The New York Giants took to the field on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Easily the most interesting angle of this game would be the new scheme that offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo brought with him from the Green Bay Packers. How would Eli Manning and the rest of the gang fare? Well, let's hit on a few points:
The first thing to look at is how fast the Giants got their plays off and the pace that they kept. I was borderline blown away at the speed. Remember when Kevin Gilbride was here and Manning was good for a solid two to three delay of games each games? A thing of the past. The Giants got off each play with around 12 to 13 seconds left on the play clock. That is outstanding. They ran a few no-huddle snaps as well, a welcome departure from the prior scheme. If the Giants get this many plays in over the course of the season we could be looking at a strong time of possession.
The Offensive Line Needs Some Practice
One takeaway that many will have after this game is the uninspired performance of the offensive line against the first team Buffalo Bills defense. That's definitely true. I'm willing to give them a bit of rope here, however. For starters, Will Beatty was not playing, and in his place was Charles Brown. We also have to keep in mind that this is the first "live fire" these players have with each other. The key to a strong offensive line is chemistry, and these guys are playing with each other in this combination for the first time.
I'm not concerned with the state of the offensive line just yet. They seemed to get better as game went on. They dominated the second- team Buffalo defense, and while that isn't something to beat your chest about, it shows that they are making progress. I'll show concern for this unit if they don't show any signs of progress as the preseason carries on. Still four games left. What helps is how quickly McAdoo wants the ball out of the QB's hands. That will help the line tremendously.
On another note, with the second-team offensive line, Weston Richburg stood out. At least one pancake and gave up no pressures as an impenetrable wall. His chances of starting on this team are higher than one might think.
Draft A Giants Running Back in Fantasy This Year
I think our Fantasy Football guru Dennis Esser might be inclined to agree with me this year. Manning targeted Rashad Jennings early and often as he showcased the new, shorter passing game. He completed 6 of 7 passes he attempted this game and Jennings got three of them. Eli Manning's completion percentage? 85.7 percent. This is the new -ook offense, folks -- three completions to a RB, two to a TE, and one to a WR.
That being said, I liked what I saw. Good, short, high-percentage passes that were, for the most part, safe. That's good. Safe = good. Interceptions = bad.
Young Guys Stepping Up
Some of the young guys on offense showed some spark. Ryan Nassib, for the most part, had a good night. He had a few hairy moments in the third quarter, but he sparkled in the second. He also had the bomb to Corey Washington. It was a bit underthrown, but he overall had a decent night.
Speaking of Washington, there's a legitimate battle between he and Marcus Harris for a roster spot on the team. Harris showed off his speed and route running skills as he was cleaning up the middle for a lot of the game, while Washington had that one monstrous play. It's hard for me, personally, to not give this battle to Washington. We all know what 6-foot-4, 214 pound 4.45 speed can do on the edge.
I already talked about Richburg, but he bears mentioning again. He's a bad, bad man. Finally, Andre Williams got some carries and, well, he made everybody watching wonder why he lasted until the fourth round. He was decisive and powerful. We knew that already. What surprised me, however, was how quickly he got to the edge. Didn't see that in college.
So far, the install is going as planned. This was the opening game, and to be honest, I was expecting a much sloppier affair. That was apparent on the first play when nobody knew how to lineup, but after that, it was surprisingly smooth. There were only two turnovers by my count, an Eli Manning fumble (c'mon man!) and a Ryan Nassib interception (awful, didn't even see the LB) that was taken away due to a roughing the passer. Other than that, it was efficient and effective. I came out of this game more hopeful than ever about what might be possible, and that's without even first-round pick Odell Beckham Jr.