As the 49ers began their preparations yesterday for their matchup with the Giants, let's take a look at some of what they will be up against on defense.
The Giants are very multiple on the offensive side of the ball, employing 3 general personnel packages. Those packages include 2 back sets, a variety of 2 TE sets, along with a variety 1 TE and 1 RB. These packages will often determine which defensive personnel groupings the 49ers choose.
The first package shown above is a very basic 2 back, 1 TE, I Formation set. As you can see, the Eagles have their base defensive personnel in to match up.
Here the Giants have gone with a 2 TE, 1 RB set. The Giants will also motion a TE over giving them 2 on one side. The Eagles have matched up this personnel setting with their base defense.
In the picture above the Giants have gone with a series 1 TE, 1 RB sets, each with the TE lined up as the closet to the interior line. These are all very balanced sets which will force the 49ers to choose between Nickle and Base personnel. The 49ers will often use down and distance as the determining factor on which grouping they go with.
One constant that you should note throughout the various formations is the inclusion of a TE and RB. This allows the Giants to have the threat of both Run or Pass regardless of formation, thus creating conflict for the defense.