Welcome to "Learn The Play" where we explain how one of the biggest plays from the previous week of NFL action happened. Today, we'll break down how Giants quarterback Eli Manning hit Reuben Randle for a 26-yard touchdown on a deep dig route against the Packers.
#1 The Formation. The Release.
The Giants come out in a five-wide shotgun look. Randle is at the bottom of the screen, split out all the way to the left. Victor Cruz is in the slot. Randle takes an inside vertical release, while Cruz takes an outside vertical release. Running back Andre Brown is split out to the far right, with wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in the slot. Tight end Brandon Myers is lined up closest to Manning in the near slot.
#2 The Routes
At the top of the screen, Brown (circled in yellow) sells a screen pass by working back to the quarterback with his hands up, while Myers (#83, circled in red) stays in to block. Both of these fakes help draw Green Bay's linebacker and safety towards the line of scrimmage (the red arrows). Meanwhile, Randle (circled in yellow) continues his inside vertical release and Cruz (circled in red) continues his outside vertical release.
#3 The Window
Manning steps up in the pocket and has a clear throwing lane down the middle of the field to Randle, who has broken his route across the field (will be shown in next slide). Cruz (circled in red) stops his route 10 yards down the field on the near the sideline, while Nicks (also circled in red at the top of the screen), who released directly to the outside on his route from the right slot, does the same thing. With Cruz and Nicks occupying attention on opposite sidelines, the middle is wide open for Randle.
#4 The Dig
Randle does a nice job on his dig route. He pushes vertically up the field, takes two hard steps to sell the deep post route, and then snaps his route horizontally across the middle of the field into an open window, right between the two Green Bay safeties.
#5 The Touchdown
Randle keeps running across the middle of the field and Eli hits him in stride for the touchdown!
Sources: Getty Images