Orleans Darwka has a message for the many critics of the beaten-down Giants offensive line: Direct your disdain elsewhere.
The anemic 35-yard rushing attack in Sunday night’s loss to the Cowboys wasn’t just on the group up front. The running backs should hear some criticism, too, according to Darkwa.
“We got to run better,” he said Friday after practice. “All we can worry about is what we control. As running backs, we have to run better.
“At the end of the day, you look at the numbers. … It’s not good enough for our room.”
The Giants netted 35 rushing yards on 12 carries, an anemic 2.9 yards per carry. Paul Perkins, the starter after showing glimpses of promise as a rookie last year, failed to gain more than 3 yards on any of his seven carries. Darkwa had a team-high 12-yard gain, but only two other carries. Of course, the Giants’ offense struggled as a unit, amassing just 233 total yards and scoring just three points, their fewest point total in a season opener in 22 years.
Left guard Justin Pugh appreciated the support, with his unit under such intense heat. But the ground attack isn’t about one specific group.
“That goes from passing the ball better, so we open up the run game, to us obviously opening up holes, running backs reading [the holes], receivers blocking down field to spring big runs,” Pugh said. “Everything comes into play. You can’t point the finger at one guy. It’s not going to change overnight. As a group, collectively, we have to decide we’re going to run the ball better.”
Granted, it was just one game with limited opportunities, but it felt like a continuation of last season, when the Giants couldn’t move the ball on the ground. They were 29th in the NFL in rushing, averaging 88.3 yards per game and producing six touchdowns, the fewest in the league. Until they prove they can run the ball, opponents will continue to gear up for the pass.
“To get teams out of cover two, to get [them] out of…