In 2010, in the first matchup between the Giants and Eagles, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride used Eagles LB Ernie Sims’ over-aggressiveness against him. The Giants ran play action to Brandon Jacobs to the left, having Eli Manning roll right, then come all the way back across the field again to a wide open Jacobs running 5 yards ahead of Sims for an easy pitch and catch to an unlikely receiver for a big gain. Excellent play call, great execution, the Giants got themselves 1st and G from the 5, and scored on the next play. Here’s that play from two years ago:
In 2011, prior to the first matchup against the Giants, the Eagles announced they were moving Jamar Chaney from SLB to MLB, Moise Fokou from WLB to SLB, and Casey Matthews from MLB to WLB. I’m guessing that Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride perked up on hearing that news, and couldn’t wait to unleash, as Cris Collinsworth called it the previous year, Gilbride’s “A+ play.”
Gilbride did indeed go right back to it again. And why not? The Eagles were in a state of flux with their young and struggling linebackers. If you’ll notice, Matthews pretty much had the identical reaction that Sims had, and the Giants burned the Eagles for an easy 40 yard TD. Here’s the play from last year:
Same exact play call, and again, great execution by the Giants.
After the game, Matthews said he did not remember seeing that play in film study that week. Bad job by the Eagles’ defensive staff. When a play works so well the previous year, I find it hard to believe they didn’t have their defense ready for it. Obviously, the Eagles weren’t ready, and it cost them an early 7-0 deficit.
This year, the set of linebackers are new once again, albeit far better than the 2010 and 2011 versions. Will Juan Castillo have them ready this time around if Gilbride tries to run this play three years in a row?