NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Rashad Jennings worked out prior to the game, and his sprained right ankle held up well enough for the Giants to let him play in Sunday's 36-7 victory over the Titans. But they knew he couldn't play much, so they listed rookie Andre Williams as the starting running back and Jennings offered a pep talk.
"I told him before the game, 'This is your breakout game,'" Jennings said.
"I felt really calm today," Williams said after the game. "I can't really put my finger on what it was, but I just felt calm today."
The result was a 24-carry, 131-yard performance in the Giants' blowout victory over the team with the No. 32-ranked run defense in the league. And the high point was a three-play drive early in the third quarter that was all Andre.
The Giants took a 23-0 lead into the third quarter, and yes, some of the talk in the locker room at halftime was about the 21-3 halftime lead they'd blown a week earlier in Jacksonville.
"I had occasion to mention that, yes," coach Tom Coughlin deadpanned.
So after the Titans went three-and-out to open the third quarter and the Giants got the ball back at their own 41, it was important to keep pouring it on. Or at least not lose a fumble that turned into a Tennessee touchdown. The first play was a handoff to Williams that picked up 4 yards and the second was a handoff to Williams that picked up 5. So it was third-and-1 from the 50-yard line, and Williams got the call that this play was to him as well.
"The defense looked a little gassed," Williams said. "I was a little gassed myself."
Which may be why this play almost never had a chance. Eli Manning took the snap and pitched it to Williams, who was running wide left. Williams bobbled the ball and took a second to corral it, which may have thrown off the timing of the defense just a little bit.
"He came up to me after the play and said, 'Big Bro, I almost dropped it!'" Jennings said.
But Williams collected the ball, and when he looked upfield ...
"All I saw was green grass and empty space to run."
He ran 50 yards for the touchdown that gave the Giants a 30-0 lead.