Giants’ rookies impress in pre-season openerWith running back David Wilson out indefinitely, rookie Andre Williams showed glimpses he can provide the New York Giants’ ground game some fresh legs.
The fourth-round draft pick and Heisman Trophy finalist out of Boston College had seven carries for 48 yards and scored on a 3-yard run in a 17-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game.
Rookie receiver Corey Washington scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 73-yard pass up the right sideline from backup Ryan Nassib with 13:18 remaining. Washington reached back to catch the partly under-thrown pass, then stepped around flat-footed defender Kamaal McIlwain.
Williams’ performance was encouraging for the Giants after Wilson sustained his second neck injury in less than a year during training camp.
Getting additional playing time as the No. 2 back behind newly acquired starter Rashad Jennings, Williams provided a 1-2 punch to the Giants’ new-look running game that was slowed by injuries last season. And the two took the pressure off quarterback Eli Manning.
Though Manning lost a fumble while being sacked on the second series, Williams helped bail out the offense on the third possession. He had five carries for 37 yards, which he capped with a strong run up the middle to put the Giants ahead 7-3 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Williams led the nation with 2,177 yards rushing last season, the fifth-highest total in NCAA history.
On Sunday, he showed great burst on a 21-yard gain off a sweep to the left to set up his score.
Manning finished 6 of 7 for 43 yards passing through three series, in unveiling a quick-tempo offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo.
“We didn’t get off to a great start,” Manning said, referring to his fumble. “The first game back, you’re going to work out some of the kinks. ... I thought there were some improvements. It was a good start.”