Andre Williams made his first NFL start Sunday night.
"I guess you could call it a rude introduction," the rookie running back said of the Giants' 27-0 loss to the Eagles and his 58 yards on 16 carries. "I think we just didn't execute like we wanted to."
Williams actually ran for more yards in the two previous games when he wasn't starting. He was consistently met at or behind the line of scrimmage and could not develop a rhythm as a runner.
A few times he showed the impatience of a rookie, not waiting for holes (or slivers) to develop.
There also were times when it seemed as if the Giants didn't fully trust him. On third-and-1 on their opening drive, the Giants decided to pass. This after an 8-yard run by Williams in which he ran over safety Malcolm Jenkins. Eli Manning was sacked, the Giants punted and that was that.
There was a time in the second quarter when things did seem to be progressing. He ran for 5 yards on back-to-back carries and seemed to be softening the defense a little. But on second-and-5 on that drive, fellow rookie Weston Richburg was flagged for a personal foul after diving on top of Fletcher Cox, who already was on the ground with the ball already having been thrown out of the pocket.
That was one of 10 penalties that cost the Giants several opportunities, including a hold on Will Beatty that nullified a touchdown in the third quarter (just before Victor Cruz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee).
"Penalties always hurt you," Williams said. "They're taking away field position and killing momentum. They hurt us a lot. We were doing really well in penalties per game. We just have to get back this week and get ready for Dallas."