Film Room: Manningham’s Catch

We’re big fans of Matt Bowen of NFP here on the site. He broke down, in stunning clarity, the now famous Manningham catch. Let’s review:

“The Giants are using seven-man protection (TE and RB stay in protection scheme) to run a three-man route. To the open (weak) side of the formation, Victor Cruz (W) will work the 7 cut (corner) with Hakeem Nicks (Z) on the short inside “Smash” route (quick square-in). To the closed (strong side), Manningham (X) takes a hard outside release vs. a rolled up CB and stems his route vertically on the fade.”

Every DB coach in the NFL teaches their CBs to re-route (jam) No.1 and force an inside release in Cover 2. It takes stress off the deep half safety and allows him to stay on top of his landmark (top of the numbers) to read the QB. Here, Sterling Moore (RC) gives Manningham a clean, outside release that allows the WR to start to work on the cushion (distance between DB and WR) of Patrick Chung (SS). Poor technique at the start of the route that leads to an explosive play.

Outside of the 3-step game (slant, hitch, option), every route breaks at a depth of 12-15 yards. Once Manningham works past that depth he can only run one route: the fade. No reason for Chung to hang inside with one vertical threat to the deep half. He must get over the top of this route and take an angle that puts him in a position to make a play on the ball.

Interesting to note the technique flaws by the Pats. We all hail Belichick as all-knowing, and perhaps he is. But the technique flaws are really interesting. Because a well coached team should have that, in this type of scenario. Chung is a decent player, but he played it completely wrong. They played the right defense, but it was played wrong. Manningham is able to make the catch, on a perfect throw from Manning. And the rest is history.

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One Response to “Film Room: Manningham’s Catch”

  1. giantsfan73 says:

    Chung did play it wrong, but Eli is partially “to blame” for that. He had Nicks open, and was looking in his direction, drawing Chung in, before going back to the left and firing to Manningham. Perfect execution by QB and WR there.

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