Eli Manning played just a short stint in the Giants' preseason opener, but he liked what he saw.
"I thought that the first unit was pretty good," Manning said today. "Obviously, there are some things that we can clean up but we were very close to being very good. I thought the guys were sharp and running around well and close to scoring on all three possessions that we had. I think overall it would be something to learn from and but we can improve on it though."
The Giants' first-team offense was on the field for 16 snaps in the 32-31 loss in Jacksonville Friday night. The unit gained 37 yards on its first possession, but was forced to punt. After a Jaguars touchdown, the offense got the ball in good field position thanks to David Wilson's 48-yard kickoff return. Four snaps netted 35 yards, including a series-opening 28-yard Manning throw to Victor Cruz. That helped set up Lawrence Tynes' 34-yard field goal. On Jacksonville's next snap, Justin Tuck recovered a fumble at the Jaguars' 29-yard line. Manning and the offense covered the distance in five plays – thanks in part to a facemask penalty on former Giant Aaron Ross – and scored on D.J. Ware's two-yard run.
"I thought overall that the first unit was good," Manning said. "From our first drive we went down there and at least got a few first downs and moved the ball. We didn't score on that one but after that we got a touchdown and a field goal and did really well."
David Carr and the second-team offense later built a 24-7 lead that didn't hold up in part because of special teams miscues. But that didn't diminish Manning's review of the reserves.
"I thought that the second unit came in and did well also," Manning said. "They did some good things. Some of the young guys, the receivers and skill guys that will possibly be on the team have some stuff to learn to get better. I think the game is the best way to learn it because you don't know what play is going to be called next. You see different styles of defense, you see different techniques that defenses play that our defense doesn't, and you've got to adjust and know what to do; that's where you truly learn the concepts of what we have to do as an offense."