I’m Sorry Wilson: Shield your eyes

Welcome back to the first edition of I’m Sorry Wilson of the 2014 season.  While David Wilson is no longer a member of the Giants, we at NY Giants Rush decided to keep the title in his honor.

Whenever a team loses by three touchdowns during the first week of the season as the Giants did on Monday Night Football, fans tend to overreact.  Are the Giants going to be a playoff contender this year? Probably not, but they are not as bad as they seemed falling miserably to the Detroit Lions.

The main problem last year was the main problem once again in Week 1 this year – the putrid play of the offensive line.  Despite GM Jerry Reese’s attempts to bolster the Giants weakest point through free agency and the draft, the line faltered once again, and the team got pulverized as a result.

Of course there’s the usual lack of protection, not allowing Eli Manning to progress through his reads as well as if he had a semi-competent line in front of him; the drives that go nowhere forcing the defense on the field for longer periods of time, wearing them down making it all easier for Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and the rest of the Lions offense to march the ball up and down the field; and the inevitable result of not being able to establish any semblance of a running attack.  See the table below for the Giants’ rushing stats from Week 1.

Rushes Yards EYAR TDs DVOA
Rashad Jennings 16 46 60 1 -11.7%
Andre Williams 5 9 5 0 -49.7%
Peyton Hillis 0 0 N/A 0 N/A
Team RB Totals 21 55 65 1 -37.0%

A full explanation of the advanced stats can be found at www.footballoutsiders.com.

All things considered Rashad Jennings really didn’t look terrific, but wasn’t the worst running back in the league.  He outperformed the likes of Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Giovanni Bernard and both Detroit backs – Reggie Bush and Joique Bell.

There end the positives.

Based off of Jennings’ previous work with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders, he is certainly capable of a better performance than the one we saw on Monday night.  Though with the Giants starting three new lineman up the middle and Will Beatty doing his best impression of a turnstile at left tackle, it’s hard to have him shoulder even a majority of the blame.

Andre Williams looked like a rookie fourth-round pick playing in his first NFL game.  He lived very nicely up to his billing: he bore a physical resemblance to Michael Turner, hit the hole with authority, and had a slow first step.

Oh yeah, Peyton Hillis is on the team as well but saw zero snaps.  Odd considering it’s not like Williams was a particularly effective change-of-pace back.  I’d have to imagine that Hillis did something in practice that brought about the wrath of Tom Coughlin or Ben McAdoo, because there is no other plausible explanation as to why he didn’t get on the field. None.

The good news in all of this is if the offensive line improves – and there is reason to think it will when it doesn’t have to compete with the vicious defensive line of the Detroit Lions and as they find their cohesion – the Giants offense might actually start to show some firepower.  This year should not be a repeat of 2013, the offensive trenches are not the hopeless pit of despair they were anymore.  The return of Geoff Schwartz off of injured reserve later in the season will only help things out.  If not, it’s going to be a long season.

Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist

Joe Vasile is a play-by-play broadcaster residing in Northern New Jersey.  He is the voice of Wilkes University Colonels football and men’s and women’s basketball.  He won the 2014 Coastal Plain League Broadcaster of the Year Award with the Fayetteville SwampDogs baseball team.


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