When the New York Giants drafted David Wilson in the first round last April they were hoping his speed and play-making ability would make a difference in their offense. It is hard to imagine they could have expected results like they got Sunday in a 52-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints.
Wilson set a single-game franchise record with 327 yards of total offense. He had 227 on kickoff returns, including a 97-yard return for a touchdown. He scored touchdowns on runs of 6 and 52 yards, and totaled 100 yards rushing on 13 carries.That's three back flips, and three times the Giants cringed and wished he would stop doing that to celebrate scores. Sunday, though, they needed every one of them.
Until Sunday Wilson's opportunities had been limited. Wilson fumbled in the opening game of the season and his carries have been infrequent since. After Sunday's performance it seems unlikely that will be the case any longer.
To come out and have a breakout game like this it's an excellent feeling," Wilson said. "I didn't have the greatest start for a rookie, and rookies have little room for error. I was put in position where I had to gain the coaches trust again, I stuck with it and kept working. I knew eventually my opportunity would come again."
When it did, in a game that was an absolute shootout with the Saints until the final few minutes, Wilson took full advantage.
Wilson said that during the week he could sense that the Giants might have some opportunities in the run game. He said that coach Tom Quinn, rather than give him an assignment sheet as he usually does, just told him to "run fast." Obviously, he did.
The Giants 287 yards in kickoff return was a single-game franchise record. The Giants also have now established a franchise record for kickoff return yardage in a season, almost exclusively Wilson's doing.
"I don't know what took him so long," said defensive end Justin Tuck. "He's probably the best athlete on this team.
'You saw flashes of it early in the year. Tonight he was amazing. Now it's on tape, we're going to expect that from him every game."