Each week our own Coach JL will break down a play, stripping it down and showing how the X’s and O’s truly matter to our sport. If you’d like a play to be given the Coach JL treatment, let us know in the comments. This week Coach looks at one of the defining plays of Super Bowl XLVI: Eli Manning's 4th quarter 38 yard pass to Mario Manningham.
The SituationGiants have the ball on the -12 yard line, left hash, 1st and 10, 4th quarter, 3:46 on the clock, Giants trail the Patriots by 2 points 15-17. Giants spread the field with Ace personnel, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1RB, Ballard is in the Yo position (just off the line of scrimmage), Manning in shotgun position. The Patriots match the offensive personnel with their defensive Nickel package the same personnel as the Giants had earlier. The Patriots also play a variation of the Tampa 2 defense. In all honesty the ball should have never been completed, here is why: the Giants use a max Passpro, 7 to block 4, Patriots play Tampa 2 and this coverage is perfect against the play the Giants run. Because the Giants keep TE Ballard #88 in to help protect Manning the Patriots have a 2 on 1 situation with the Corner and the Safety covering 1 receiver deep.
The ResultThe way us coaches draw plays up on the board and how they are executed on the field can be two different things, this play is a classic example. In Tampa 2 the Corner is taught to only allow an inside release by the WR, this helps the Safety to deal with half the field. In this case Corner #29 Moore allows an outside release by WR #82 Manningham, this makes it just a little harder for the Safety #25 Chung to come over the top and prevent the completion. Before the snap Manning already knows that Manningham is not his first read because the TE stays in to block, therefore he has to go to the other side. On the opposite side the Giants run a Smash concept, this is where 1 receiver runs a corner route and the other receiver runs a short Hitch to try and draw the corner to the Hitch so the route will be open. The Patriots defend this Smash play well so Manning goes back to Manningham and delivers the play of the day. The Max Passpro also gives Manning the time he needs to come off his first read from one side of the field to the other. What makes Manningham’s catch more spectacular than Tyree’s catch 4 years ago is that Manningham had to deal with keeping his feet in bounds; on top of that he looks for the ball over his inside shoulder and then has to adjust his vision to the ball over his outside shoulder while running full speed. Adjusting your vision from your inside shoulder to the outside shoulder, keeping your feet in bounds, maintaining possession of the ball on your way to the ground while being tackled takes a lot of skill and practice. http://youtu.be/XP0Q5I0vgS4 This will defiantly not be the last ball that Manningham catches... A wonderful mix of perfect play and luck.. Happy Easter!
WHAT PLAY NEXT? IT’S UP TO YOU!
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