NFL Wire News

Giants’ offense finally finds identity, equilibrium

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J. — When the Giants hired offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, the coaching staff set out on a mission to establish an offensive identity, which was lost under former coordinator Kevin Gilbride.

It took some time, but McAdoo’s vision of playing smart, fundamentally sound football finally seems to be taking shape.

“We definitely, based on yesterday, we are on track, let’s put it that way,” coach Tom Coughlin said of the team’s 37-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams. “We did a lot of good things.”

The good things included a balance of run of pass that ended up with 32 pass attempts and 34 rushes; zero turnovers; one sack allowed; three 100-yard gainers (two receivers and one running back); and, perhaps most important of all, the offensive line imposing its will against a stingy Rams defensive front in the pit.

“I think we know what we want and we know how we want to play and how we have to play,” Coughlin said. “We did some very good things (Sunday) and the idea is to be able to consistently continue that, to be able to recognize the quality.”

With one game left, Coughlin hopes the days in which the offense was still trying to find its groove are permanently in the rearview mirror.

“We want more, we want more,” he said, referencing the production they have gotten not just against the Rams, but over the last three weeks as well.

After three straight wins may have salvaged Coughlin’s job, the Giants end their otherwise disappointing season Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

NOTES: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the only player known to suffer an injury in the game. Rodgers-Cromartie was stricken by a burner in the second half, which forced him out of the game, but coach Tom Coughlin did not have any update on Rodgers-Cromartie or any other injured player for that matter.

REPORT CARD VS. RAMS

–PASSING OFFENSE: A – Quarterback Eli Manning had his best game of the season, completing 25 of 32 passes for a season-high 78.1 percent completion rate, and 391 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His pass protection was simply superb as was the production he got from both Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle, who had 148 and 132 receiving yards respectfully.

–RUSHING OFFENSE: A – Andre Williams picked up his second 100-yard rushing game this season, showing much more patience in letting the holes open up for him. New York also might have found their third-down back of the future in youngster Orleans Darkwa, who added 21 yards to the Giants’ 128 rushing yards, and who had the lone rushing touchdown for them.

–PASS DEFENSE: C – The Giants managed two sacks and five hits, but the two interceptions by cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that were wiped off the board due to penalties really hurt. Still, given that the Rams passing offense won’t be mistaken for a top unit any time soon this season, New York could have done more to get after quarterback Shaun Hill, who finished 24 of 32 for 290 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

–RUSH DEFENSE: B – Although the Giants did allow 106 rushing yards, they still did a nice job in bottling up Tre Mason, the Rams’ shifty back, and Zac Stacy, their big bruiser, keeping both to just 82 yards on 15 carries. There were a couple of long runs, the 16-yarder by Mason and a 19-yarder by receiver Tavon Austin, but otherwise the Rams’ running game wasn’t much of factor thanks to the solid gap control and discipline showed by the Giants against the run.

–SPECIAL TEAMS: C – While the special teams performance didn’t hurt the team, it didn’t help much either. Punter Steve Weatherford sent all of his punts down the middle of the field, a risky proposition when dealing with a dangerous returner like Tavon Austin. The gunners didn’t do much against double teams, and the unit also drew a couple of personal fouls, including one against kicker Josh Brown, in the process. Speaking of Brown, he hit three out of four field goal attempts, including a 52-yarder.

–COACHING: A – Although the games don’t count for anything, credit head coach Tom Coughlin and the coaching staff for not only keeping the team focused and, for the most part, disciplined every week, but also for doing a solid job in harnessing the talents of younger players such as defensive end Kerry Wynn, running back Orleans Darkwa and safety Nat Berhe, all of whom made key contributions in the win. Coughlin also praised offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo for achieving balance in the game plan, as the Giants finished with 34 runs and 32 passes.


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