NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell shares his observations of the upcoming opponent through the tape study of the team's previous game. Here are Cosell's notes from the New York Giants' last-minute win over the San Francisco 49ers. Fran Duffy's Eagle Eye in the Sky will feature the All-22 of the Giants' offense on Thursday.
Ten Observations Of The Giants' Offense
1. The Giants played with 11 personnel for almost the entire game. Dwayne Harris was the third wide receiver with Victor Cruz still sidelined.
2. Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is expanding his concepts, utilizing more of the Packers' playbook with Odell Beckham Jr. at times in the Randall Cobb role.
3. The Giants had a lot of success versus 49ers zone coverage concepts. Quarterback Eli Manning was getting the ball out quick and the route concepts were finding the voids.
4. The 49ers only blitzed Manning eight times in 55 dropbacks. They did not sack Manning in the game.
5. Beckham's 31-yard reception on third-and-7 in the second quarter came out of 3x1 set with tight end Larry Donnell as the x-iso to the boundary and Beckham the inside slot to the field. Out of dime personnel, the 49ers played four-boundary lock with the boundary safety Antoine Bethea looking inside to help on Beckham, who ran a stick-nod and got in the void behind dime safety Jaquiski Tartt and in front of Bethea with room to run.
6. Running back Shane Vereen's 2-yard touchdown on third-and-goal in the second quarter came out of 11 personnel with Vereen offset to the boundary. The 49ers were in man coverage and had linebacker NaVorro Bowman matched on Vereen, who broke to the outside against the inside leverage from Bowman. Easy pitch and catch.
7. The Giants featured some snaps of four receiver sets with Beckham initially aligned in the backfield, often shifting and motioning. The pass to wide receiver Reuben Randle for 16 yards to start the second quarter was well-designed out of four-receiver personnel versus 49ers dime coverage. Beckham and wide receiver Myles White's route combination opened the passing window for Manning to Randle in-breaker.
8. Harris 24-yard reception on second-and-8 on the first possession of the third quarter came out of 11 personnel with Harris as the x-iso to the boundary. The 49ers were in Cover 2 with middle linebacker Michael Wilhoite opening to the multiple receiver side and Bowman jumping the underneath drag by Beckham. Harris' backside dig route into the intermediate void in Cover 2.
9. Linebacker Aaron Lynch gave rookie tackle Ereck Flowers some trouble with pass rush on some snaps in the second half. The concerns with pass protection that showed up in college showed up at times in this game.
10. Bowman came back in for the final two plays with the 49ers playing dime. Donnell's 12-yard game-winning touchdown came out of 3x1 set with Donnell running the seam versus Bowman to the three-receiver side. Bowman did not look great with his movement but he still had excellent coverage. The throw and catch beat the coverage.
Ten Observations Of The Giants' Defense
1. Middle linebacker Jon Beason got hurt on the 49ers' first possession. Uani Unga replaced Beason in the base 4-3.
2. The Giants showed a dime subpackage with safety Craig Dahl the sixth defensive back, predominantly on third down. Dahl played significant snaps at safety in the third quarter with Brandon Meriweather hurt.
3. Defensive end Kerry Wynn continued to stand out for the Giants. He's playing at a consistently high level.
4. The Giants' three-man rush out of dime with linebacker J.T. Thomas as the spy on quarterback Colin Kaepernick was clearly gameplanned for third-and-long situations.
5. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin's 37-yard catch on third-and-2 on first possession of the third quarter came out of a 3x1 set versus the Giants' man-free lurk with Unga in lurk/spy position. Boldin beat slot corner Trumaine McBride off the line of scrimmage and Kaepernick made a great throw with touch and accuracy.
6. The 49ers attempted a number of first-and-10 shot plays. None of them worked.
7. Trevin Wade played snaps at slot corner for the Giants in the second half in place of McBride.
8. Tight end Garrett Celek's 5-yard touchdown on third-and-goal came out of 3x1 set. The design was to isolate Celek on Unga. Celek outstanding stick-nod-go beat Unga and Kaepernick read it and made the right throw.
9. The Giants' defense was coverage based. They did not blitz much at all, only six times in 39 dropbacks.
10. The 49ers were outstanding on third down at 8-of-14. They had four red zone scores, including three touchdowns.