPP playing 3 technique, Thomas, Okwara. Thomas sealed inside, Okwara pushed about 7 yards towards the slideline. Gaping hole. 20 yards.
      Q4 2:56, 1st and 10. Tomlinson LDT (playing 1 technique), Bromley RDT. Run goes at Bromley, but Tomlinson also gets sealed inside. Run cuts back through that hole with Okwara again well out of the play. 9 yard gain.
      Q4 2:36, 2nd and 1. Bromley LDT, Snacks RDT. Run goes right between Snacks and Vernon for 6 yards.

      Snacks was not his usual, dominating self for whatever reason.

      Football Outsiders has not yet updated their YTD advanced stats with this game, but heading into it, runs to the offensive right from the mid/guard and to the tackle (not outside) were being stuffed by the Giants– 8th best and 4th best respectively. That’s usually where Tomlinson has lined up (although as you can see from the above, they do move around and rotate personnel at lot). Around ends and to the 1-technique tackle side they’ve been well below average. https://twitter.com/GerryDales/status/910934706773950464

      Lastly, Pro Football Focus had graded Tomlinson, through two games, as follows:
      “PFF Grade: 81.8

      Elite Stat: Tomlinson’s five run stops are the fifth-most among interior defenders in the league.

      Teaming up with the premier run-stopper in the NFL, Tomlinson and Damon Harrison are quickly forming the leagues most dominant run-stuffing defensive interior. Here’s the list of interior defenders who have played at least 30 run defense snaps and have a run defense grade of 85.0 or better: Harrison, J.J. Watt, Linval Joseph, Cameron Heyward and Tomlinson. Tomlinson hasn’t generated much as a pass-rusher through two weeks, but if his run defense remains at this level he’ll be an extremely valuable piece along the Giants’ defensive front despite.”
      https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-race-for-rookie-of-the-year-week-2-4

      The run D has a lot of problems right now (my suspicion is mainly getting gassed from being on the field non-stop) but Tomlinson has been pretty solid in run D so far.

      G

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      1. Also, in the above, I should have said that Tomlinson lined up 3-technique in all of his plays, excepting the 1st QB sneak and the one other play I noted (Q4 2:36) above.

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