Cool Clips: The Giants Double Mug Nickel Pressure vs. the Eagles
Wink Martindale always has a great blitz package. Against the Eagles, he didn't disappoint, using a Double Mug presentation paired with a Ni Stride (B-gap) pressure.
Wink Martindale, the newly appointed Michigan Defensive Coordinator and former Giants and Ravens DC, is an enigma. Known for his pressures, Martindale is one of the best blitz designers in the NFL. He comes from the ‘old’ Ravens tree, which was blitz-centric and utilized a deep bag of pre-snap presentations and pressure paths.
The Giants finished 21st in DVOA this past season, and their defensive struggles led to Martindale and the organization parting ways. It's a similar situation to the one he found himself in after the ‘21 season, his last with the Ravens. Once deemed one of the b’s best DCs, Martindale’s units have slowly sunk to the bottom of efficiency metrics.
Though Martindale’s performance as a DC has waned, his defenses still rank at the top of the league in 1st and 3rd Down rates. The boom-or-bust system frustrates many. He is a master at attacking protections, especially on 3rd Downs.
Per PFF, the Giants had the second-highest Pass Blitz Rate (PBR) at 54.2%, right behind the Vikings (above). On 3rd Downs, that rate rose to 56.4%, enough to unseat Minnesota from the top spot. On those downs, the Giants were 13th in EPA when blitzing (-.123).
Holding the ninth-lowest 3rd Down conversion rate in the NFL (37%), the Giants’ defense consistently found ways to attack offenses and get off the field. Against the Eagles in the final week of the regular season, the Giants held Philly to 5-13 on 3rd Downs en route to a victory. In their second matchup against the Eagles, New York consistently created pressure on both Jalen Hurts and Marcus Mariota. Hurts would finish the day 7-16 for 55 yards and one interception before being pulled.
To pressure the Eagles, Martindale used a ‘Double Mug’ presentation (above) to set up his main blitz, which they used the third most in the NFL. The Giants were also fifth in the league this past year in seven-man pressures, so when New York presents seven defenders near the line of scrimmage, offenses must prepare for an all-out attack. The blitz path Martindale decided to use was a Stride path, which has the Ni insert into the B-gap while the EDGE to that side works a contain rush (COP).
According to PFF, the Giants were 28th in Slot Blitz usage. Since the Eagles game was the last of the year, Philly was probably more concerned with a stunt from the Double Mug presentation than a blitz from the Slot. The Giants ran their Stride five-man pressure four times. The Eagles went 1-4 on those pressures, with one INT and no first downs. Martindale threw them a curveball.
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