As noted in the previous entry, I didn't get to watch the opener live. Studied it on tape over the weekend and made contemporaneous notes, however, and will be posting a few thoughts and observations on stuff I haven't already seen super-analyzed elsewhere.
Meanwhile, a couple quickies.
Telegraphing Snap Count?
I noticed on several occasions that NY, the defensive tackles in particular, seemed to be anticipating the snap. Having gone back and looked at several sequences multiple times, I’m about 75% convinced the Giants were reading something, and using the advantage to consistently get a jump on the snap.
The most telling and damaging instance:
3rd and 1, WAS 45 – down 16-0 with 9:16 left in the half, the Skins face short yardage near midfield. The defense has been on the field for all but five of nearly 21 minutes played (Redskins two drives went 2:23 and 2:37). A split second before ball is snapped, Giant tackle Cofield (96) and linebacker Pierce (58) are both already moving toward the line, and the other tackle, Robbins (98), explodes the instant ball starts to move. NY gets enough movement/penetration to stack up the right side of the Skins line, clog up any lanes that might have been there and stone Portis.
Don’t take my word for it (pay particular attention to the second view--watch the ball):
That was probably the most obvious and impactful example, but not the only one. And it's the one that first really caught my attention and got me looking at the issue. The more I did, the more I got the impression the interior of the NY line was off the ball with the snap all night long.
It's not conclusive evidence, obviously. It could be they were simply guessing right all night. But having seen the Giants beat the Skins OL off the ball enough times, I have to wonder at what point there might start to be something more to it.
I know many will say it’s simply that New York's guys are young and studly and ours are old and decrepit--I’m not so sure. Maybe Campbell’s not varying the snap count … maybe his cadence is predictable. Maybe Rabach’s ring finger twitches right before he snaps the ball … or he’s rocks back on a heel. Maybe he talks to himself ("And a one, and a two, and a three ... ").
Or I could just be dreaming.
I did walk away with the nagging feeling the Skins were telegraphing their punches, though. Which means I have yet more thing to watch closely this Sunday.
Heard a couple of the usual suspect radio heads ripping Coach Zorn for being too laid-back, suggesting maybe that was the reason the Skins looked so overmatched at times.
Sorry ‘bout the vid quality. Spent a good part of my day off learning how to capture, convert, edit and upload clips today. As you surely do with any rookie making his debut, I hope you’ll grant me your patience.
Back later tonight or tomorrow with Part II.
Four Downs: NFC West
18 hours ago