While there are yards to be had against Cleveland, tight ends haven’t been finding many.
The Browns are currently 28th in the NFL giving up 286.0 yards per game, but opposing tight ends are managing just a sliver of that with an average of 31.0. Those numbers include Dennis Pitta (Ravens), Scott Chandler (Bills), Jermaine Gresham (Bengals), and the Eagles’ Brent Celek, who leads the NFL in yards at the position through the first quarter of the season.
Sunday will be Martellus Bennett’s crack at the averages.
“Every tight end in the NFL is different,” Bennett said. “I think the guys they played against are all different from the way that I play and the things that we do here in this offense. It’ll be a battle.”
Bennett also credited Cleveland’s linebackers for limiting opposing tight ends, just like the Eagles did last week against him when he was held to one catch for two yards. Previously, Bennett, who has 187 yards on the year, had scored a touchdown in each of his first three games.
This week, Bennett expects to see a dosage of weakside linebacker Craig Robertson, who is tied for a team-high 27 tackles despite starting only once this season. Then there is the man in the middle, D’Qwell Jackson, who has two interceptions and 3.0 sacks this season.
“I think No. 52 is one of the best linebackers in the league in my eyes, watching him on tape and the things that he does,” Bennett said of Jackson, who led the NFL in tackles in 2008 and the AFC in 2011. “But we try to get and develop some mismatches out there and do some things where I get a chance to get more opportunities than I got last week.
“He reads the quarterback’s eyes and takes a lot away from the inside. They do a good job of reading the quarterback’s eyes and following him. So it’s going to take good depth on routes to develop those levels. Then Eli is going to have to look guys off here and there. So whatever they do, we’ll have an answer for it.”
Tags: Martellus Bennett
Posted in Daily Blitz | 4 Comments »
In this week’s Anatomy of a Play, Giants.com takes a look at Eli Manning’s touchdown pass to Bear Pascoe in the fourth quarter of the Giants’ 19-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The quotes are from the tight end, who scored his first regular season touchdown on the play.
Down and Distance: 2nd and 6 at PHI 6
Time: 6:49, 4th QTR
Personnel: 2 TE, 2 WR, RB
Situation: Trailing 16-10, two timeouts left
The Play: (Shotgun) Eli Manning pass short middle to Bear Pascoe for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
How it was drawn up: “We were in a bunch formation and it was kind of a switch release between me and Martellus Bennett and kind of all three of us, including Victor Cruz. We were all kind of switching. Marty was going first, I was coming in, Cruz was running an outside route.”
What Pascoe saw lining up: “We thought they were going to play quarters over the front with that box look, but there was the possibility that, like earlier in the game, the Mike linebacker was really flying to the curl, flying to Victor, trying to double him. And so kind of during the week we weren’t really expecting the Mike linebacker to do that. So me and Eli had talked through the week, ‘Hey, if he does fly out of there like that, get your head around quick because I’ll hit you right as you’re passing them.’”
The execution: “I came down with the sense as I started my route I was going to try to get the linebacker’s attention so it would open up Marty over the top or open up Victor. And Eli looked right at me and the ball just flew out of there. As soon as I crossed his path, I tried to get my head around. I knew Eli would see that and the ball would be on the way. I just wanted to make sure I secured the catch and I tripped my way into the end zone.”
The preparation: “We go through that every week – ‘On certain plays, if this happens, this is what we’ll do. If that happens, this is what we’ll do.’ So as soon as the linebacker flew back and I came underneath him, I had my head around looking for it.”
Outcome: Pascoe’s first career regular-season touchdown gave the Giants their first lead of the night, but it wasn’t enough as the Giants fell to the Eagles 19-17. Pascoe’s only other touchdown came last postseason in the NFC Championship against San Francisco and was a similar six-yard catch over the middle.
“It was real similar. I was coming from the other side in San Francisco. Both times I was expecting to get hit. That’s why on this last touchdown, as I caught it, I kind of got low because I was expecting that safety to be coming and laying a hit. He wasn’t there, and I just fell on my face. Hey, I fell on my face in the end zone so it wasn’t too bad.”
Tags: Bear Pascoe, Eli Manning, Martellus Bennett, Victor Cruz
Posted in Anatomy of a Play | 1 Comment »
Every Friday, we’re asking some Giants players what’s playing in their headphones. This is what they had to say this week before their road trip to Philly:
TE Martellus Bennett
(Listens to everything)
“What don’t I have on my iPod should be the question. Before the game, I’m going to listen to Curren$y, a little Fiona Apple, maybe some Ellie Goulding and Erykah Badu.”
LB Mark Herzlich
Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
“Basically I like to listen to death metal before the games, so that gets me pretty jacked up before the game. But like when we’re going through warm-ups, I love when Call Maybe comes on. I freaking love Call Me Maybe.”
