View Full Version : Giants at Texans: The plays that changed the game

05.12.2018, 07:31
After two weeks of looking like the 2017 New York Giants New York Giants Womens T-Shirt (http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-t-shirts) , a new team emerged Sunday in Houston. The Giants walked away with a 27-22 victory, one that wasn’t really as close as the final score would indicate. After not getting the lead in the first two games, the Giants had just one drive on each side of the ball without a lead against the Texans. For the first time this season, we’ll have some positive scores to break down. With a win on the ledger, the Giants can have some hope — 1-2 teams finish with an average of 7.2 wins on the season and 25 percent of them make the playoffs, opposed to 4.9 wins and 2 percent at 0-3. Houston was billed as the better 0-2 team heading into the game, but the Giants looked like the better team for most of the way.These are some of the most important plays of the game by Win Probability Added (WPA) and Expected Points Added (EPA). Explainers here (WPA) and here (EPA).Both WPA and EPA presented from perspective of the offense.Another early big play - 11:52, first quarterWPA: 8.18 percent | EPA: 2.34For the third straight game, the Giants defense allowed a big play on the opening drive of the game. There was the big pass to Keelan Cole against the Jaguars, then the long Tavon Austin touchdown against the Cowboys. Against the Texans, it was a 39-yard gain to rookie tight end Jordan Thomas. On a first-and-10 from the Giants’ 44, Deshaun Watson ran play-action, avoided pressure from Dalvin Tomlinson, moved to his right, and found Thomas, who had snuck out on a delayed route. With the rest of the action in the middle and to the left, Thomas had a free sideline to run down to the 3-yard line.Luckily for the Giants, two run plays that netted zero yards and a bad fade to Will Fuller forced the Texans to kick a field goal instead of punching it in for a touchdown. Still, it was the third straight week a Giants opponent had scored to open the game.Barkley answers - 4:17, first quarterWPA: 7.57 percent | EPA: 2.42The Giants came back on the next drive — 10 plays and 75 yards capped off by a 15-yard Saquon Barkley rushing touchdown on first down.On the play, the Giants came out in shotgun with three receivers to the left, and Evan Engram in-line to the right. For the purposes of the play, Engram acted as the tackle by picking up the defensive end. That allowed Chad Wheeler to slide inside and pick up the defensive tackle, which allowed Patrick Omameh to move up to the second level and seal the hole against the crashing linebacker. It was just enough space for Barkley to get into the open field and that turned into a broken tackle against Kareem Jackson and eventually the touchdown for the Giants’ first lead of the season.Ellison gets involved - 1:24, second quarterWPA: 4.56 percent | EPA: 3.58Field goals capped the next two Giants’ drives, one of which that got into the red zone. But on their fourth drive of the game, just before halftime, the Giants got the ball into the end zone again. While some red zone play-calling had been questionable earlier in the season — and arguably earlier in this game — the Giants ran the perfect play on first-and-10 from the Houston 16.The Giants came out in an empty formation, but still in 11 personnel (three wide receivers) with the three receivers on the left side. On the right was Saquon Barkley on the outside and Rhett Ellison in the slot. This stretched the defense horizontally and Houston only played a single-high safety, who understandably shaded over to the three receiver side. Once Ellison cleared linebacker Zach Cunningham after a quick false step to the outside, he had a clear path to the end zone.Two big third-down conversions28 yards to Will Fuller on third-and-3 - 10:48, third quarterWPA: 4.9 percent | EPA: 3.07On a third-and-3 from the Houston 31, the Texans really needed a first down. They were already down 20-6 with a chance of letting the game get away with another punt. Deshaun Watson dropped back and avoided pressure from Kerry Wynn on his blind side. On the left side of the field, Fuller sat against zone coverage right at the first down marker. When Fuller saw Watson leave the pocket, he started the scramble drill and ran across the field with Watson. B.J. Goodson, the linebacker in zone for Fuller’s original route, couldn’t stay with the speedy wide receiver and Fuller was able to turn up the field New York Giants Hats (http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-hats) , break through a Curtis Riley tackle, and get down to the Giants’ 41-yard line. It was a big play to flip the field, but the drive would stall and the Texans kicked a 54-yard field goal to make the score 20-9.20 yards to DeAndre Hopkins on third-and-8 - 4:55, third quarterWPA: 6.9 percent | EPA: 2.56Houston’s next drive saw another need to convert on a third and longer. Fuller and Hopkins lined up stacked to the right — a dangerous combination — and that caused Janoris Jenkins to play well off the receiver. Hopkins got an inside release and broke and easy post route with room to run after the catch. The 20-yard gain brought the Texans from the Houston 47 to the Giants’ 33. However鈥amar Miller’s fumble - 3:56, third quarterWPA: minus-8.33 percent | EPA: minus-4.49...two plays later, the Giants would take