The New York Giants were trailing by 26 points in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s preseason contest against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Giants had been outgained and outplayed. Eli Manning and the starting offense looked lifeless and the defense emotionless. The final 15 minutes of play couldn’t count down fast enough.
Curtis Painter led the Giants on their first score of the game. Then the defense scored. And then Ryan Nassib happened.
The second-year pro entered the game and led the Giants on two touchdown drives in last eight minutes of the game as New York defeated Indianapolis, 27-26, at the Lucas Oil Stadium.
Nassib completed 11-of-15 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown in the victory. With 2:34 seconds remaining in the game, the Syracuse alum marched the Giants on a nine-play, 86-yard game-winning drive, including overcoming a 4th-and-16 situation with a 26-yard pass to tight end Adrien Robinson. With 59 seconds left, Nassib hit Corey Washington for a 4-yard game-winning touchdown. It was Washington’s third-straight game-winning grab.
While Nassib’s connection capped an overall wild night, there was no hiding an otherwise treacherous performance from the Giants starters. Manning struggled again completing just 1-of-7 passes for a measly six yards. Running backs Andre Williams and Rashad Jennings combined for 36 yards on 15 carries and receivers Rueben Randle and Victor Cruz went catchless.
“Whatever words you want to describe it,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said, “there’s no production.”
Manning and the starters managed to extend one drive past three plays, picking up two first downs via penalties. Cruz fumbled on the drive and Manning threw an interception but both were negated via defensive holding calls.
Defensively, the Giants starters didn’t fare much better. After forcing a Colts punt on the first drive of the game, Andrew Luck led Indianapolis on three-straight scoring drives highlighted by a five-yard touchdown pass to Griff Whalen.
Luck finished 12-of-18 for 89 yards. Matt Hasselbeck and Chandler Harnish followed Luck and combined to complete 15-of-31 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown.
“It wasn’t impressive at all,” Coughlin said. “We didn’t get a whole lot done. There’s nothing to look at form a production standpoint.”
Former Giant Hakeem Nicks, who signed with the Colts as a free agent this offseason, spent Saturday evening making a mockery of the Giants secondary. The former first-round pick caught five passes for 53 yards in the first quarter. Nicks had a 39-yard reception negated after taunting the Giants bench.
Following the game, Nicks was asked if this game meant more than another preseason game:
“Uh, yeah,” he said.
In the game, the Giants lost Prince Amukamara (groin), Markus Kuhn (elbow), Charles Brown (shoulder) and Cooper Taylor (toe) to injuries. Taylor was seen leaving the X-ray room following the game on crutches and a walking boot. Amukamara said he didn’t believe his groin injury was serious and Coughlin indicated Kuhn would be fine.
The Giants will have off tomorrow before returning to practice on Monday.
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 17, 2014