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Film Review: Takeaways from All-22; snap counts


The Giants defeated the Colts, 38-10, at Metlife Stadium on Sunday, clinching the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs. It was also the Giants' first win of the season by more than one score. Their point differential is even for the year, which is the 14th-best number in the NFL.

1. For the second straight game, the Giants' offense played one of their most effective games of the season. The Giants did not have a drive of fewer than six plays spare their drive to start the second quarter, which ended after one play due to a fumble. The aforementioned six-play drive ended in a touchdown. Besides the fumble and the drive at the end of the game where the Giants were not trying to score, New York only had one drive where they did not score - their first drive of the game, when they went 32 yards on eight plays before punting.

The Giants set the tone on their second drive of the game. Daniel Jones might have ended the drive with a couple of passes to Richie James, including a touchdown, but it was the running game that moved the ball down the field. The Giants used seven runs (including one Jones scramble) to move the ball from their own 29 to the Indianapolis 21. Barkley had five rushes for 39 yards on the drive, Matt Breida ran it three times for 11 yards, and Daniel Jones scrambled once for five.

These are Barkley's first four runs on the drive. The first is a toss behind a pulling Jon Feliciano for five yards. He runs inside behind Feliciano and Nick Gates for five yards on the second run. He almost breaks a big run when Bellinger executes a trap block on Grover Stewart and Andrew Thomas gets to the second level on the third run, but Bobby Okereke makes a shoestring tackle to hold him to a 7-yard gain. Barkley breaks a big run on a power look behind a pulling Jon Feliciano on the fourth run. Daniel Bellinger cuts DeForest Buckner as a lead blocker from the fullback position, while Mark Glowinski picks up a key second-level block on Bobby Okereke and Isaiah Hodgins comes down to take Rodney McLeod. He leaves Stephon Gilmore alone, who shows very little interest in trying to make a tackle on Barkley, who gains 19.

Barkley finished the game with 58 yards on 12 carries, which is 4.8 yards per carry. To give fans an idea of how much attention Barkley garners, here is Breida's 8-yard run on the same drive. Watch the three players on the left side of the Colts' formation watch Barkley come around behind Jones as Breida gashes them up the middle.

Breida finished the game with a season-high 59 rushing yards.

2. Daniel Jones' legs also played a huge part in the running game. He had everal designed runs and took advantage of scramble opportunities to secure key first downs and sustain drives.

The first play is a designed run from shotgun that gained eight, followed by a read-option keeper that converted a 2nd-and-2 for a first down. The third play was an 18-yard touchdown run on a read-option, and the fourth was a read-option that went for 25.

The first two scrambles here converted 2nd-and-5 and 2nd-and-9 plays into first downs. The third converted a 3rd-and-5 into a first down. The last play is a play-action naked boot with Daniel Bellinger as the only available receiver on that side of the field. With cornerback Dallis Flowers following Bellinger into the end zone, Jones has an open field in front of him and runs it into the end zone from 10 yards out.

Jones had 11 runs in the game. He converted six first downs and scored two touchdowns (which were also addition first-down conversions) on those runs. It was an extremely efficient use of his legs in the offense.

3. Jones also made good use of his legs in the passing game. On his touchdown pass to Richie James, Jones bought time by stepping up in the pocket to avoid the edge rusher, rolling to his right. He keeps his eyes downfield and James does a good job of finding open space in the endzone, and Jones finds him for the touchdown. On the next play in this set, Jones moves right to avoid the rush and hits Darius Slayton as he is being tackled by DeForest Buckner from behind.

Jones often scrambles to run, but he is starting to buy more time with his legs to find receivers down the field.

Daniel Bellinger made a couple of big plays in the passing game. On a crucial 3rd -and-6 at the Giants 45, Bellinger boxes out safety Rodney Thomas II and makes a great hands catch away from his body on a dart to keep the drive alive. The second play is ingenuous play design and comes later on the same drive. On a 1st-and-10 from the Colts 31, Bellinger is lined up as a fullback in front of Saquon Barkley but releases into a wheel route off of a play-action pass. Safety Julian Blackmon is a step behind as he tries to fit against the run and Bellinger catches a pass for 24 yards, which helps set up an Isaiah Hodgins touchdown catch.

Kudos to the Giants' offensive line, which did not allow a sack and only two quarterback hits in the game. According to PFF, they allowed just five other hurries during the game. The Giants only allowed a 23.3% pressure rate, which was the fourth-best in the NFL in Week 17.

4. The Giants' defense made some big plays of their own. Dexter Lawrence finished with a sack and three quarterback hits. His sack was one of the most impressive plays of the season, pushing perennial All-Pro Quentin Nelson into Sam Ehlinger for the sack. He is still pushing Nelson onto his back with one arm while sacking Ehlinger with the other at the end of the play. Lawrence shows his quickness on the second play in this series, darting around right guard Will Fries.

Kayvon Thibodeaux had another unblocked pressure that turned into a sack. Wink Martindale simulates a pressure from the right side of the defense and the Colts' line slide in that direction. No one picks up Thibodeaux or Nick McCloud coming from the right, and Thibodeaux sacks Foles to knock him out of the game. Thibodeaux also played well in the run game. The second play in this series shows him blowing by two tight ends on the first play of the game to force a 3-yard loss.

Landon Collins might have made the biggest play of the game for the Giants. The Colts were driving with under two minutes to play in the first half down, 14-3. On 3rd-and-11. Nick Foles tried to hit Parris Campbell on a short out but Collins anticipates the throw and jumps the pass. The throw is a little late and too far inside of Campbell, and Collins picks it off and takes it to the house.

Collins played 55% of the snaps and finished the game with four tackles.

5. The snap counts are not very meaningful because the Giants emptied their bench late in the game after taking a big lead. Playing through an ankle sprain from the week before, Azeez Ojulari played only seven snaps. According to PFF, the Giants only blitzed on 16% of the Colts passing snaps, which was the sixth-lowest in the NFL.

Cor'Dale Flott split time at outside cornerback back Nick McCloud, with the two players taking 60% and 55% of the snaps. Xavier McKinney played 83% of his snaps in his first game back from his broken hand. Jason Pinnock played only 10 defensive snaps, while Tony Jefferson played 19 snaps. Nursing a stinger issue throughout the game, Leonard Williams played only 53% of the snaps.


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