LB Spencer Paysinger
Childish Gambino – Camp (Album)
“Mine’s not as extravagant as [Herzlich's]. I’m more of a fan of Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, G.O.O.D Music, like Kanye [West], stuff like that. It’s more lyrical. It makes me slow the game down, think of my assignments and stuff.”
LB Michael Boley
SiriusXM Radio – The Heat
“Nothing really specific, I listen to a lot of different stuff. It just depends on what I’m feeling at the moment…SiriusXM, The Heat, whatever comes on.”
Tags: Mark Herzlich, Martellus Bennett, Michael Boley, Michael Coe, Spencer Paysinger
Posted in Daily Blitz | 4 Comments »
It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time to vote for the NFL’s weekly awards. Once again, a Giants player is nominated after Eli Manning was named the “FedEx Air Player of the Week” and recognized for the “Never Say Never Moment of the Week” following his 510 yards in a comeback victory against Tampa Bay.
But Week 3 was all about running back Andre Brown, who rushed 20 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns as the Giants defeated the Panthers 36-7 on the road. Making his first career start, Brown’s primetime performance on Thursday night has him nominated for the “Ground Player of the Week.”
Other nominees: Jamaal Charles (Chiefs) and Maurice Jones-Drew (Jaguars).
» WATCH: New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett joins “NFL Fantasy Live” to talk about his fantasy domination.
» NY Giants WR Ramses Barden maintains level head following nine-catch,138-yard performance [Sean Brennan, New York Daily News]
» Go behind-the-scenes with NFL Films to see the cinematographic philosophy of “Tom Coughlin: A Football Life,” which premieres Wednesday, September 26 at 8 PM ET on NFL Network.
Tags: Andre Brown, Martellus Bennett, Ramses Barden, Tom Coughlin
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0:00 — GIANTS 26, PANTHERS 7
0:53 — FIELD GOAL GIANTS. Lawrence Tynes adds a 36-yard make, his fourth of the game. NEW YORK 26, CAROLINA 7 (Drive: 10 plays, 63 yards in 5:35)
2:56 — Bennett hauls in his fourth catch of the night (57 yards). Giants eating up some clock with a 16-point lead.
*Brown now has 104 yards on 17 attempts.
6:28 — TOUCHDOWN PANTHERS. Cam Newton up the middle for a one-yard score. NEW YORK 23, CAROLINA 7 (Drive: 13 plays, 80 yards in 6:24)
12:49 — FIELD GOAL GIANTS. Lawrence Tynes adds a 30-yard field goal. NEW YORK 23, CAROLINA 0 (Drive: 4 plays, 8 yds in 1:26)
15:00 — LB Spencer Paysinger forces and recovers a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half.
*Giants will kickoff to begin the second half.
*Martellus Bennett became the first Giant to record a touchdown in each of his first three games.
Tags: Lawrence Tynes, Martellus Bennett, Spencer Paysinger
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0:00 — GIANTS 10, PANTHERS 0 (key stat: Giants offense has gained 158 yards to Panthers’ 56)
3:50 — FIELD GOAL GIANTS. Lawrence Tynes makes a 47-yarder. NEW YORK 10, CAROLINA 0 (drive: 9 plays, 51 yards in 4:44)
*Tynes is a perfect 6/6 on the season.
4:36 — Manning showing his precision and begins 9 for 10 passing, including rookie Rueben Randle’s first catch of his career (a 4-yard gain).
8:30 — FB Henry Hynoski clears the way for Brown, who powers for another 16 yards on the ground.
9:13 — Jason Pierre-Paul takes down Cam Newton on third down as the quarterback was trying to get to the left edge, forcing the Panthers to punt.
11:42 — TOUCHDOWN GIANTS. TE Martellus Bennett catches a 14-yard pass in the end zone from Manning. XP is GOOD. NEW YORK 7, CAROLINA 0 (drive: 8 plays, 80 yards in 3:22)
13:21 — RB Brown, starting in place of Ahmad Bradshaw breaks an arm tackle and breaks down the sideline for 31 yards. First-time starters on offense are making the most of it so far.
14:26 — With the receiving corps banged up, WR Ramses Barden hauls in an early catch for an eight-yard gain.
15:00 — Game Day Captains: CB Corey Webster and G Kevin Boothe in addition to season captains QB Eli Manning, DE Justin Tuck and LS Zak DeOssie. Giants win coin toss, elect to receive. Panthers elect to defend the west goal.
This week’s game will be the seventh regular season meeting between the two teams, with the series tied, 3-3. In the last meeting, the Giants defeated the Panthers, 31-18, in Week 1 of the 2010 season in the first regular season game in MetLife Stadium.
