With the NFL still adjusting to a three-game preseason, rules and conventions and arrangements and understandings have taken a back seat to the practicalities of getting a team ready for Week One.
Last Thursday, when the Giants and Patriots squared off in their first exhibition contest of the 2022 preseason, the Giants’ defense dialed up plenty of blitzes. Did they overdo it?
Said defensive coordinator Don Martindale on Thursday, ”We’re on to Cincinnati.”
Literally, he’s right. The Giants host the Bengals this weekend. But it was also a nod to Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s 2014 mantra after an ugly Monday night loss to the Chiefs.
As noted by Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, Belichick groused (sort of) about the blitz-happy approach.
”Well, with what the Giants were doing, there’s a lot of reasons for some of the things that we did just to try to manage the game,” Belichick said regarding the inability to run play-action passes with rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe. “So, just leave it at that.”
Per Leonard, the Giants blitzed Zappe in 17 of his 33 dropbacks. In Giants blitzed 21 times in all. During the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 preseasons combined (there were no preseason games in 2020), the Patriots faced 28 total blitzes.
Sometimes, coaches will agree to certain ground rules for preseason games. Those agreements technically aren’t allowed, but that doesn’t keep them from happening. There apparently was no such agreement between the Giants-Patriots game.