But after giving his receivers time to get open, Nassib zipped a pass down the middle to tight end Adrien Robinson for a 26-yard completion. That combination clicked again on the next play for 33 yards to the Indianapolis 19-yard line. After a 15-yard pass interference penalty on the Colts, Nassib floated the game-winning touchdown pass to rookie receiver Corey Washington, giving the Giants an improbable one-point victory after they trailed in the fourth quarter, 26-0.
“I knew we had to get the ball downfield a bit,” Nassib said today. “It was kind of in the back of my mind, ‘If I don’t get something right now, I might have to scramble and create an opportunity.’ Adrien ran a great route and we were able to connect and convert.”
The play revealed a lot about Nassib. First, he has the elusiveness to escape pass rushers and extend a play. And two, he was not going to be affected by the events of last week, when Curtis Painter moved up to become the No. 2 quarterback and Nassib dropped to third string.
“It was coach’s decision,” Nassib said of head coach Tom Coughlin. “It is what it is. I just took it like, ‘OK, the reps I do get, I have to make sure I do them to the best of my ability and try to complete every pass.’ I did get my chance and tried to make the most of it.”
He certainly did that. Nassib completed 11 of 15 passes for 158 yards in the game and this week has again taken snaps with the second team.
Coughlin was also impressed with the play of the reserves and the comeback they executed – and with Nassib.
“He was gutsy, he was competitive,” Coughlin said. “The way he hung in there, he gave us a little bit of, as I said the other day and again I’m repeating, he moved a little bit in the pocket, which is something that normally is not associated with us. And so the threat of him coming out of there, I think, helped us. And then when he did step up in the pocket, he made some nice plays down the field.”
Nassib is not a running quarterback. In four years at Syracuse, he rushed for 168 yards – on 242 carries, an average of 0.69 yards per attempt. He did rip off a 45-yard run in 2010.
“I never look to run,” Nassib said. “If I have a clean pocket, I’ll stay in there, but if I feel it’s going to be something collapsing or my time clock starting to tick, that internal clock I have, then I’m not afraid to get up and out and extend the play if need be.”
Simply biding his time can be a big asset on the field.
“Coach (Ben) McAdoo (the offensive coordinator) has always emphasized that big plays can happen if you can scramble and get out of the pocket,” Nassib said. “Defenders will tend to lose receivers and stuff like that. Sometimes I like to be able to get on the move and create some opportunities through the scramble drill.”
By doing so the other night, it seems Nassib created another opportunity for himself to earn the No.2 job behind Eli Manning.