Sunday, August 10, 2014
A quiet night for Eli Manning
By Dan Graziano ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants wanted quarterback Eli Manning to play about as many plays (16) or more Saturday night than he did in their first preseason game. He did not.
Manning was in the game for four offensive series but only 12 plays. He threw two passes and completed neither of them. He did not get as much work as they'd hoped he would, but his explanation for that was basically that it happens that way sometimes.
"We just had limited opportunities," Manning said. "So I think we'll try to learn from it and understand that it's the preseason and not everything is going to be perfect. We definitely have some stuff to look at and get better on a few things."
Manning opened the game with an incomplete pass to Jerrel Jernigan. The next play was a 3-yard Rashad Jennings run, then an offsides penalty cut a third-and-7 to third-and-2 but the third-down pass to Larry Donnell fell incomplete and they punted.
Surely, at that point, Manning believed he'd throw at least one more pass.
But the second possession was brief, as Jennings ran 73 yards for a touchdown on the first play. When the Giants got the ball back for their third offensive series, Manning was sacked for a loss of eight yards on first down and was all of a sudden backed up on the 4-yard line. At that point, and at that spot on the field, they didn't want to take any chances, so they ran it twice with Jennings and punted again.
On the fourth possession, the Giants opened with a run and got called for two holding penalties and a false start, which put them in second-and-28 from their own 11. Again, conservative runs to avoid disaster were the plays of choice.
Manning did switch the call at the line to a run play on Jennings' long touchdown run, which was a good play for him even though it doesn't go on his stats. He saw a double-team on the left side of his line and called a play that brought right guard Brandon Mosley around to pull. Mosley, left tackle Charles Brown and center J.D. Walton all delivered on their blocks and Jennings ran through a massive hole all the way to the end zone.
"It seems like we're getting good push, and whenever you have a running back break a long one for 70 yards or 80 yards, whatever it was, that's a great thing," Manning said. "Hopefully we can hit a few more of those and also be a little bit more consistent offensively."
As for that 0-for-2 stat line, it drew a patented Manning shrug.
"Preseason game? Yeah, I'm not totally shocked," Manning said. "Obviously, it's not the ideal situation, but when you only have two attempts, there's that possibility."
Manning is likely to see an increased number of snaps next Saturday night when the Giants play their third preseason game in Indianapolis against the Colts.