Going to take a little different angle this time, concentrating on the Offensive sets that Davidson employed, and the plays that were called. I won't be judgmental about it, I'll leave that to you. To save myself a ton of typing, I'll use uniform numbers, assuming you know the players without a scorecard.
(James, have fun finding an appropriate pic, if you like. I'm cringing, just thinking about it.)Series #1
Q1, 14:56, 1and10, C22. 3WR set, 89L, 47R (in motion), 11 in slot right, 42 and 34 backs, Moore UC. Receivers covered, Moore runs for 7.
2and3, our 29, same backfield, 11 only WR, L - 47 lined up TE rt, 82 in motion. Handoff to 34, gaining only 1 off RT.
3and2, our 30, same backs, 11 only WR, rt, 82 and 47 bunched L and R, Moore UC again, obvious run play, this time off LT, 34 comes up inches short. 3and out, we punt.
Series #2 (after an INT by 30, on a tipped pass, run back to the NY49)
Q1, 10:58, 1and10, NY49, 3WRs, 11L and 89R, 47 slot L, QB UC. One of the best plays of the game. Moore fakes a smoke route pass to 89, hands to 34, who gains 29, off LT. It's worth noting that great blocks were made on this play by 69, 70, 42, 47, 73, 67, 11, and 89. These created a huge hole for 34 to run.
10:30, 1and10, NY20. 3WRs, 89L, 47 wide Rt, but in motion, 11 slot rt. 28 in at RB, behind 42. run by 28 for 2 yds.
9:50, 2and8, NY18. Here's an unusual set, with 28 set back, but in motion to the far right of the field. 47 and 82 are tight on the line, only 1 wr, 11 wide to the L, Moore UC. With only 42 behind him, it's an obvious pass, but to whom? 47stays to block, so it's max protect, but vs only a 4man rush. 82 leaks out, and there's some pressure on 3, from a late blitzing LB, but he gets the pass off easily, and is not touched. The pass is called "lobbed" by Kenny Albert, but it's actually a good trajectory, to 82 at the GL. Problem here wasn't the throw, but not spotting the coverage - they had 2 safeties back in the EZ, and 82 had little chance to catch it, as he was pummeled by one of them, while the other made the INT. Throw wasn't bad, but 3 should've spotted the coverage, and aborted. Would've only been 3rd down, and still manageable. (Said I wouldn't judge, but WTF!) A further look shows 28 was wide open to the right side, at the 13; could've easily gotten at least a FD. We should run this back in motion like that again; defense ignored 28 completely. actually, it was run later, with 33 the lone back, with success.
Series #3 (after a nice PR by 41, of 29 yds, from our 42 to the NY29)
Q1, 7:29, 1and10, NY29. 89 and 11 wide, 47 and 88 set Rt, 34 only back. No FB, but 34 runs off LT for 2 yds.
2and8, NY27. Same play; same result; +2.
3and6, NY25, 3 in SG, 4WR set (11 and 80 wide - first sighting of 80; 89 in slot L)also 88 slot Rt; 33 lone back. Nice FD pass to 89 to the NY11. All YAC for 89, as he evades the CB. Great protection, excellent downfield block by 11.
1and10, NY11, 3 UC this time. 89 and 11 WR, 47 in motion, 34 and 42 in backfield. Smoke route to 89, who hurdles CB for 5.
2and5, NY6, 3UC, Unusual formation, with 34 lone back, 89 split wide L, 88 and 47 tight to the rt, and 11 just rt of them, tight to the line. Correctly suspecting a run, they put 8 in the box. Handoff to 34 only gains 2.
3and3, NY4, 4:25, 89 and 47 wide, 11 slot rt, 47 in motion, 42 and 34 RBs, 3 UC. Key play here, in what it might have been. Good blocking by everyone on the play, except for 42, who blocks the wrong guy, allowing the S21/Phillips, to just make a showstring tackle on 34, who would've scored easily. We settle for a 21yd FG to go up 3-0.
Series #4 (after a good KR by 29/Pugh, from our 14, to our 45, again giving us great field position. We're now behind 3-7) After Q1, we had 47 yds rushing, 19 passing, 2 FDs. They had 6 more total yds than we did.)
Q2, 14:55, 1and10, C45. 47 and 89 wide, 11 in slot L, 42 and 34 backs. 3 yd run by 34.
2and7, C48, another rush by 34 gains 5. (At this point, we had a run/pass ratio of 12 to 3 - and it was working.)
3and2, NY47. 89 and 11 wide, 47 TE rt, 42 and 28 in back. 3 fakes handoff to 28, sees that 89 is covered on the slant, and scrambles left for 8 yds and a FD.
1and10, NY39. 28 runs off RT for 4.
