By now, head coach Ben McAdoo and the Giants are pretty sure what they have in Eli Manning, which is why Ryan Nassib got the start at quarterback in the preseason opener. Nassib was 7-15 for 75 yards and was picked off twice, fumbled once and was sacked four times in a 27-10 loss to the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on Friday night.
“I think overall as an offense, Ryan was right in line with everybody else tonight,” head coach Ben McAdoo said. “It was a sloppy performance.”
The offense was fine in the opening quarter as the Giants jumped out to a 10-0 lead.
“The first couple of drives we saw some glimpses of things that we can do well,” said running back Rashad Jennings, who ran for a three-yard touchdown. “We see that if we eliminate self-inflicted wounds, eliminate pre snap penalties, then we have a great chance of being a good offense, putting points on the board, putting our defense in great spots and playing team football, but we have to take care [of our own mistakes] first.”
The touchdown run was an example of what the Giants power run game can be. “It was our power play,” center Weston Richburg said. “That’s what we want our identity to be, is running power and outside zone and inside zone, and being physical. It was good to see a touchdown on that play.”
While most New York sports fans were focused on the Alex Rodriguez farewell in the Bronx or the spiraling Mets falling under .500 with a loss to the Padres, the Giants game was delayed for nearly an hour due to severe weather.
The first quarter was as good as it would get for the Giants, who were shutout for the rest of the game while Miami scored 27 unanswered points. Nassib couldn’t replicate his opening quarter efficiency. Deep balls were under thrown as the Dolphins defense pressured Nassib.
“He was playing a little better with the first offensive line in there,” McAdoo said. “Then we started getting a little bit of pressure and some throws were coming up short.”
Now in his fourth year, Nassib will not have many chances to show what he can do which says more about Eli Manning’s durability than anything. The Giants have never needed an insurance policy for the healthy Manning. While the Packers of the 90s had Kurt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck and Mark Brunell buried behind Brett Favre, Giants backups have included David Carr, Jim Sorgi and Curtis Painter. (Both Sorgi and Painter backed up Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.) If anything were to happen to Eli, the Giants have to ask themselves if they feel comfortable with Nassib as the next in line.