Film breakdown: Somebody may be the “candy bar,” but it isn’t Brandon Boykin

After Sunday night’s game against the Giants, I had a chance to ask Juan Castillo if there was something about Brandon Boykin’s skill set that he liked as a matchup 1-on-1 against Victor Cruz.  After all, Cruz was the Giants’ best WR that night with Hakeem Nicks being out, so giving Cruz 1-on-1 attention would be a lot of trust to have in a rookie corner.  Castillo was quick to correct me, noting that Boykin had (or should have had) plenty of help.

“We did double (Cruz),” said Castillo.  ”(Cruz) still made some nice plays, but he was doubled throughout the night with Boykin.  He just made some plays.  He’s a good football player.”

Earlier today, Steelers WR Antonio Brown referred to Brandon Boykin as a “candy bar,” because apparently he’s the sweet spot that you want to attack on the Eagles defense.  I disagree.  The candy bar, at least on a couple TD passes so far this year in my opinion, was DeMeco Ryans.

Here’s the Giants’ formation on the TD catch by Victor Cruz Sunday night.  Pre-snap, you can see Ryans take two peeks over at Cruz, who is lined up in the slot.  Here’s one of those two peeks:

At the snap, Boykin opens his hips to the inside, taking away the outside:

Meanwhile Ryans heads immediately in Cruz’s direction as if to double him with Boykin. Cruz, as you can see, is running a quick slant, which Boykin is allowing him to do, knowing that he has inside help:

Ryans takes a peek in Eli Manning, and does so with bad timing, as Manning has already fired his pass to Cruz:

Ryans is late to get his head back around and make the play.  Cruz makes the catch, escapes Boykin’s tackle, and walks into the end zone:

Credit Boykin for a bad tackle, but not for giving up the reception.

If that play looked somewhat familiar in terms of DeMeco Ryans getting there juuuuust a hair too late, it should.  A similar play happened in Arizona – Zone coverage this time, but the same result.

The scheme was good on both plays, in my opinion, but the ability of Ryans to get there in time was just a fraction too slow.  Also credit Eli Manning for making a perfect pass.  I’m not sure I’d call Ryans the “candy bar” here either, as execution from the offense has to be perfect to fit this ball in.  Maybe Ryans is kind of like Hot Tomales.  You can eat one or two, but if you eat too many of them (errr… throw into too many tight windows like this), you’ll eventually have a burning sensation and remorse.

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9 Comments

  1. Demeco was hardly late on the Cardinals TD he’s right in front of the reciever and it’s his trailing hand that actually gets the deflection. I guess he could have been there earlier but that doesn’t make him late.

    Interestingly it’s not a lack of speed from DeMeco that’s the problem. He’s hesitating mentally, he decided fairly late to jump under the Floyd route as well as the peek at Manning.

  2. jeff h says:

    better idea, have Demeco slide back a step and let Cruz catch it then take his head off Ray Lewis style. Honest to God I’d rather that than a Pick 6 on that play.

  3. Todd B says:

    DeMeco “Hot Tamale” Ryans.

    Boom.

  4. SteveH says:

    Also, just thought I’d offer that you guys shouldn’t worry about “going long” on the podcasts, the longer the better! Also have Tommy tell more stories about crazy things that happen in the NFL, I love those behind the scenes type things, its remarkable to learn about how something like a wife’s demands or a missed flight or something can have a huge impact on a personel situation.

  5. SteveH says:

    I have to wonder if Ryans is less comfortable with these sort of pre-planned defensive schemes (firing underneat the slant in this instance) rather than playing in a more of a base look and just being instinctive. Watching it on the live telecast he started in that direction, but then hesitated as if he was unsure, and then the pass was out and he was too late to impact it. I think he would have had a pick if he hadn’t hesitated and Manning still threw the pass.

    Either way, if Boykin is the worst DB the Eagles have we’re in pretty good shape, because he’s made his share of plays this year. I can live with that.

  6. [...] Antonio Brown appelle Brandon Boykin « la confiserie« . Jimmy Kempski désapprouve. [...]

  7. [...] Profootballtalk is reporting that Brandon Boykin of the Philadelphia Eagles has been called the weakest link by the Pittsburgh Steelers who are both playing this upcoming weekend. Blogging the bEast couldnt dissagree more with their article on how Boykin has not been the guilty one on allowing TD’s this season. [...]

  8. As usual, Cruz gets lucky on another TD.

    So overrated.

    Good post though Jimmy.

    1. Troy O says:

      isn’t it crazy? over 1500 yds last yr in 14 games and almost 400 this yr already. Something about luck and the Giants.

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