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Offense? What offense? Giants struggling to find a groove

Eli Manning goes 0-for-2 as Giants' first-team offense continues to look for rhythm in new system.

Eli Manning is sacked by the Steelers Saturday night.
Eli Manning is sacked by the Steelers Saturday night.

The New York Giants made massive changes in the offseason after co-owner John Mara declared the team's offense to be "broken." A new offensive coordinator, an entirely new offensive coaching staff, a new offensive line, new running backs, new tight ends and a wide receiver drafted in the first round.

The results so far? Well, through two preseason games the new offense looks a lot like the old offense. Not very good.

Saturday night the Giants' first-team offense played four series. There was one spectacular play, a well-blocked 73-yard touchdown run right up the middle of the Pittsburgh Steelers defense by running back Rashad Jennings. Other than that? A whole lot of nothing? Or, more precisely, maybe a little bit of nothing. In those four series, the Giants ran only 11 plays and generated only one first down. Manning went 0-for-2 and was sacked once.

It wasn't pretty. Giants fans watching the game must have been mortified when new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo resorted to the shotgun draw -- a Kevin Gilbride staple -- on a couple of third-down-and-we-aren't-in-the-same-zip-code situations.

Still, Manning remains confident that the Giants are on the right track.

"I feel very confident in the offense, in our ability," Manning said. "It is preseason and we're not putting everything out there, but I think over these next weeks we'll start to get a little bit more and be a little bit more aggressive and see if we can make some plays."

The Giants' first-team offense played three series against the Buffalo Bills in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. They had a three-and-out and a Manning fumble before putting together an 80-yard touchdown march against Buffalo's defensive reserves.

One of the issues is that the rebuilt offensive line, with left tackle Will Beatty still being held out, is still searching for cohesiveness. Head coach Tom Coughlin left the starting offensive line in the game until the two-minute warning in the first half.

"Those people need to play," Coughlin said. "They need to work together, they need to communicate. The idea of a set lineup is really not there. They need to play."

Overall, what did Coughlin think?

"I liked to see the 73-yard touchdown run, that was fun," Coughlin said. "I wish I had seen more of 'em."