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Garafolo Day After Tape Review


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A look back at the NY Giants' last-second victory over the Carolina Panthers


by Mike Garafolo/The Star-Ledger

Tuesday August 18, 2009, 1:12 PM

Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger




RB Ahmad Bradshaw. You tell me which play impressed you most: the 19-yard TD when he plowed through CB Chris Gamble, the 11-yard run up the middle when he kept pushing the pile forward, the heads-up block in the open field on CB Dante Wesley to allow QB David Carr to scramble for a first down or the juke move on LB Mortty Ivy in the open field? Great game for Bradshaw.


DE Osi Umenyiora. He completely downplayed his sack and forced fumble on Panthers QB Jake Delhomme, saying that's what he always expects to do. But to get it done in limited action in his first game in over a year was extremely impressive.


DT Jay Alford. Let's not forget he was the first to get to Delhomme on Umenyiora's sack. He also disrupted a few more plays.


WR Mario Manningham. One of the things I told you to watch in my game preview was his ability to run with the ball in his hands. He showed it on the game's first punt return when he made a jab step to the right to freeze Panthers DE Hilee Taylor and then paused a beat to fool LS J.J. Hansen before breaking it outside to the left sideline for a 21-yard return. Manningham's second return wasn't so pretty and it looked like he could have gotten more out of it if he had just shot right upfield to the left side, but I'll cut him some slack on that one. On offense, he ran a nice route on a curl for what would have been a first down (if the Giants hadn't gotten flagged for illegal formation). He did follow that with a mental error on a miscommunication with QB Eli Manning. More on that below.


LT David Diehl, FB Madison Hedgecock and G Tutan Reyes. They cleared the way for RB Brandon Jacobs and Bradshaw on the Giants' first scoring drive. These three took it to the Carolina defense. Also, a great job by Diehl and Reyes on the screen to WR Domenik Hixon, who did a nice job of setting up those blocks. And finally, a fantastic cut block by Reyes on Panthers LB Jon Beason on Bradshaw's TD run.


CB Bruce Johnson. He knocked away a deep ball up the left sideline and made a good tackle for a third-down stop, though he did have a shot to tackle RB Mike Goodson in the backfield and whiffed. Johnson's been coming on strong lately.


DE Maurice Evans. He didn't quit after he was engaged by OT Geoff Schwartz and that's why he was able to get to the QB for a sack and forced fumble.


LB Clint Sintim. As I was watching him, I kept thinking he was about to make a play. You could just see one was coming, with the way he was able to get close to the ball on a few plays. He finally made it when he lined up at DE and beat TE Dante Rosario off the edge for a sack and a forced fumble. He should have had another sack later but was held by OT Gerald Cadogan. The interesting part is Sintim got past the blockers both times (and for a pressure later) without even making much of a move -- just a low swipe and his speed. Imagine what he'll do once he learns better technique. Also, I got a few e-mails and tweets about Jon Gruden's saying he's converting to end. Not on a full-time basis. Not yet at least. He's a linebacker whom we always expected to line up at end in passing situations.


And finally, DT Leger Douzable and DE Tommie Hill. For the veterans who wanted to go home and the writers who were on deadline, thank you both. If you want to see how badly the vets wanted the game to end, watch all of their reactions after QB Andre' Woodson fired wide of WR Ramses Barden on third-and-1 on the Giants' final drive.



Whoever was supposed to be the 11th man on the blocked punt. The Giants only had 10 on the field for that play. Not surprising, then, that the kick was blocked.


Andre' Woodson. I don't know what happened. He looked like a completely different guy in camp and then reverted to his rookie form Monday night. That INT he threw was just brutal. (Not to mention he had a guy open deeper than WR Ramses Barden.) He has to regroup now because he showed he's better than that.


S Sha'reff Rashad. He had an INT go right off his hands. It's not the first time he's dropped one in the last couple of weeks. Not the second time either.


Anyone who thought Panthers coach John Fox should have just kicked the extra point instead of going for the tie. You obviously don't understand the competitive nature it takes to be an NFL coach. And any coach that didn't try it should have been fired the next day. It's one thing to go for two instead of an extra point to tie; it's another to deliberately lose a game -- any game -- by going for one when you need two.


Anyone who laid the 3-point spread. I don't care that you won. It's preseason. Come on. Seriously. Save your money.


I mentioned above the miscommunication between Manning and Manningham. It was on a failed third down on the Giants' first offensive series. Manningham ran a crossing route and Manning threw behind him then signaled to him and mouthed the word "zone." After the game, Manning explained the play after telling me there's "room for improvement" with himself and Manningham. "That was exactly what I'm talking about," Manning said of the miscommunication. "He didn't know if it was man or zone. Zone he should be sitting down right there. That's what I thought he was going to do. He kind of double-dipped. That's something we have to go back, work on those and eliminate those mistakes."


Remember my opposing player to watch in the game preview? It was Panthers C Mackenzie Bernadeau. You didn't have to look long and hard to find him because he was the guy that "10-toed" Barden on the opening kickoff. Barden's a big dude, but that was a serious mismatch right there. He has to learn to lower the inside shoulder and duck around an OL on a kickoff like that. Bernadeau also looked pretty good on offense as well.


On the 13-yard catch by Jacobs on the first touchdown drive, the Giants max protected and sent only two receivers out for patterns. The Panthers blitzed nobody, which means they had seven guys in coverage against two targets. When that happens, you just can't allow a back to slip into the flat with no defenders within 10 yards of him. You just can't.


Great job by CB Terrell Thomas to plant and knock away a ball on a fade from Delhomme to Carolina WR Dwayne Jarrett. Thomas looked like he knew the route better than Jarrett, who was fading backward toward the sideline as Thomas was moving forward toward the ball. The way Thomas was in Jarrett's hip pocket on that play was the way he's been close to receivers all camp long. Thomas didn't get a game ball because he missed a tackle earlier and made a poor effort at what could have been a tackle short of the first down marker on the play after he knocked away the ball from Jarrett.


I talk about how good Manningham is after the catch, but Hixon isn't bad either. He might not have the same quick-twitch moves Manningham has, but he's pretty slippery. He showed it on a screen and later on a short hook early in the second quarter when he made Panthers S Chris Harris miss.


One minor nitpick with Bradshaw: he whiffed on a block of Panthers LB James Anderson, who came through the block attempt to sack QB David Carr.


The ESPN cameras were focused on rookie OT William Beatty on the other side, but I thought OT Guy Whimper, the forgotten man, did a pretty good job on the right side. He had a few yips, including a holding penalty, but he also looked very, very good on a few plays. Plus, he looks a lot bigger to me.


Beatty was blocking Taylor on his sack, but it wasn't his fault. Carr should have hung in the pocket on that one. Beatty was blocking Panthers DE Everette Brown on his sack as well. That one was his fault. Brown made a great grab and yank move that just paralyzed Beatty.


I don't do opposing-team game balls in the preseason, but if I did, Brown and LB Jeremy Leman would get 'em. Where did this Leman kid come from? He was a beast out there Monday night.


I was going to give CB Stoney Woodson a gasser for dropping an INT. (Yeah, I know it wouldn't have counted anyway because the Giants were offsides. Still. ... ) Then, I was going to give him a game ball for holding onto one. But then, he missed as pair of tackles on the Panthers' game-tying drive. So I gave him neither.


Source: The Star-Ledger

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I don't do opposing-team game balls in the preseason, but if I did, Brown and LB Jeremy Leman would get 'em. Where did this Leman kid come from? He was a beast out there Monday night


Was that the jerk who kept pointing to the camera after every play?

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