New York Football Giants: Weston Richburg and Justin Pugh spearhead effective ground game against Cowboys.
After suffering through the pre-season's slings and arrows of outrageous media, the Giants offensive line put their best foot forward.
We shall see as we move forward whether Sunday's ground performance is a sign of things to come.
Center Weston Richburg and left tackle Justin Pugh are easily the Giants best two linemen. It is no coincidence, then, the Giants did the majority of their rushing behind them.
Rushing 12 times for 58 yards behind Richburg, the Giants averaged 4.8 yards up the middle. Rushing nine times for 38 yards running left with Pugh, they averaged 4.2 yards per carry. Along with guard Ereck Flowers, the center/left side of the line opened up 96 yards of daylight over 21 carries.
The caveat ... Dallas defensive front seven is widely regarded as an inferior group.
Back to the Giants...
Will Beatty's return is a clear indication all is not well on the right side of the line presently manned by guard John Jerry and tackle Marshall Newhouse. Jerry did pull left on occasion with effectiveness against the Cowboys. Sunday's plan, however, only called for three rushes to the right side, albeit for 13 very positive yards.
Rewarding Rashad Jennings with the lion's share of carries paid off with 75 yards on 18 carries, for a 4.2 average. Shane Vereen gained 38 yards on six rushes, for a handsome 6.8 average.
Overall, averaging 4.7 yards on 24 carries for 113 yards is a nice way of kicking off the 2016 regular season.
Timing is Everything
Trailing 6-0 in the 2nd quarter, the Giants put their quick strike capabilities to work. Their touchdown drive during their second possession of the game required just four plays and shaved a mere 1:33 off the clock.
After which, the defense resumed their positions on the field.
Clinging to a 20-19 lead late in the fourth quarter, three straight running plays during the Giants final possession of the game caused Dallas to expend all three of their time outs.
In fact, Mike Sullivan elected to run on every play, handing off to Rashad Bradshaw seven times in all.
That's called controlling the ball and owning the clock.
So, to whom do I owe my little debt of gratitude for such a rushing effort? Coach McAdoo? First year Giants' offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan?
I will answer that next time.
Till then, thank you for the correction guys.