EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants made two changes to their starting offensive line Sunday night -- one out of necessity, one not.
"I wanted to try and create some spark and be able to run the ball a little bit," Giants coach Tom Coughlin explained after the game. "In last week's game, there wasn't any run. I wanted to be able to have some balance to our offense, and if that's what it took, then so be it."
Geoff Schwartz, who was signed in the offseason to play left guard but missed the first 10 games due to a toe injury, made his Giants debut at right tackle Sunday in place of the injured Justin Pugh. We had a sense during the week that they'd do that. But in a mild surprise, the Giants also benched rookie Weston Richburg, who'd started the first 10 games at left guard, and replaced him with veteran Adam Snyder.
"Me and Snyder and some veteran guys, we've done this before where we've had to fill in at certain times," Schwartz said. "I thought our effort was good."
The line endured change during the game as well. Snyder had to leave with a knee injury and was replaced by Richburg. And during the fourth-quarter drive that led to the go-ahead Giants touchdown, left tackle Will Beatty had to leave due to an eye injury and was replaced by James Brewer. Beatty returned to the game, Snyder didn't, and it's hard to know for sure what the Giants will do going forward. Pugh could return from his quadriceps injury next week and move Schwartz back to guard. But they could stay with Snyder at left guard if he's able to bounce back and use Schwartz at right guard in place of John Jerry, who's struggled as well. Schwartz is versatile like that and willing to play anywhere.
The only thing that's certain is that this will remain flux, and that the Giants will need to do some more work on the line when the offseason rolls around. Again.
As for that run game... meh. The Giants ran for 89 yards on 32 carries, a pitiful average of 2.8. Starter Rashad Jennings had 52 yards on 19 carries, and rookie Andre Williams had 35 yards on 10 carries. The two alternated drives in the first half, but Coughlin said that wasn't necessarily the plan -- that he planned to play both of them and that's the way it worked out in the first half. The Giants ran 74 offensive plays in the game, so there was plenty of opportunity for multiple backs. Jennings got 12 carries in the second half while Williams only got one.