John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The new offense got off to a slow start last night in Canton, gaining only two net yards after punting on their first possession and turning the ball over via an Eli Manning fumble on the second.
The third possession is what Giant fans hope they see more of: a 12-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a 3-yard TD run by rookie RB Andre Williams.
Manning was pleased the offense showed some might before he left the game.
“I think it was big for out offense to get something going, get a few first downs, get in a good rhythm, get some completions and get that scoring drive was good. I’m glad we had that one last opportunity to get something going there,” Eli said after the game.
A quarterback’s best friend is a solid running game. Eli has been around long enough to know that without backfield help, a QB’s life can get very rocky.
“I thought we ran the ball really well on that drive. Had a couple big runs, we got outside the box and Andre had some nice runs so it was good. It was good to get the running game going and get that offensive line firing off. That always helps out the whole offense.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin agreed. With the new offense still seeping in, the passing game will be slow to develop.
“I thought eventually we got to where we ran the ball pretty well,” Coughlin said after the game. “That might not have been their ones in there but still we did have some consistency with runs there. I think that’s probably the first thing I saw.”
The Giants would eventually run for 121 total yards and pass for 208, striking the balance the team hopes they can establish this season, although 38 rushing attempts to only 22 passing plays is not quite what Giant fans have become accustomed to under Coughlin.
The talk of the week was to raise the completion percentage to above 70%. Last night, the Giants went 16-22 passing, or 72.7%. Coughlin was asked his impression:
“Well, we didn’t throw it many times. We did utilize some of the underneath stuff, which was good. That’s all what you’re trying to accomplish so as we get a little bit better with out pass protection the ball will end up going down the field a little bit more.
Ryan Nassib (7/12, 139 yds and a TD) will be given every opportunity to win the primary backup job. He looked like a much more confident and capable player than the rattled rookie we saw last year. Coughlin was asked if he liked what he saw from Nassib last night.
“I did. We need to get better and have some more but, yeah,” said Coughlin. “The play there at the end was nice, to be able to make a big play. You always like in the first preseason game to throw it down the field and run the ball. That was a good thing…That’s why were playing him a lot, because he’s a very serious young man who is a talented kid that needs to play. He didn’t get to play last year at all so he needs some time. As he does he’ll grow; he’ll get better.”