Giants have work to do on new-look offense

Andre Williams
Andre Williams was a standout in his first game with New York.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants officially kicked off the exhibition season with a 17-13 win over the Bills in the Hall of Fame Game. And while they were able to get a jumpstart on every other team, it also showed Big Blue needs some work.

Atop their checklist is fine-tuning the new-look offense that looked spotty at best. Quarterback Eli Manning went 6-of-7 with 43 yards and a lost fumble on a sack. Although Manning had a quarterback rating over 92 and only missed one target — which was actually a dropped pass by wideout Jerrel Jernigan — the veteran signal-caller spent a lot of time getting guys in the right position before the snap and oversaw a unit that at times suffered through quicker-than-desired series, including a three-and-out on the opening possession and the fumble on the next.

There were naturally some highlights for the Giants, particularly from their younger players, including a solid performance for rookie running back Andre Williams, who had 48 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and rookie wideout Corey Washington, who had the go-ahead touchdown on a 73-yard reception from backup Ryan Nassib.

But ultimately, head coach Tom Coughlin acknowledged his new uptempo offense will need to show him more.

“The quarterback rating was very high and the [completion] percentage was very high, as there was a correlation between that efficiency and the running game,” said Coughlin. “But we didn’t really throw it many times. When we get a little better with our pass protection, we’ll be able to take advantage of the downfield passing more.”

The passing game is still a work in progress, but Coughlin did acknowledge the running game was more impressive. The tandem of veteran Rashard Jennings and Williams looked strong, whether they were running between the tackles or accelerating to the edges off-tackle. There were times when the lanes were clogged up, but the duo still managed to grind out positive yards.

Such an effort wasn’t lost on the coach — particularly with the neophyte runner.

“He ran with speed and power and seemed to hit the hole well,” Coughlin said of Williams.

Overall, the Giants ran for 121 yards, with 71 yards coming from the Jennings-Williams tandem on just 14 total carries. Williams had the the biggest highlight when he raced around left end for 21 yards. The jaunt set up his touchdown.

While Manning and his wideouts will likely steal most of the headlines and accolades during the summer, Coughlin wanted to make sure the revamped running game gets its due, too.

“We’ve got five guys who can carry the ball and even some fullbacks, too,” said Coughlin. “We’ve been pleased with their efforts and execution so far and expect that to continue [because] like I said, it’s very important for us to have a deep and natural rotation at the running back position.”

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.


Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.


Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…


NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…


10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."


Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…


Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…


Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.


3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.


Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.


College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU


Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.


5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…


Are you a narcissist? We look at the…

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…


Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…


Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.