Today’s plot point review looks at Tempe, a double end-tackle stunt that turned around the Giants game.
The situation: Two minute warning, first half. The Giants defense has forced a punt that sets Eli Manning and his offense up near mid-field. The score is 21-10 and Dallas desperately needs a stop. Specifically, the Cowboys need their pass rush to produce something. Manning has rolled down the field on his first three series and is 11 of 12 on his pass attempts. Dallas has won first and second downs, but the Giants are a perfect 7-of-7 on third downs, six of them converted by Manning passes.
The Cowboys have failed to this point to fluster Manning. He’s had time to sit in his pocket and peruse down-field throws. He’s beaten the secondary with long and short throws to the electric Odell Beckham Jr. Their long touchdown connection on the first play of the second quarter sparked his team. Now, Manning is looking for another deep strike. The Giants are due to receive the 2nd half kickoff and if they can score here, they can run away with the game before it’s 40 minutes old.
On 1st down, the Cowboys use a four-man rush called Jet. It’s the most basic rush in the book, with all four rushers trying to beat their blockers in their assigned gaps. Left end George Selvie drove past Manning on the QB’s right, then spun inside and made a diving swipe at Manning’s feet. Selvie tripped Manning, putting the Giants in a rare 2nd and long. On the next pass, Rod Marinelli called Tempe, a double end-tackle game, where the defensive end and defensive tackle on each side of the line run sturts.
In Tempe, the left side runs Tex, a game where the DT attacks the offensive tackle on his side first, allowing his DE partner to loop inside of him and attack the B gap. (Tex = tackle first.) On the right side, the D-line duo runs Exit, the opposite combo to Tex. (Exit = end first.) Here, the end crashes inside towards the A-gap first, while the DT holds a count, then loops outside the end’s charge:
The stunt broke right end Jeremy Mincey free inside for a clean sack.
Still one shows the beginning of the combo stunts and also the Giants’ protection. Manning fakes to his running back (23) who slides across the formation to assist the right guard and tackle. New York has three blockers on each side of the pocket against two Cowboys’ rushers.
Still two shows the two stunts in progress. Let’s start on our right, where DT Tyrone Crawford and DE George Selvie are running the Tex game. Crawford has driven across the right tackle’s face. Selvie is looping inside, but right guard Kevin Boothe (77) and the back are waiting for him.
On the right, the Exit game looks more promising. Mincey is driving past LT Will Beatty and is aiming for the center’s inside shoulder. DT Nick Hayden is looping outside of Mincey and has enticed the right guard (68) to chase him. This breaks the integrity of the Giants’ left side pocket.
Hayden breaks free and has a straight line at Manning, forcing the QB to slide to his right. Mincey is locked up by Beatty and the center in still three, but you can see Beatty eyeing Hayden. The LT will turn Mincey free to engage Hayden:
Mincey is even with the center in still three, so when Beatty lets him go, Mincey has a clean run at Manning, whom Hayden has flushed into Mincey’s grasp.
In the short term, the Tempe rush has stopped the defensive bleeding. Mincey bull-rushed through Beatty on the next play and wrapped up Manning again, causing an intentional grounding penalty. New York punted, keeping the halftime score 21-10. In the long run, the stunt game tipped off Marinelli to a weakness on the Giants’ left side. He ran another DE twist at Beatty to start the second half and cracked Manning’s confidence.
Next: Mincey and Hayden run Tex at Manning.