In the earlier post I went over the variety of formations that the Giants will throw at the defense. Now let's take a look at 3 of the 4 touchdowns from the matchups between these two teams last season.
- 3rd Quarter - 3rd & 6 at SF 13 - The 49ers are playing man coverage with a overload blitz from both ILB's to the Giant's right side. Manning recognizes he has man coverage and goes to Manningham on Chris Culliver. In the picture above you can see Culliver is in good position, however Manning does a great job of putting the ball to the outside and Manningham makes the grab for a TD.
- 4th Quarter - 3rd & 6 at SF 32 - The 49ers do a poor job of disguising the blitz pre-snap. Manning recognizes that he has Brown with single coverage on Nicks. Nicks gets an inside release and Manning delivers the ball early. Safety Reggie Smith, who is playing on the opposite hash creating a huge hole to throw the ball into and gets over too late to help and Nicks makes the reception for a touchdown.
- Championship Game - 2nd Quarter - 2nd & 6 at SF 6 - The 49ers are playing man coverage from their base D with a "Banjo" technique here. They are matching up on each side of the formation (blue on top, yellow on bottom) This is a good way to eliminate the rub routes by allowing the offensive players to move and then the defenders pick up the man coming into their area. On this play the defenders on the top do a good job of taking away the options, however Navarro Bowman on the bottom, (yellow circle) moves toward Jacobs who is to be covered by Whitner. This slight move allows Bear Pasco to come free and Manning delivers the ball to him for an easy touchdown.
As you can see from the top 2 examples, it is very difficult to beat Manning with the blitz. In both matchups last year the 49ers did their best job of slowing down the Giants by putting pressure with their front 4 and playing strong coverage with their other 7 defenders. If the 49ers are going to win this week it will be imperative for their front 4 to play their best game of the season.