“If they wanted to play more, they should’ve made some first downs and stayed out there,” coach Tom Coughlin said.
>> WATCH: GIANTS VS. PATRIOTS PRESEASON HIGHLIGHTS
While Eli Manning’s workload was light, Ryan Nassib played the second and third quarters. His statistics weren’t as glittering as they had been – six completions on 14 attempts for 107 yards – but the NFL sophomore continued to make his case to serve as Manning’s backup.
“I think I’ve gotten better since the first game,” Nassib said. “I’ve gotten better as each game comes along. Overall, I’m pretty happy with training camp. I still have a lot to improve on, I still have a lot to get better at, but yeah, I’m more excited that we came out 5-0; that was huge.”
Nassib had a lot to do with that. He threw the game-winning touchdown pass against Buffalo, led two long touchdown drives to help the Giants overcome a 26-point fourth-quarter deficit in Indianapolis and two more final-period possessions that ended with touchdowns last week against the Jets.
“I think I’m throwing the ball better,” Nassib said. “(I have) a lot less indecision than there was early on, knowing what the receivers are going to do. I feel like now we have a good feel of the chemistry of the receivers and stuff like that and what we’re looking for from the coaching standpoint and execution standpoint.”
>> GIANTS TOP PATRIOTS: INSTANT POSTGAME ANALYSIS
Coughlin said Nassib “absolutely” improved this preseason. “You see it in his poise, the speed with which he plays the game, the execution part of it,” Coughlin said. “He’s made some really nice throws.”
“The game’s definitely slowed down a little bit,” Nassib said. “I think, as a whole, things are starting to click. Chemistry’s building every day. I’m excited to see this new offense in the real season, the regular season.”
The starting offense scored three touchdowns in five games and except for a well-executed two-minute drive last week vs. the Jets, never seemed to find a rhythm. But both Coughlin and Manning indicated that will have no bearing on the team’s performance when the regular season opens a week from Monday night in Detroit.
“You have to have confidence,” Coughlin said. “We’ve had preseasons before where we haven’t had a lot of numbers with our first group, our first offense, for sure. Hopefully, we can carry over.”
>> 4 TAKEAWAYS FROM GIANTS' WIN OVER PATRIOTS
Manning’s preseason consisted of 41 passes and 20 completions for 188 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions (none of the Giants quarterbacks threw a pick in the five games).
Those numbers are not nearly as important to Manning as his health.
“I’m always glad the preseason’s over with,” Manning said. “My number one goal for the preseason is to get through it healthy. The only times I’ve ever missed games were getting injured in preseason games, so I don’t want to experience that. I know there are things we need to improve on, there are things we have to get better at. But that’s why we’ve got another week to work on a few things but also to get into Detroit and go play a real game and go compete and see what we can do.”