It may not have been too pretty out of the gate, but the new-look New York Giants offense finally showed a little something during the final 2:00 of the first half on Friday night against the New York Jets, as they proceeded to drive the ball 91-yards down the field, capping it off with an 15-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Rueben Randle.
While many concerns still linger, it was the first real example of what Ben McAdoo's West Coast-style offense is supposed to look like when functioning. And after the game, head coach Tom Coughlin called it "progress" and said he felt somewhat encouraged by what he saw.
"I think it was progress. I definitely do," Coughlin said. "I thought we ran the ball early on and I thought that Jennings did a nice job with that. I thought that we blocked the run pretty well. It was inconsistent, which I think the Jets’ defense is very good at shutting down what you’ve just done. And then with the two-minute drive, we did advance the ball with the pass. I think it’s a good step."
The real key to that drive was solid play from the offensive line, which looked completely overmatched and confused for the first 28 minutes of the game. And while he couldn't pinpoint exactly who did what right without looking at the tape, Coughlin acknowledged that 180 was the reason for their success on that specific drive.
"Well, obviously somebody is doing a pretty good job. We did eventually move the ball. I’m going to have to look at the tape to tell you exactly what my thoughts are on that, but I would say for the most part I think that people got a little bit better today," Coughlin said.
From a statistical standpoint, it was a tremendous turnaround for the Giants offense. On that drive alone, quarterback Eli Manning eclipsed all of his preseason stats combined, ultimately finishing the game 12/21 for 139 yards and a touchdown. But in addition to better offensive line play, the flashes of success can also be attributed to wide receiver Victor Cruz, who broke out of his preseason-long slump with four receptions for 61 yards.
It may not have been everything the Giants and their fans were hoping for, but at least it's something. A positive is a positive and it finally gives Big Blue something to build off of.
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