Film breakdown: So what actually happened on the Giants’ busted coverage Sunday night?

Not to keep picking on Antrel Rolle, but I wanted to further touch on some of his comments from his radio appearance yesterday on WFAN, which was transcribed nicely by Ralph Vacchiano of the NY Daily News.

Before we begin, here’s video of that play.

And now, Antrel Rolle’s comments:

Whenever there’s a big play and you’re the safeties, you’re always the one who gets blamed and gets finger-pointed.  It’s wrong because the commentators don’t know what coverage we’re in. They don’t know how we’re playing our defense. They don’t know that I’m disguising, showing a Cover 2, but I’m really supposed to drop down and play a Cover 3. They don’t know. It drives me crazy.

Without having the benefit of knowing the exact play call, allow me to take a stab at what I see here.  But first, for those of you who don’t know what Cover 3 is, here it is in its most basic form:

In its most basic form, the CB on each side will take deep 1/3 responsibility, with one of the safeties (in the above picture, the FS) covering the deep middle.  The other safety (in this case the SS) covers the flat.

In a Cover 2 look, again, in its most basic form, one safety will take deep 1/2 responsibility on one side, while the other safety takes the other side.

Now, go back to the play again.

If the Giants were in Cover 3 and Rolle didn’t have deep Cover 2 responsibility as he is suggesting, then we should have seen the following:

– Deon Grant would have dropped into a center field position in the deep middle.  He did not.  Grant instead looks to be in a classic Cover 2.

– Corey Webster would have dropped into a deep 1/3 position at the snap.  He would not have been pressing Dez Bryant at the line of scrimmage, and he most definitely would not have passed Bryant off to the safety.

Perhaps Antrel Rolle was in the correct spot, as he is claiming.  It appears to me that either Rolle or both Webster and Grant didn’t know what defense they were supposed to be in.  If Rolle was indeed was in the right spot, then there were two Giants that were not, which is actually more alarming.  We’re heading into Week 15.  These kinds of coverage breakdowns simply cannot happen this late in the season, and Perry Fewell needs to clean it up.

20 Comments

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  9. andiamo says:

    It started off as Cover 2 and got switched to Cover 3.

    Fewell has way too much “read and react” in his D, and a clever play call by Garrett forced communication to take place…that never did.

  10. brisulph says:

    Is there supposed to be a cover 2 diagram on the page? if so, I am not seeing it.

    1. Anders says:

      A cover 3 diagram

      1. brisulph says:

        I see the Cover 3, but he references a Cover 2 basic form, and I don’t see it anywhere (unless it is browser related, it is missing).

  11. DerfDiggy says:

    This is the point in the game where Cowboys fans thought the game was over.
    Even I thought the game was well in hand…..and then I shit you not….
    One one of the 3 game breaks after a TD(TD…commercial….FG…Commercial…Kickoff…Commercial)….That dumb stupid dumb dumb Eli Manning “Citizen” Watch came on. I laughed and said to myself…”Eli looks so damn dumb”

    “Unstoppable…Eli Manning is…..”

    And then the inevitable happened, and he trotted down the field with the confidence and poise of a thousand Peyton Mannings. Not once, but twice……

    Game ends in failure for the Cowboys….once again.

    The Cowboys hate prosperity.

    1. brisulph says:

      Or Eli craves it… but yeah, that game appeared to be SO over at that point.

    2. Free Plax says:

      “Unstoppable….Eli Manning is…” Sounds like the commerical was trying to tell you something.

  12. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    Antrel Rolle doesn’t blow that coverage 99% of the time.

    1. I see what you did there, haha.

    2. FinnEagle says:

      At the end of the day.

  13. BBI says:

    Well…if Rolle says that he was supposed to play Cover-3, than its probably communication issues somewhere, because he did exactly what he was supposed to.

    In any case, this is fuggin’ unacceptable

  14. Free Plax says:

    LOL, Giants D backs have been blowing coverage all year long, I a have no idea why Rolle is getting his back up about being blamed, our secondary stinks.

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