Flowers Benched

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The Giants coaches want a different result and are making a change at Tackle.

Ereck Flowers will not be starting today vs the Texans, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Chad Wheeler will get the start at RT.

I suspect there may have been some gamesmanship going on here to at least help Wheeler in his first start. JJ Watt and others on the Texans were preparing for Flowers. They will not have much time to look at preseason film of Wheeler.

Giants fans have been waiting for this move for literally years. There are some who will point to the sprinkling of good plays that Flowers made. But anyone with candor knows this change was well past due. Flowers was a consistent liability. There needs to be accountability.

Wheeler has not been much better. We saw him in preseason and he did little to earn an upgrade. We hope there has been enough improvement that Wheeler will not be any worse. Still, the change is good because I’d rather lose with a new body than keep losing with Flowers. And this also gives Wheeler the opportunity to learn with playing time. There will be times today where it will not be pretty. I’d imagine the coaches will be giving Wheeler some help, as they should.

Even if Wheeler is awful, so be it. The other 52 guys have to know that there are consequences for unacceptable performance. You make the change because every player must know that there are consequences if you cannot get your job done.

The alternative was to keep doing nothing and expecting Flowers to change. He’ll complain he wasn’t given enough time at RT. That argument doesn’t hold water because he had from April until now to earn the job. There was zero improvement. Next.

Going to NRG

Halley’s comet comes around once every 75 years. The NY Giants come to Houston once every 8 years. I’ll be at NRG Stadium Sunday to root on the Gmen along with blog followers Bruce R, Jeff G and their kids. If you see someone with an Ahmad Bradshaw jersey, it’s a pretty good bet it’s me.

The Giants are 6 pt dogs. In my office pool I took the Jags Week 1 and the Giants Week 2. So I’m 1-1. If the Giants OL can pick up a stunt and not get completely outcoached (like they did in Week 2), they can be very competitive. If they don’t, they will lose. So what’s it going to be? Will TE Rhett Ellison and new blocking FB Elijhaa Perry block it up? These are the fundamentals of football. You can’t win in the NFL if you can’t hold your block. Eli Manning was bad last week. He also got sacked 6 times. And Shurmur did not make the adjustments to help Eli or his OL. So you tell me what changes are going to be made for this week and I’ll tell you what team we see.

Pick up stunts

Block your assignment

Make coaching adjustments

Find the open receiver

The NY Giants have one (yes, ONE) TD in 8 quarters. Fix it fast. Fix it now. Compete for wins.

Welcome to Houston, all y’all.

DAL 20 NYG 3

That score is correct. I don’t count 10 garbage time points. 20-13 masks getting outplayed.

We needed 2-3 games to get a sense of what we would have in the NY Giants in 2018.

1 TD (a Barkley 68 yder) in 8 quarters. (I DO NOT COUNT A BLOWN COVERAGE IN GARBAGE TIME AS A TD.)

6 sacks.

No offensive adjustments.

“I’m seeing some body language on the sideline I saw last year,” said LicensePlateGuy.

Where are the Offensive Adjustments? Dallas was rushing 5-6 men consistently, and Shurmur did not respond. He wasted at least a Quarter in not responding with playcalls to punish DAL’s aggressiveness.

No ability to pick up a stunt.

Blocking TE Ellison and blocking FB Smith both got beaten ugly on protecting Eli. That’s their freaking job. Max protect Swiss cheese. With the Giants down 10-0 and first and goal at the 3, Ellison is completely knifed off the snap. He is called for a hold AND gave up a 6 yd loss. Fugly.

Halapio hurt. Apple groin. Barkley was holding his wrist at the end of the game.

Dallas is not a good team. They outcoached Shurmur.

Barkley makes the first player miss on nearly every single play.

The Giants Defense was not awful but this is against a DAL offense that has no real passing threat. They had no pressure unless they blitzed. They could not handle the RPO. And when Jenkins stumbled at the line of scrimmage + Riley took a wrong angle, they gave up an insurmountable 7 point lead.

Watching Shurmur use 3 playcalls in H1 (run Barkley, flare Barkley, slant Beckham) was McAdoo-esque.

Eli Manning looks old when he gets pressured. And he gets pressured a lot. This results in him missing open receivers because he is trying to stay alive back there. No excuses. As Wonder said in his one line season preview: “NYG 6-10. An aging QB who might not be protected is not a recipe for success.”

