Giants at Seahawks First Quarter Notes

Scenes from the fall.

This is the only post for today as today has sucked.

For your information.

  • The run defense was somewhere between ok and beginning to collapse in the first quarter. The first offensive play of the game by the Giants provided a heartening sign: strongside contain. Ahmad Bradshaw attempted to run off right end and Seattle, and especially Kentwan Balmer and Aaron Curry, effectively strung the play wide before stopping it for no gain.
  • The next play involved the two qualities that would define this game: Seattle's inability to pass rush, even when blitzing, and Marcus Trufant's inability to stop comeback patterns, curls, stops etc. Seattle blitzed Aaron Curry off left end and he was met by the left tackle and back, effectively nullifying the blitz and Seattle's pressure. Hakeem Nicks ran up the field, stopped in front of Tru and curled and caught a perfectly timed pass. There was no end to this.
  • David Hawthorne had to fight through fullback Bear Pascoe to make a tackle on Bradshaw on the next play. Great play and all, but a portent of a crumbling run defense too.
  • Junior Siavii separated and attempted to tackle Bradshaw on the next play, but he and Lofa Tatupu slipped off the tackle and allowed considerable run after contact.
  • Now I get to play Scrooge and take away one of the few bright moments of Aaron Curry's 2010. He forced a fumble on the next play, and that's great, but he Babs'd his way into the big play. The Giants ran play action with Manning booting right. Kevin Boss was blocking Chris Clemons but finally disengaged and released into a route.
  • Clemons was in a pickle. He was the only Seahawk close enough to pressure Manning, but if he closes Boss becomes an outlet. However, he has to close or allow Manning to run for the first. The linebacker should be there to pick up Boss and if he was, Manning likely throws it away and the Giants punt.
  • Instead, Curry is way out of position. He badly chases play action -- as does Hawthorne and Tatupu -- and then, once it's clear the play is not a run, he begins to run deep sort of towards Nicks. Nicks is about 15 deep along the right sideline. As if to confirm that he doesn't know what is going on, Curry looks back towards the deep middle of the field before seeing Boss and closing.
  • At that point, he's about eight yards from Boss. Siavii is in a much better position to make the stop, and, though it's not clear, it might even be Siavii who forces the fumble.
  • Curry showed quality awareness at Wake Forest, and so his continued struggles identifying plays is pretty surprising. Misdirection eats him up and he doesn't negotiate zone coverage very well. And boy did his inability to negotiate a zone hurt Seattle last Sunday.

So, anyway, the fumble counted and the Seahawks took the ball briefly. That's all covered in the Whitehurst posts and, for now, I won't slag the Seahawks rushing attack anymore. It sucks, and Marshawn Lynch is just the latest victim.

  • Curry and Hawthorne released into zones and Bradshaw curled closer to Curry, but it was Hawthorne who had to finish the tackle. The problem is twofold: Curry is slow in recognition and Curry is not very agile.
  • Siavii separates and makes a stop.
  • Chris Clemons stunts inside and Roy Lewis blitzes untouched off left end and forces Manning to throw the ball away. Pressure!
  • It didn't last. Tru contacted Nicks and was flagged for pass interference. Tru was close in cover and did nothing more blatant than incidentally contact Nicks while attempting to defend the pass, but the problem was that Trufant didn't turn and make a play on the ball
  • Balmer sets the edge, Curry takes a bad angle and allows Bradshaw to outrun him to the edge; Tru closes from the second level and Curry and Balmer rally to finish off the staggered rusher.
  • Clemons gets a good rush off left end, but there's no middle pressure and Manning steps up and finds Bradshaw over the middle.
  • Manningham catches a curl in front of Trufant.
  • And then the Giants score on middle push. Nothing fancy, just one side beating back the pressed-into-service depth of the other side.

Aaaaand, this next drive signaled the end of competitive football.

  • Giants run play action but it's weak and the Seahawks don't jump. I hate weak play action. Craig Terrill and Siavii create interior pressure but, of course, this time there's no edge pressure. Lawyer Milloy and Hawthorne both chase Boss running deep, and that allows Pascoe to come wide open in the left flat.
  • The confusion seemed to occur when Boss motioned left causing Milloy to switch cover and Earl Thomas to drop deep. It's my guess that Milloy was supposed to cover Boss and Hawthorne was supposed to cover Pascoe, and so Hawthorne blew coverage, but I'll never know for sure.
  • Dexter Davis separated from Boss and tackled Brandon Jacobs, but the line was ragged, Terrill was doubled into next week, and without a lot of fanfare, this run gained four yards. It's darn easy to run against a Mebane-less weak side.
  • The next play was pretty good. Siavii tossed off and threw down Rich Seubert and tackled Jacobs in the back field. Seattle's had depressingly few plays like this since losing Mebane.
  • Seattle blitzed five in third and eight and though it looked disruptive at first, the pressure concentrated off left end and Manning was able to calmly step up and right and into an oasis of open field. He targeted Steve Smith but Smith had been chucked off his route by Earl Thomas and the pass fell incomplete.
  • Smith had been illegally chucked off his route by Earl Thomas, first down.
  • And then Thomas bit underneath on a tight end crossing pattern and that left Kelly Jennings in single coverage against Nicks. Nicks ran a deep cross and Jennings was pretty much toast out of the break.
  • Weak play action by New York, and Curry was able to wrap around right end and pressure Manning, kind of. Middle pressure was dead and Manning stepped out of danger and stepped into his pass and still made the play more exciting than it needed to be, but, when all was said and done, a strong armed quarterback connected with a supremely talented young receiver and the stands at Qwest Field began emptying into the midday gloom. 
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