2and6, NY35. 3 UC. 82 and 47 in at TEs, 11 lone WR, 42 and 28 backs. 28 runs off LT, and again, 42 misses a key block on a LB - the play is stopped after a 1 yd gain.
3and5, NY34. 4WRs - 88 and 80 L, 11and 89 R. 3 in SG, 33 only back. Moore misses 88 on the slant at the FD marker. The pass was in front of Rosario, who appeared to pull up on his route, but who knows? A 52-yd FG by Kasay draws us to 6-7.
Series #5 (after an INT by 50/Anderson, off another tipped pass.)
Q2, 9:22, 1and10, C48. 89 and 11 WR, 42 and 28 backs. Play action holds rushers, giving 3 no pressure. His throw to 47 is in his hands, but upon contact, he can't hold on. Would've been a 5yd gain.
2and10, C48. 28 rushes for 4.
3and6, NY48. From the SG, 3 throws deep over the middle to 11, but it falls incomplete. The protection from the 4man rush was excellent, with no rusher within 3 yds of Moore. He is visably displeased, at first I thought with himself, but after repeated slo-mo viewings, it was apparent that 11 pulled up on his route. The pass led him by the yard he needed to keep running, and it would've been a 20+ yd gain. 3 and out.
We then line up to punt, but a FS penalty on 42 sets us back 5, and on the punt, 42 misses a tackle.
Q2, 3:53, 1and10, C36. Bunch formation with 47 and 88 in slot, 34 lone back, 89 and 11 WR. Great protection, 3 throws a lttle high, but on 47's hands at the NT43 over the middle. He fails to hold on. Incomplete.
2and10, C36. Same formation. Draw play to 34, gains 4.
3and6, C40. 4WRs - 80 and 89 L, 88 and 11 R, 3 in SG, empty backfield. Anybody think pass is coming? They bring 5; well-protected, no pressure on 3. He completes to 33/Goodson, who was set up in the slot rt. It goes for a FD. Another play to retry in future. If you see 33 in the slot, and an empty backfield, expect him to get it. The other 4 WRs got all the attention from the defenders. 13 yd gain, plus 15 for roughing the passer.
1and10, NY32. 89 and 11 WR, 47 slot left, 42 and 34 backs, 3UC. Run off LT by 34, but their LDE/Tuck is unblocked by 74/Schwartz for some reason, and stops it for a 2 yd loss.
2and12, NY34. 89/11/47 as WRs. Draw play to 34 gains 9. Good blocks on this play by 69, 70, 73, 74, and 42 make this play work. I'm giving them credit now, for there's plenty of criticism to come in the second half.
3and3, NY25. 4WRs - 11L, 88, 89, and 80 all to the R. 33 lone back. 3 in SG. Protection good, 3 throws deep to the GL, but incomplete - 88 and 89 wind up right next to each other, bringing extra defenders into the area. Somebody ran the wrong route. We kick another FG, to go back up 9-7.
Series #7 (after 33's great KO return to midfield. There were many good blocks to spring him for this 46 yd return, made by 61/Landri, 82, 47, 59/NHarris, and 23/SMartin.)
This is the high point of the game for the Panthers:
Q2, 0:33, 1and10, 50YL. 4WRs -88, 80, 89, 11. 3 in SG. Complete to 11 for 8, OOB to stop the clock.
0:29, 2and2, NY42. 4WRs again, with 33 the lone back, but he shifts to the slot right. Remember that formation? The play is to him again, but this time, he's well covered and Moore throws it OOB. Pressure on 3 comes from his blind side, because 88 misses a block on a blitzing S/Rolle. Moore is knocked down, but no damage.
0:22, 3and2, NY42. SG. Quick out to 89, who carries it for a FD, and quickly calls our first Time Out.
0:16, 1and10, NY32. 4WRs - 11L, 88, 89, 80 all R. 33 is again the lone back, and the pass is to him, circling out of the backfield. He carries it for another FD, getting OOB and stopping the clock again. It can't be over-estimated just how efficiently the entire offense was on this key series. We must ask, how did it all go wrong in the second half?
0:09, 1and10, NY19. 4WRs in the same formation, 1 left and 3 right, 33 again the lone back, 3 in the SG. No TEs as such, to block. They know we've got to pass, yet they're back on their heels and unable to stop it. Note that 89 is not wide, but in the slot, right, between 88 and 80. They rush 4, it's well-protected, and Moore throws a perfect strike to 89 at the goal line. We regain the lead, with 3 seconds left, 16-14.
At the half, Moore is 7 for 14, 82 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT. He has not been hit hard as of this point, and we have outplayed and outscored the Giants.
I will do the Second Half in a separate post.
0:22, 3and2, NY42.