Giants' running game grounded, ranked last in the NFL
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) No one on the New York Giants likes talking about their running game. Seven games into the season, it's just not there.
The Giants (4-3) are ranked last in the NFL, averaging 70.3 yards. It's like running into a brick wall every play. It's 2 yards and a cloud of those rubber pellets on the artificial fields.
Coach Ben McAdoo and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan used the bye week to look at the offense and get the Giants ready for Sunday's NFC East rivalry game with the Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) at MetLife Stadium.
Everything was examined, from personnel groupings to who was out on the field.
''So, really just a kind of a thorough check under the hood to see how we can solve some of those problems,'' Sullivan said Thursday.
Rashad Jennings has carried the load in recent weeks, but there is a feeling that the coaches are considering giving rookie Paul Perkins more carries.
There is little that can be done with the line. Starting right tackle Marshall Newhouse has been bothered by a calf injury for weeks and it seems Bobby Hart will continue to start. There isn't much depth on the line, so don't expect personnel changes.
''We just have to put one foot in front of the other,'' Jennings said . ''It's not rocket science. We have to be physical in the run game and I say as a running back it starts with me to grind for ugly yards and keep hitting it downhill, and eventually we'll have our moments where our moments will come.''
There have not been many moments so far.
New York has rushed the ball 147 times this season for 492 yards, a 3.3 yard average. Shane Vereen, who is now on injured reserve with a triceps muscle injury, had the longest run at 25 yards.
There also have not been a lot of holes for the running backs.
''We were able to do some good things early on in the season,'' left guard Justin Pugh said. ''We have to continue to be multiple and get the job done. That's on us up front, making sure we get the job done.''
Center Weston Richburg believes the line just has to execute better. He insists the communication is there and there have been times that the difference between a big play and a stop was a matter of inches.
''We just have to pay attention to our details,'' Richburg said . ''That will make the difference between a big run and not. You have to continue to work each and every week on our little details. Technique, aiming points, things like that. That will help us spring big runs. We're not just going to give up and say, `it's never going to happen.' We're going to continue going, continue chopping at the wood, and it will open up.''
Perkins, the team's fifth-round draft pick this spring, gives the Giants a back who is versatile. He is averaging 3.9 yards on 10 carries and has caught six passes for 105 yards, a 17.5 yard average.
He believes the changes will help the running game.
''I wouldn't be surprised if all of us ran for 1,000 yards,'' Perkins said. ''The offensive line does a tremendous job, day-in, day-out, so I am looking forward to what they will do this weekend.''
NOTES: Rookie S Darian Thompson was back in a boot Thursday and did not practice. He will be examined on Tuesday by a foot specialist. ... S Nat Berhe remains in the concussion protocol, so free agent Andrew Adams probably will start again Sunday. ... DE Olivier Vernon says his injured wrist is getting better. ''As long as we are getting wins, that's all I care about,'' he said. ... Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has been impressed by Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz. ''I'll give you one thing that impressed me right off the bat: He throws the ball as good going left as I have ever seen a right-handed quarterback do it.''
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