The New York Giants high-flying offense was nowhere to be found on Sunday night, as Eli Manning and company failed to find the end zone in their preseason home opener. Head coach Tom Coughlin was anything but pleased with Big Blue’s effort on the offensive side of the ball.
“I’m disappointed tonight, we didn’t make any plays,” admitted Coughlin. “Might have made one or two, but certainly nowhere near enough. You know, we had many opportunities and then didn't come away with anything; I thought we had two interceptions there on two touchdowns of theirs, and we were down in scoring territory a bunch of times and didn’t come away with touchdowns, so that continues to be an area of concern for us, for us all.”
The red zone, or green zone as Coughlin often refers to it, wasn’t kind to the Giants as they didn’t convert on four trips inside the 20-yard line. New York’s starting signal-caller admitted that the team’s struggles near the goal line are a bit disconcerting.
"I think obviously the red zone,” said Manning of the Giants main area for improvement. “ It’s something we’ve got to get better at. We had three opportunities with that first group of getting down there inside the five-yard line or near it and not get any touchdown .”
The Giants red zone struggles began on the opening drive of the contest when running back Andre Brown faced a 4th-and-1 from inside the Colts’ seven-yard line. Brown was stymied by an agile Indianapolis defensive front; setting the tone for the rest of the game.
“We didn’t get a 4th and 1. I kind of wish I had that play back, but we held onto the ball and protected it (well),” noted Brown. “The passion was good so it was great work today. I’m looking forward to next game so I can continue improving.”
Big Blue’s next game will be the third annual MetLife Bowl against the New York Jets. The Giants’ head coach wants his group to play with a chip on their shoulder moving forward.
“Well, let’s go prove what we are, who we are and what we have,” said Coughlin of his players not buying into the hype. “Instead of everybody telling us how good we are, let’s go prove something.”
Wide receiver Victor Cruz left Sunday’s game with a bruised heel and is expected to be reevaluated by the Giants’ training staff this week. Initial X-rays were negative, but Cruz did not return to action following the first quarter injury.
Center David Baas sprained his knee on the second play from scrimmage and X-rays were negative. Baas also missed the remainder of Sunday’s preseason contest and no timetable has been set for his return.