Kickoff: 8:20 P.M. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: NFL Network/WPIX 11
Weather: Scattered clouds. Warm. 77 °F, Wind: 3.45 mph/N
Tags: Andre Brown, Corey Webster, Henry Hynoski, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jayron Hosley, Kevin Boothe, Lawrence Tynes, Martellus Bennett, Ramses Barden, Rueben Randle
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Down and Distance: 1st and 9 at DAL 9
Time: 2:42, 4th QTR
Personnel: 3WR, 1TE, 1RB
Situation: Trailing by 14, two timeouts remaining
The Play: (No Huddle, Shotgun) Eli Manning pass short middle in end zone to Martellus Bennett for 9 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Penalty on DAL-Safety Barry Church, Defensive Pass Interference, declined.
What Bennett saw: “It was just a read route. We’ve run it a couple times. During the week, we already knew what the look was going to be, and I knew exactly where the ball was going to be, how he wanted to throw it and what he wanted me to do on the route because of the way we saw it on film, the way we talked about it all week. It’s just one of those things that just happened exactly how you talked about it.
“We knew that they were going to double outside and give me inside one-on-one. Usually I break across, but since he played me with inside leverage, we were just looking for the jump ball. I felt Church and then Gerald Sensabaugh. I couldn’t help but feel Church, he was right on me. I was just fighting to get his hands off me so I could get up and make a play. I was able to get up and get both hands on it. So it was just a great throw, great spot of the ball, couldn’t be any better, and I was just fortunate to make a catch.”
What Manning saw: “They played it earlier in the game down there. So we kind of went on the sideline and said, hey, if we call this play, this is what I’m expecting from you. And Martellus agreed. So that’s always nice when you know what the guy’s going to do, what his reaction is going to be to a defense, and he did a great job of doing the right thing on the same page and making a great catch.”
Bennett’s mindset when he came up in the end zone: “We were down and trying to get back in the game. We were only one touchdown away and there was still two minutes and change on the clock. That’s enough time to tie it up and win a game, so we were very excited for that. We came down, I think it was a 12-play drive, we scored, it took a little longer than we wanted but we got in the end zone. It was an exciting moment. We were still in the game.”
Bennett’s first experience in a fourth-quarter huddle with Manning: “Everybody in the huddle, on this offense, shows a lot of perseverance. So in the huddle nobody ever panicked. Everybody felt like we could make a play, but at the same time, we feel there is no reason for us to get behind the eight ball and we should try to keep ourselves out of that position.”
Outcome: Bennett’s first touchdown in a Giants uniform cut it to a one-possession game, but wasn’t enough as Dallas was able to pick up a first down on the ensuing possession and run out the clock. Giants lost 24-17.
Tags: Eli Manning, Martellus Bennett
Posted in Anatomy of a Play | 1 Comment »
0:00 — GIANTS 0, COWBOYS 0 (key stat: Manning begins the season 7/9 for 72 yards)
2:53 — With the ball on the Giants’ 37, Cowboys go for it on 4th-and-1. Giants stuff RB Lawrence Vickers for no gain and take over on downs. Giants are building the bridge when it comes to fourth down defense after the Falcons failed on three attempts in their playoff game nearly eight months ago to the day.
3:22 — Keith Rivers flushes Romo out of the pocket, rushing the pass. Corey Webster almost grabs an interception, but pass falls incomplete, setting up third down.
10:20 — TE Martellus Bennett gets his first catch against his former team — a 9-yard gain after Victor Cruz’s 26-yard reception from Eli Manning.
11:31 — The first carry of Wilson’s career is a 3-yard gain to the right side.
12:21 — And there you have it: the return game is revealed for the time being. Domenik Hixon back to return first punt.
13:58 — Giants go three-and-out on first offensive series of 2012.
15:00 — GAME DAY CAPTAINS: Chris Snee and Osi Umenyiora along with team captains Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, and Zak DeOssie. Giants win toss, elect to receive. Cowboys will defend west goal. *David Wilson back to return for first kickoff.
This week’s game will be the 100th regular season meeting between the two teams, with the Cowboys leading the series, 56-41-2. In the last meeting, the Giants defeated the Cowboys, 31-14, on Jan. 1 in Week 17 of the 2011 regular season to win the NFC East title and return to the postseason for the first time since 2008.
Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, E. Rutherford, NJ
Weather: Scattered clouds. Warm. 80 °F, Wind: WNW 9mph
» 75 Sean Locklear will start at LT in place of 65 Will Beatty
» 55 Keith Rivers will start at LB in place of 59 Michael Boley
» 37 Michael Coe will start at CB in place of 20 Prince Amukamara
» 92 Josh Brent will start at NT in place of 90 Jay Ratliff
Tags: Chris Snee, Corey Webster, David Wilson, Domenik Hixon, Eli Manning, Keith Rivers, Martellus Bennett, Michael Coe, Osi Umenyiora, Rocky Bernard, Sean Locklear, Victor Cruz
Posted in Game Day | 2 Comments »