the ball away. After a 6-yard gain on a pass to Lamar Miller and a broken Alec Ogletree tackle, Kerry Wynn punched the ball out from behind. Donte Deayon fell on the fumble and the Giants took over. Houston had a 22 percent chance of winning before the fumble, but that dropped to 13.6 percent after the play. What hurt more was expected points of more than a field goal before the play that disappeared with one punch out from Kerry Wynn.Alec Ogletree’s interception - 14:15, fourth quarterWPA: minus-8.75 | EPA: minus-4.55Miller’s fumble wouldn’t be the most costly turnover of the game for Houston. That would go to Deshaun Watson’s interception to Alec Ogletree in the end zone at the start of the fourth quarter. But to appreciate the impact of the interception, you should also understand the preceding plays. Houston had a 1st and goal from the 8-yard line, but an illegal block penalty on Miller pushed the ball back to the 18. On the next play, B.J. Hill busted through the line — lined up as a 4-3 defensive end — and sacked Watson for a loss of seven. That set up a second-and-goal from the 25.Hill again caused pressure off the edge on second down, which forced Watson to flee the pocket. Watson fired the ball into the end zone to Miller, but the pass was underthrown and Ogletree was in position to come down with the ball in the end zone.Houston’s failed two-point conversion - 7:37, fourth quarterWPA: minus-5.49 | EPA: minus-0.95Houston came back to score on their next drive — seven plays and 67 yards in just over three and a half minutes. The touchdown brought the score to 20-15 and a two-point conversion would bring the game to within a field goal. But the conversion would not be successful. The Texans tried a delayed shovel pass that was popularized by the Kansas City Chiefs and some other teams last season, but this version the Texans ran looked like someone who tried to cram for a test the night before and only truly understood maybe 65 to 70 percent of the material. The route was slow to develop, the misdirection didn’t really misdirect anyone, and there was no hole for Lamar Miller to squeeze through after he caught the ball.Shepard seals it - 2:13, fourth quarterWPA: 3.1 percent | EPA: 3.18The Giants put the game away with just over two minutes left in the game. After holding on to the ball for nearly five and a half minutes, they faced a 3rd and 6 from the Houston 7. The play was another perfect route against zone coverage. Sterling Shepard was the slot receiver to the right side on a 2x1 set. His route perfectly wrapped around slot corner Aaron Colvin (22) and sat right in front of Benardrick McKinney (55) in the end zone for a touchdown. The score made it a two possession game and pushed the Giants’ win probability up to 97.9 percent. Shepard’s touchdown would be important because the Texans would come back to score on their next drive, but they didn’t have enough time to get a second possession. Can the New York Giants, 1-6, having lost four straight games and having traded two defensive starters over the past few days, rally and defeat the Washington Redskins on Sunday? Here are the predictions from your Big Blue View contributors.Chris Pflum I’m going to keep this one short and... Well, probably not sweet. Can the Giants win Sunday? Sure. Parity in the NFL is such that any team can beat any team on any given [gameday]. Will the Giants win? I have little confidence that they will. The Giants traded away the best run stopper in the NFL days before facing one of the most prolific rushing offenses who happen to have a talented offensive front. Washignton’s passing game is unspectacular — Alex Smith is having a perfectly “Alex Smith” season and many of their receiving weapons have injury concerns —weapons have but they are facing a thin secondary that could be relying on a pair of UDFA rookies, a corner who wasn’t in the NFL last year, and a free safety who is a converted corner, and not handling the conversion well.On the other side of the ball, the Giants are a big-play offense and have added another explosive athlete by taking a flier on Corey Coleman. Unfortunately they have been reluctant to play to the strengths of their big-play personnel. And even if the team does learn the lessons of their games against Carolina and Atlanta and features their big play weapons (including taking the shackles off Saquon Barkley), Washington’s defense simply doesn’t give up big plays. There’s also the matter of the Giants’ offensive line, which is collectively bad at doing offensive stuff, against a young, athletic, and talented defensive front in need of a “get healthy” game. I wouldn’t put it past Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley to take the game over and carry the team to victory. I just wouldn’t count on it.Final score: Washington 27 New York Giants Womens Hoodie (http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-hoodie) , Giants 12Season record: 3-4Dan PizzutaAs big as the Eli Apple and Damon Harrison trades were, I’m not positive how much of an impact they’ll actually have on the field. The Giants were already 28th in defensive DVOA with them playing. Apple had struggled and had been picked on in coverage since his return and Harrison’s snaps were starting to decrease for a run defense that was 22nd in DVOA. More snaps for B.J. Hill and any snaps for Grant Haley are things I’m in favor of.But those things don’t make