The Giants did a few things differently in their second meeting against the Eagles. Judging by the game's outcome, they worked.
The most notable change was on defense. In another article, I mentioned how the Giants' defense changed things up from their last game against the Eagles by going with more multiple looks.
That was evident in part by the personnel combinations, specifically at linebacker, where David Mayo and Devante Downs split snaps at inside linebacker, and Trent Harris and Jabaal Sheard rotated on the edge.
This was not the case in the first meeting, as the Giants primarily went with Downs on the inside and the since-traded Markus Golden on the edge.
On offense, one of the most notable changes was the usage of fullback Eli Penny. In the first meeting, Penny took one snap on offense. In the latest meeting, he received a season-high 11 snaps.
The Giants seem to prefer a jumbo package when they need a little extra beef upfront in the blocking. Still, an advantage of using Penny over an extra lineman is that he can get a touch or two if the situation warrants it without the Giants having to declare him as eligible as they would an offensive lineman.
The offensive line rotation at tackle continued, but interestingly, Andrew Thomas’s snaps weren’t affected, as he went the distance.
Rather, the Giants rotated Matt Peart at right tackle with Cameron Fleming, a move that makes sense if the coaches believe that Peart is the future at right tackle.
I'd be interested in seeing Peart at left tackle and Thomas at right for a series or two. Still, with Thomas improving, maybe the coaching staff is trying to get the offensive line to what it's going to look like on a full-time basis in the future.
One last note on Peart. In addition to seeing snaps at right tackle, he also lined up for two snaps as a jumbo in-line tight end on short-yardage/goal-line snaps.
Cornerback Isaac Yiadom, who came into the game listed as questionable due to a calf injury, played 100% of the defensive snaps. Yiadom had one of his best games of the season, allowing just three receptions (out of five pass targets) for 37 yards.
Once again, there was a fair amount of 12-personnel run this week based on the tight ends snap counts.
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After Evan Engram’s position leading 49, Kaden Smith (41) and Levine Toilolo (21) followed.
Smith, by the way, has seen an increase in his snap counts over the last four weeks in which he’s gotten 36 or more after starting the year having played around 20-25 snaps.
Will Hernandez received 12 snaps at left guard, but I’m wondering if he got those snaps this week only because of Kevin Zeitler’s concussion suffered in the fourth quarter.
Head coach Joe Judge said last week that Hernandez, activated off the COVID-19 list in the days before the game, would be worked back into the lineup gradually to build up his stamina and get back into football shape.
When Hernandez hadn't taken any snaps before Zeitler's injury, I began to think that he wasn't going to get any at all and that Zeitler's injury changed that. We might never know.
Fortunately for the Giants, Shane Lemieux has worked at both left guard and right guard. When Zeitler went down, Lemieux moved to that spot.
It wasn’t ideal, as when there is an injury on the offensive line, you ideally don’t want to have to change more positions than you have to, but I’m assuming the Giants haven’t had a chance to cross-train Hernandez at right guard much, if at all this year.
C Nick Gates 71; LT Andrew Thomas 17; OG Shane Lemieux 71; QB Daniel Jones 71; RT Cam Fleming 63; RG Kevin Zeitler 59; WR Sterling Shepard 58; TE Evan Engram 49; WR Darius Slayton 45; RB Wayne Gallman 42; TE Kaden Smith 41; WR Golden Tate 27; WR Austin Mack 24; TE Levine Toilolo 21; RB Alfred Morris 15; RB Dion Lewis 14; LG Will Hernandez 12; FB Eli Penny 11; OT Matt Peart 10; WR C.J. Board 6.
CB Isaac Yiadom 67; SS Jabrill Peppers 67; CB James Bradberry 67; CB Logan Ryan 67; ILB Blake Martinez 67; OLB Kyler Fackrell 63; DT Leonard Williams 47; CB Darnay Holes 44; DE Dexter Lawrence 38; NY Dalvin Tomlinson 36; FS Julian Love 33; OLB Trent Harris 32; ILB David Mayo 25; ILB Devante Downs 23; DE Jabaal Sheard 19; DL B.J. Hill 18; NY Austin Johnson 17; OLB Carter Coughlin 3; OLB Cam Brown 2; SS Montre Hartage 2
ILB David Mayo 20; SS Nate Ebner 20; OLB Cam Brown 20; FB Eli Penny 19; ILB Devante Downs 18; DB Madre Harper 15; CB Brandon Williams 13; OLB Carter Coughlin 13; FS Julian Love 12; K Graham Gano 11; CJ Board 10; LS Casey Kreiter 9; P Riley Dixon 9; TE Kaden Smith 8; WR Austin Mack 8; DE Dexter Lawrence 8; CB Isaac Yiadom 6; NT Dalvin Tomlinson 6; C Nick Gates 5; LT Andrew Thomas 5; OG Shane Lemieux 5; RT Cam Fleming 5; SS Jabrill Peppers 5; OT Matt Peart 5; RB Dion Lewis 4; OLB Trent Harris 4; RG Kevin Zeitler 3; DT Leonard Williams 3; NT Austin Johnson 2; OG Will Hernandez 2; CB James Bradberry 1; DT B.J. Hill 1