EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Tom Coughlin's offense is sputtering, his patience is beginning to run out and there isn't much time left to get things fixed.
"We got some work to do on the offensive side of the ball," the New York Giants' coach said Saturday night, after a 24-21 overtime loss to the New York Jets. "Whatever is going on, we got to solve it and solve it fast. We don't have much time. We only have a couple of practice days this week."
Coughlin said he likely will stick to his normal plan of not playing his starters much in the fourth preseason game, against the Patriots on Thursday. But he did say "we'll see."
In the biggest dress rehearsal of the preseason for the starters, Eli Manning and the offense struggled. David Wilson opened the game with an 84-yard touchdown run on the left side of the line. Take away that big run and the Giants gained just 55 yards rushing the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, Manning completed just 8 of 20 passes for 83 yards. The offense failed to punch the ball in the red zone again despite having a first-and-goal at the Jets' 4. Andre Brown was stuffed on a third-and-goal at the 2 despite the Giants using four tight ends in a big package. On fourth-and-goal, Manning failed to connect with Hakeem Nicks on a fade in the corner of the end zone.
"I choose to go for it, which means I am putting confidence in them," Coughlin said of the fourth-down play.
The Giants' starters also had a first-and-10 at the Jets' 23 off of Stevie Brown's interception, but gained only 1 yard before settling for a field goal. In the previous preseason loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Giants had the ball four times at the Colts' 12 or better and failed to score a touchdown.
Manning also had to play behind a revamped offensive line, which included Jim Cordle at center and Justin Pugh at right tackle due to injuries to David Baas (MCL) and David Diehl (thumb). The line had some communication issues and clearly needs more time together.
Credit the Jets' defense as well.
"It's tough when I'm covered and the guards are covered and then we still got to see linebackers and they're twisting," said Cordle, who could be seen communicating regularly with Chris Snee on the line. "That's hard. We picked up a lot of it, but some of it gave us some trouble and a couple of times it was stuff that I haven't seen. But most of it we had seen. It was just we got to react a little bit faster."
"We had two plays where we just miscommunicated," Cordle added. "I wasn't sure which way we were going and the guy came through clean."
Cordle said he's confident the Giants will get things straightened out. They don't have much time before they travel to Dallas for the opener on Sept. 8.