the Giants defense suddenly good, either. Washington’s offense has been fine and fine might be all that’s needed right now. It’s a unit that’s injured — they’ll be without Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson is doubtful, Chris Thompson is hopeful he’ll play — but they have enough to move the ball and Adrian Peterson is back to being a usable running back unlike last season.On the other side of the ball, Washington has a talented front-7 that hasn’t broken through yet and like all other opponents this season, the best remedy for that is the Giants’ offensive line. Washington has also been the fifth-best defense at not allowing big plays, which is bad for a Giants offense that can only move the ball that way — fifth in big play rate. Josh Norman hasn’t been great individually — 52nd in yards allowed per pass and 47th in success rate among 61 qualified cornerbacks — but the defense is still 12th in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers and sixth against No. 2’s. Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau have been impressive as the other starting corners. And even if the Giants can move the ball — they’re 14th in yards per drive — the inability to score in the red zone isn’t helping.This game could be closer than the blowout some might imagine, but that doesn’t really matter.Final score: Washington 24, Giants 20Season record: 6-1Patricia TrainaFanpulse PicksGiants fans at Big Blue View think the Giants will lose by 1.Buccaneers fans at Bucs Nation think the Bucs will lose by 1.Nope, not gonna go there. Sorry, Giants fans. I know what head coach Pat Shurmur has said, but I’m going to start trusting my eyes and my gut more when it comes to this team. And this Giants team is in a full rebuild mode that I truly believe the players realize as well deep down inside.As Dave Gettleman continues to tear things down — and make no mistake, it needs to be done — the Giants are also losing firepower that might have helped them in the short term, such as Damon Harrison, whose presence might have made me feel better about the run defense’s matchup with Adrian Peterson, for example.I’ve tried being optimistic with this team, only to be made to look foolish time and again. While I do think they have some solid pieces among what’s left on the roster, it’s not enoughto make me think they are going to turn things around any time soon this year.Final score:Washington 30, Giants 17Season record: 2-5Joe DeLeoneNo longer will I allow my my optimism to cloud my judgement. The Giants have done nothing but disappoint me and every one of their fans in 2018. I was far too willing to hope for the best outcome each week. Now that the Giants have shipped off two of their best defensive players, the only way to go from here is down.Washington posses one of the best run stopping defenses in the league, thanks to its young and talented Alabama bred duo of Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne. Even though rushing production has been wildly inconsistent regardless of match up, Saquon Barkley will be nonexistent this week toting the rock. Eli Manning and the pass game will be the same story it has been: under performing and lacking big plays.Defensively the Giants should still have a good game with their young core. Alex Smith is no superstar, and will not be hard to hold under 250 yards. His gang of misfit receivers should be no major issue for the Giants secondary.Sunday will play out similarly to each week of this season. The first half will likely be close until the Giants commit a major lapse of some sort.Final score: Redskins 24, Giants 10Season record: 2-5Andrea HangstThe Giants are clearly thinking to what lies beyond this already-lost 2018 season with their consecutive trades of two defensive starters. And now they are on the road, in the division, against a stout Washington defense that ranks seventh in points and fifth in yards allowed. They also have a two-game home winning streak. The month of October will be a cruel one for the Giants, a string of losses all they have to show. A bye week to limp into has never looked so welcome.Final score: Washington 30, Giants 13Season record: 4-3Mark SchofieldThe fire sale seems to be under way. We’re building quarterback watch lists in anticipation of the off-season. Players are wondering if they are going to be traded. Now the Giants face a divisional foe on the road coming off a slightly shortened week. Cannot imagine things will go well.And they won’t. Final score: Washington 27, Giants 10Season record: 3-4Kevin HaswellThe Giants have officially thrown the towel in on the 2017 season with trades of Damon Harrison Sr. and Eli Apple earlier this week. With that in mind, I just can’t see the Giants winning on Sunday, especially against a Washington Redskins team that is playing extremely well. I think it will be closer than everyone thinks but Redskins pull it out late. Final score: Redskins 24, Giants 17Season record: 4-2Ed ValentineNot a chance I’m picking the Giants to win here. The Giants will probably win a few games the rest of the way, but this won’t be one of them. Not against a good team on a short week when the organization has — rightfully — made it clear that the future is more important than the present.Final score: Redskins 27, Giants 17Season record: 3-4Only 8 percent of fans voting in our ‘Fanpulse’ survey have confidence in the direction of the Giants.