Giants fight offensive woes for third straight preseason game

Eli Manning and the Giants stumbled their way to another disappointing offensive performance Saturday. Credit: Getty Images
Eli Manning and the Giants stumbled their way to another disappointing offensive performance Saturday.
Credit: Getty Images

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin isn’t a happy man, and not just because Rex Ryan and his Jets won the MetLife Bowl on Saturday night. Rather it is how the team lost to their co-tenant.

The Giants extended their preseason offensive woes to three games, as the offense looked totally out of synch and unproductive in short-yardage situations.

“The one thing that’s very disappointing to me is where we are offensively,” Coughlin said. “And also the fact that we, in all three areas, we’re obviously not all doing what we need to do in order to give ourselves a chance to win. That’s my main concern.”

The Giants’ starters were an awful 1-of-8 on third-down conversions, including being stifled by the Jets’ defense on third-and-goal from the Jets’ 2-yard line with 1:52 remaining in the first half.

Coughlin said lack of execution has trumped a gap in communication along the reshuffled offensive line, and cryptically added his customary “We’ll see” when asked if even more changes are on the way.

The Giants have a short turnaround between Monday’s practice and their preseason finale Thursday night in New England. And while the regulars might not play long, or at all, Coughlin said they still need to get their act together before the season opens for real on Sept. 8 in Dallas.

“There’s no consistency whatsoever. Our offense has stuttered and we haven’t had much consistency,” Coughlin said. “We’ve got work to do on the offensive side of the ball. Whatever is going on, we’ve got to solve it and we’ve got to solve it fast. We don’t have much time. We’ve only got a couple practice days this week and then another game.”

Coughlin hinted they may experiment again with the line, saying “the opportunity will certainly be there this Thursday night.” It’s still unclear what he can do to aid chemistry and boost production, especially when the starters will likely sit out the Patriots game. Practices this week will be highly important.

The one aspect the Giants will pay extra attention to is the goal-line drill. The Jets not only stymied the Giants on that third-down run in the red zone, but they also kept the Giants out of the end zone from inside their own 5-yard line and forced a turnover on downs when Eli Manning couldn’t connect with wideout Hakeem Nicks on a fade route.

“I don’t know as much if it’s miscommunication as it’s been a lack of execution. We didn’t dominate the line of scrimmage and we certainly weren’t able to just power the ball in. I take full responsibility for that,” Coughlin said, adding there’s some trepidation within their facilities on all facets, and not just with the offense. “There isn’t anything that I’m not concerned with.”

Big Blue notes …

» Safety Antrel Rolle (ankle) will practice this week. He and Ryan Mundy are now considered the starters with Stevie Brown out for the season. Coughlin also said he wants to see more from young safeties like Tyler Sash and something — anything — from rookie Cooper Taylor.

» All wasn’t lost for the Giants in their Saturday night defeat, as Coughlin praised kicker Josh Brown for his 4-of-5 field goal performance. “We continue to be impressed by Josh Brown on his kickoffs and field goals as well,” Coughlin said.

» The Giants made their first wave of cuts, as mandated by the league, from 90 to 75. While most of the cuts weren’t too surprising, one name on the cut list might’ve raised an eyebrow considering his once-lofty pedigree: former first-round pick linebacker Aaron Curry. The former Seahawk and Raider was on a one-year deal and his cap hit will only be about $65,000. Curry was passed on the depth chart by Kyle Bosworth, who has been turning heads during camp and the preseason.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.


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