Author- Bryan Trulen
New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning has an intuitive feel for timing and touch within the passing game. We take a look at a momentum changing connection with OBJ from the Ravens game. (All Video Frame Content Owned by NFL Game Pass)
New York comes out in 11 personnel deploying 1 RB and 1 TE with Odell Beckham Jr (X WR) stationed at the top of the screen. OBJ uses a tight split alignment which will allow him to use all 53 yards of the field to his favor later on in the play. We are able to clearly see that Baltimore has devoted themselves to playing OBJ in pure man coverage with their Weak Safety ten yards deep from the LOS. Upon Receiving the snap, Eli Manning immediately starts to deceive the Baltimore defense by positioning his body and eyes to his left.
As Manning reaches the top of his drop we can see that he has now effectively manipulated (WS) Eric Weddle. Weddle is now running down hill and looks convinced that Manning will be throwing the ball to the strong side of the formation. In reality though Eli being the nuanced veteran QB that he is, already knows he is throwing to Beckham and is simply baiting Weddle to open up space down the right side of the field as Beckham is in the midst of running a double move pattern.
Eli has now successfully fooled Weddle and is now in the process of pump faking a 6 yard stop route to Beckham (Top of Screen). Notice how the Baltimore pass rush is non existent due to only rushing four on 1st down.
The six yard stop route the Ravens defense thought Beckham was initially running proved to be an illusion-which has now turned into a full blown stop and go route against man to man coverage. Manning continues to position himself comfortably within a clean pocket as he plants his back foot in anticipation of throwing a deep ball to Beckham.
Beckham clearly has a step on the cornerback which in pro football means you are open. At this point the ball is already out of Manning’s hand. Crowd anticipation and excitement comes to climax within seconds as everyone in the stadium holds their collective breath awaiting the result of the pass.
The ball is perfectly placed into the hands of a streaking Beckham and the play results in a game changing Touchdown for New York. Beckham was able to showcase his route creativity, speed, and change of direction on this play which put him in prime position to make a big play.