EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- David Wilson didn’t get much of an opportunity to redeem himself.
In fact, the New York Giants abandoned the run for the second straight game while trying to overcome a deficit. For the second game in a row, the Giants lost with their running game virtually non-existent.
The Giants rushed for 23 yards on 19 carries in a 41-23 loss to the Denver Broncos.
“Quite frankly, to not be able to run the ball, to have so few attempts at rushing the ball, it’s just not our style,” Tom Coughlin said. “We haven’t had a lot of success with it and to see that ball thrown that many times, and some of the results, are very difficult to explain.”
After being benched for losing two fumbles in the season opening loss at Dallas, Wilson got the start but only received seven carries. He rushed for 17 yards and often was on the sideline as Brandon Jacobs or Da'Rel Scott took turns in the backfield.
Jacobs, who was the goal line back but also played on several drives as the lone back, gained four yards and one touchdown on seven carries. Scott, who had two yards on five carries but scored on a 23-yard touchdown catch, saw the majority of his snaps on passing downs.
It appears the Giants went with a running back-by-committee approach after Wilson’s season-opening debacle.
“They both basically had plays,” Coughlin said of Wilson and Jacobs. “And Da’Rel was pretty much the third-down guy. Brandon was to be the short-yardage, goal line guy. David had his special plays as well.”
But the Giants never got the running game going. Wilson clearly ran like a back trying to do everything he could to protect the ball. He often had both arms protecting the ball and never seemed to be able to get into a rhythm.
The closest he came to doing that was on the team’s second-to-last drive of the second quarter. Wilson gained six yards on the first carry of that drive. He then got two consecutive carries later in that drive for eight more yards before the Giants kicked a field goal to take a 9-7 lead. Wilson had all 17 of his yards at halftime and saw just one more carry in the second half.
“I don’t count the carries,” Wilson politely said when asked about his touches. “I just got out there and when I’m asked to make a play, execute.”
The Giants pulled to within 17-16 with 3:08 left in the third quarter on a Jacobs’ 1-yard plunge. But they ran the ball a total of nine times in the second half as Denver pulled away and the Giants were forced to pass.
“We have to run the ball better,” Eli Manning said. “A lot of our runs early on weren’t getting much yardage, if not losing yardage. So we eventually said alright, we’re going to get into three and four-wide stuff and see if we can back them up and hopefully that would help the run game.”
Through two games, the Giants have rushed the ball a total of 33 times for 73 yards. That’s not going to get the job done.
“It's tough to win like that,” right guard Chris Snee said. “It's tough to win when you're one-dimensional. We'll find a way to correct it.”
Wilson would like to get a shot at showing what he can do with double-digit carries.
“I quickly put that in the past behind me,” Wilson said of his disastrous opener. “And I was looking forward to getting on the field and just helping my team get the win. Now I look forward to getting back next week with the same anticipation toward getting that first win.”