For the first time since Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants returned to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. However, unlike Super Bowl XLVI, their first-team performance against the Indianapolis Colts was very forgettable — as in, they wish they could forget it. Unfortunately for the players — at least the first and second stringers — that's not going to happen and their poor play will be relived multiple times beginning as early as Monday morning.
With two preseason games already under their belt, Ben McAdoo and the new-look Giants offense installed their "full offense" against the Colts, which saw several new and unique formations. What it didn't see was a single level of success, as they went three-and-out to start the game — something that set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Quarterback Eli Manning looked erratic and uncomfortable, the offensive line looked eerily similar to the 2013 version, wide receivers and tight ends couldn't hang onto the ball when it actually got to them, while penalties and turnovers really hurt the team both on offense and Special Teams. All told, Manning completed only one of his seven pass attempts, while Curtis Painter went one-for-five prior to the end of the half.
By halftime, the Giants had managed only 48 total yards with an average of 1.8 yards per play.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, the defense didn't fare much better, surrendering 177 total yards and two touchdowns in the first half. Their supremely talented secondary was torched to the rune of 18 or 29 for 135 yards, including five receptions and 53 yards for former Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Of course, those numbers could have been far worse had Nicks not taunted Trumaine McBride, costing him a 30+ yard reception.
The second half started much the way the first half ended. The Giants offense struggled mightily, Special Teams coverage was suspect and the defense bent before eventually breaking. But the big stories were the injuries that began to pile up rapidly. Safety Quintin Demps (leg), offensive lineman Charles Brown (shoulder), defensive tackle Markus Kuhn (elbow) and safety Cooper Taylor (toe) all went down with injury, and the latter three would not return to the game. Of the group, Kuhn was sent for x-rays, while Taylor got a ride on the cart.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara also left the game in the first half with what the team called a "strained groin."
Back on the field, it took the Giants until just about 10:00 remaining in the fourth quarter before they finally put some points on the board as Curtis Painter hit tight end Kellen Davis for a touchdown. Less than 30 seconds later, the Giants defense forced a fumble that was recovered in the endzone, narrowing the score to 26-14.
The Giants would pull even closer with under 4:00 remaining in the game as quarterback Ryan Nassib rebounded from his poor play in recent weeks. He led the Giants on a 92-yard drive to bring the score within 26-21 and a quick defense stop gave them an entirely unexpected chance to the comeback win.
Nassib would, again, drive the Giants right down the field with help from tight end Adrien Robinson — yes, Adrien Robinson — who pulled down two huge catches for first downs. The drive would then be capped with a touchdown pass to, who else, but Corey Washington who out-jumped his defender.
The Giants would go for two, but fail to convert, allowing the Colts one last opportunity to win it.
Although a sloppy series, Indianapolis would work their way to the fringe of field goal range where they'd allow Pat McAfee to attempt a 64-yard field goal. Surprisingly, the kicker with a big leg came closer than expected, but ultimately, it would fall short, allowing the Giants to secure a shocking win after trailing 26-0 in the 4th quarter.
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Tags: Adrien Robinson, Ben McAdoo, Charles Brown, Cooper Taylor, Corey Washington, Curtis Painter, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Indianapolis, Indianapolis Colts, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Trumaine McBride