0-2. Hard to swallow. Not that we are completely surprised given we expected to be underdogs in all 7 games to start the season. But I didn’t expect the Offense to be so anemic, with 1 TD in 8 quarters.

Where is Engram? MIA. He hasn’t been the same (speed/separation) since the concussion. He got a TD because of a missed assignment in garbage time.

I predicted 7-9. That may be too high. That’s because I saw no improvement in the Offense.

Manning + Flowers = Problems

The Ereck Flowers bashing was in full swing this past Sunday. Eli Manning also received his fair share of criticism. This NY Giants blog is less critical of Manning, in part owing to XLII, where the author decided that a Super Bowl title was a debt repaid. When one adds the XLVI effort, where Manning carried the team to a second title, our criticism was muted even further. Any criticism we offer about Eli Manning is qualified by our gratitude for his legacy.

Ereck Flowers has not earned any gratitude. The Giants similarly made a significant investment in the Round 1 Tackle. His 4+ year career has been marred by disappointment.

The table is now set to review a play versus Jacksonville that serves as a guidepost for the Week 1 loss and the balance of success or failure this team will see in 2018.

For those of you who can’t click through to watch what happened, the play says a lot about the complex choreography of football. The Jaguars have good design on the play, where the LB takes a few hard steps in between the LDE and LDT, drawing Flowers’ first steps inside. The LBer quickly flares out to pick up Barkley, who is also flaring out to his right side. The problem is that now the LDE, Ngakoue, has a much better path to the QB and beats Flowers easily. Manning is forced to step up and the LDT (lol, remember him, the one to the right of the LB?!) Abry Jones makes a nice play, batting the ball. The deflection is collected for a pick 6, which generated all of the Offense for the Jags in the second half.

What a metaphor for Manning and Flowers. Should we give credit to Jacksonville for smart scheme? YES. But who did they scheme AGAINST? Hint: Joe Thomas and Aaron Rodgers aren’t going to let that happen. But Manning and Flowers did. Hell, Aaron Rodgers won a football game on Sunday night on ONE FREAKING LEG. This 3+ minute video contains the highlights of how Rodgers brought the Packers back from a 20 point deficit. I watched the comeback live, and all I could think of was that if he pulled it off, it would be Kirk Gibson multiplied by 30 (minutes).

Manning must take responsibility for the football there. Did Flowers get beat, pressuring Manning quickly? Yes. Did Jones make a nice play with his deflection? Yes. But for a veteran QB, Manning has more than enough requisite experience to either take a sack, throw the ball away or just do a better job of getting the ball to Barkley than he did.

What about the Giants scheme? Note how Halapio is helping the Left side of his protection, not the right side. Where is the chip by Barkley on the LDE so that Flowers can get some help there? And let’s also note that Jones got the better of Omameh, offering no help to Manning when the Giants QB was forced to step up. If Halapio was better, he could have quickly pivoted after seeing the Left Side contained and offered help to Omameh on the right side. Frankly, the hope is that in time, Hernandez will be so proficient that Halapio is lending far more help to the right side of the OL, where it is needed more.

Flowers has to be better. Manning has to be better. The entire OL has to be better. The scheme has to be better. Let’s also give ample credit to the Jaguars for making a lot of good moves within that play.

The film is out there. These opposing Defenses study this film all week long in preparation for the next game, looking for tendencies and deficiencies. This is what the next 15 teams will try to do, to stress the Giants OL. Manning has to be better. The Giants OL has to be better. The Giants coaches have to put the players in a position to succeed. This is why we have been consistent in the view that this is a 2019 story, not a 2018 story.

Dallas is next on Sunday night. We’ve been targeting a 2-5 or 3-4 start in the first seven difficult games. The Giants are once again FG underdogs. It is a winnable game, if the Giants can execute better. Is the glass half full or half empty? On the bright side, there were many mistakes in Week 1… implying that if just a few less are made the Giants can easily win. As we noted a long time ago, the Giants rated to be underdogs in all 7 games. It is a good sign that the team was competitive in Week 1, so this team will have opportunities to get wins. That is the half full view. The half empty view? It is Manning and Flowers not taking care of business. The Pick 6 is one of many mistakes that cost the Giants a win. Get better. Make less mistakes. Get a win.