Victor Cruz is back but his return to the field may not be enough for the New York Giants offense, a unit that struggled on Saturday night in a 21-20 win over the New York Jets.
While Cruz returned after missing last year due to injuries, it was the play of the entire offense that was discouraging. Moving the ball down the field was nonexistent.
The entire Giants starting offense was terrible, managing just 61 yards of total offense, a troubling number. Even more of an issue and perhaps related to the issues of the team moving the ball was the play of the offensive line.
Quarterback Eli Manning was hit hard and hit often, marking a third straight preseason game where the Pro Bowl under center was left exposed by the offensive line. Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said that the offensive line “needs to clean some things up.”
The offensive line was the one area of need the Giants didn’t address this offseason.
“The starting offense, it was tough sledding tonight early on,” McAdoo said. “We have some work to do, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to get it fixed.”
Cruz finished with a single catch for four yards in what was his preseason debut.
Of especial worry for the Giants was the lack of a ground game (just 39 rushing yards) and just 1-for-13 on third down. All part of just 163 yards of total offense.
It is a lethargic way to limp into the regular with this week’s preseason game expected to feature very few starters on either side of the ball.
“I'm disappointed. Disappointed that we didn’t get more going, move the ball better than we did,” Manning said. “We just got to figure out a way to get completions, move the ball, get into a better rhythm than we did tonight. But that’s what the preseason is for, to figure out these things.”