All you need to know about Giants rookie outside linebacker lineman Jake Carlock is how he graded his game-changing Pick-6 in the Giants Week 1 win over the Jets.
“I mean even on the play with the pick, I couldn’t really get around the tackle and it’s not a good job by me,” he said Sunday.
“I need to get around him to make the sack but thankfully I made that play. Then there were other plays where I didn’t get off the ball quick enough and I could’ve hustled on that other play earlier in the game. So, I had a good play but there were many things I could correct and I’m going to.”
Carlock, who has been steadily and quietly impressing the coaching staff this summer after singing as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Long Island Post, made his highlight reel play despite lining up with his hand in the dirt for the first time in a game.
A converted safety, Carlock might not have gotten around Jets right tackle Wyatt Miller, but his getting his hands up into the passing lane speak well to his awareness and ability to improvise when his original plan of attack was thwarted.
“That was awesome, wasn’t it?” head coach Pat Shurmur said after the game of Carlock’s play which gave the Giants a 24-14 lead after he recorded the Pick-6.
“He’s a team favorite because he’s so tough. When we had all of those injuries, those little nagging injuries at the first part of training camp, he took a ton of reps—more than the law allows. He’s tough, tough as nails. The sideline exploded when he scored. It was really a great feeling. He’s a fan favorite on our team.”
Here's a breakdown of Carlock’s play. (Images via NFL Game Pass. Click here to see the entire play in motion.)
Carlock, playing with his hand in the dirt at left defensive end, initially beats Miller off the snap. In the above screen shot, Miller has yet to establish an anchor or get his hands up to latch on to Carlock, who already has his hands up as he prepares to possibly swim past him and into the backfield.
Usually when an offensive lineman has his back to the sideline against a defender who has his back to the end zone, that rarely ends well for the offensive lineman.
This proves to be the case in this next picture. Miller keeps himself in front of Carlock, but only on an angle and only momentarily as instead of locking down on him, he’s trying to bounce Carlock away. Meanwhile, Carlock’s left shoulder is exposed which means his left hand, the one he used to bat down Davis Webb’s pass attempt, is free.
Because Miller is trying to bounce Carlock away, this allows the defender to get both of his arms up and make contact with the ball.
Because Carlock has a better view of where the ball is—the nearest Jet is quarterback Davis Webb, who is about three yards away—he is in the best position to snag the pop-up, which he does.
Because Jets guard Josh Morgan is off-balance Carlock has nothing but daylight, which he exposes by dashing 59 yards to the end zone.
In the above still, it also looks, given the angle of the ball before Carlock hits it, that it was tipped--notice how the nose of the ball is pointing toward the ground rather than upward, which would likely mean that the ball was descending rather than ascending.
Carlock, who played in 15 snaps, also had a 3-yard sack in the game.