Look: Giants used daring goal-line defense against Washington
Defenses often will often load up along the defensive line when an opponent gets near the goal line. This is to counter the offense’s tendency to try and pound the ball in with short runs. But the New York Giants apparently didn’t get that memo, because they tried one daring defensive configuration from the goal on Thursday night.
Washington scored on a JD McKissic touchdown run just before halftime to make it 14-10. They took advantage of the Giants only using three down linemen while stacking one side of the field.
Interesting defensive alignment on the goal line. At least JD McKissic didn’t have to look hard for the hole on his left. pic.twitter.com/jba0DqpUIH
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) September 17, 2021
Quarterback Taylor Heinicke audibled to a run in the opposite direction, allowing McKissic to glide in for the TD.
On the McKissic TD – Heinicke spotted the bubble to the left side of the line pre-snap, walked up to the OL and changed the call. Walk in TD for McKissic, odd look by the Giants pic.twitter.com/khF1QtIM8H
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) September 17, 2021
So what was going on there? Both teams had used all their timeouts, and Washington had a 3rd-and-1 with 23 seconds left. The Giants were almost certainly not expecting Washington to run with no timeouts and risk getting no points.
That’s what made their defensive formation so daring, and what made Washington’s playcall a bold one.
Even without timeouts, the Giants learned that they shouldn’t make one side of the field so inviting.