New York Giants: The key to stopping Kyler Murray on Sunday is a rookie OLB

New York Giants, Carter Coughlin

The New York Giants endured a massive challenge against the Seattle Seahawks and stopping future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson in week 13. They did a phenomenal job limiting him in the passing game and contained him in the pocket with spies.

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham drew up a perfect game plan against Wilson, trying to confuse him at the lighten of scrimmage and fill passing lanes. Since Russell isn’t the biggest quarterback, he needs passing lanes to see his targets, so filling them with big bodies and delayed blitzes flushed him out of the pocket and subsequently filled those lanes.

The New York Giants activated their fastest pass rusher in a unique way:

When the Giants landed Carter Coughlin in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft, most didn’t believe he would be an impactful player in his rookie season. Coughlin previously had pass-rush win rates in the upper echelon of categories in 2018, fitting in alongside names like Joey Bosa, Chase Young, and Nick Bosa.

He has fantastic speed for an outside linebacker (4.57 40-yard sash) and has the ability to drop into coverage when need be. We saw him do a variety of different things for the Giants against Seattle, and I expect to see him in a similar way against Arizona.

Carter maneuvered his way around the trenches, lining up in the zero technique and as an outside linebacker quite frequently. His entire job was to confuse Russell Wilson and utilize delayed blitzes and a quarterback spy to keep him from running outside of the tackle box.

As you can see from the clip above, Carter bluffs a blitz at a zero technique over the center, dropping back a few feet and hovering to contain Wilson. He has his eyes on the quarterback the entire play — he did this throughout the contest, forcing Wilson to throw the ball and allowing the big interior linemen to collapse the pocket.

However, in this clip, you see Coughlin rush from the OLB spot, beating the right tackle with a bull-rush and hand swipe down to hit Wilson simultaneously with a mad-man in Jabrill Peppers who bursts through two players at the line and gets to Russ.

Against Arizona and Kyler Murray, who is a very similar quarterback to Wilson, I expect Carter to act in a similar role. Playing quarterback spy and containing the edges will be his primary task.

Since Arizona has a far superior offensive line compared to Seattle, this will be a much more difficult contest for the Giants, but I expect to see them taking advantage of a weak center in Mason Cole.

According to PFF, Coughlin played in 45 total snaps this past weekend, the most in his career. He also dropped back into coverage 14 times and rushed the passer 24 times. He was rarely on the field during running plays but still picked up two tackles, three quarterback hurries, and two stops.

With his influence clearly showing up on film, I predict he will be another spy for a majority of the contest against Murray in week 14. His speed makes him a threat against running quarterbacks, so this is a perfect match up for him once again.

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