Shutdown Corner

Eli Manning didn’t have to be a ‘rocket scientist’ to beat the Redskins

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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This is what the last word looks like. (Getty Images)

We recently broke down Eli Manning's 77-yard touchdown bomb to Victor Cruz that sealed a 27-23 win for the New York Giants against the Washington Redskins last Sunday. Per what Manning said about how he and Cruz read Washington's coverage tendencies, it appeared that this was an example of a very smart quarterback deciphering a pass defense that seems vulnerable at the best of times.

DeAngelo Hall, Washington's oft-burned cornerback, who was on the other side of the field when Cruz blew past cornerback Josh Wilson and safety Madieu Williams, does not agree.

Manning "ultimately made the play to beat us, but I don't feel like he made that play; I feel like we gave them that play," Hall said on Wednesday. "That was nothing he did — aw man, he saw this and saw that — we just had one guy set his feet, one guy not do this and, man, I could have threw that ball and he could have scored.

"It wasn't something [where] he was just a rocket scientist and he just figured [it] out. We just played that as bad as possible."

Manning, told about Hall's take on things, concurred to a point.

"I didn't say it took a rocket scientist to figure it out either," he said. "You got a guy running open, you hit him."

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That wasn't a rocket, Mr. Hall -- it was a Cruz missile! (Getty Images)

And there it is. When you're facing bad coverage, it really seems to be that simple. And speaking of bad coverage, we're wondering what Hall is doing talking about anybody else's pass defense problems.

Per STATS LLC, Hall is tied with Tim Jennings of the Chicago Bears and Cary Williams of the Baltimore Ravens with the most targets in the NFL though Week 7 with 55. He's allowed catches on 67 percent of those targets, given up more than 10 yards per target and 15 yards per catch, and been burned for three touchdowns.

When Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck commented that "DeAngelo Hall is not that smart," he might have been on to something.

"A 77-yard touchdown? No," Tuck said, when asked if he'd ever seen a defense simply "give up" such a play before with little resistance. "I've seen teams on the goal line kind of back up and let people score. But a 77-yard touchdown ... maybe he meant to say that we had some communication [issue] ... I am trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I am not going to go down the road of what I want to say."

Tuck might change his mind if he watches tape of the Buffalo Bills defense, but that's another matter.

The always-confident and rarely quotable Manning summed it up best -- take the score and move along.

"I appreciate him giving it to me. Thank you."

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