The offense was driving in the final seconds, needing a touchdown to win the game.
Sound familiar? If you watched the Giants play last season, it should. They were in that very scenario in almost half of their games, their defense on the field trying to make a stop to preserve a win. And if you did watch those games, well, you know the way it usually ended.
That’s what made one little play in Monday’s OTA workout so . . . hopeful.
This time it was Eli Manning and his crew charging the length of the field for the go-ahead points during a two-minute drill. The Giants offense drove close to the end zone, but then a pass from Manning to Odell Beckham Jr. tipped off the receiver’s normally trusty hands and into the waiting arms of rookie safety Darian Thompson.
There it was. The defensive stop Giants fans have been waiting almost two years to see. Or at least read about.
“The defense did a nice job ending the first drive with a turnover,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “[Thompson] picked the ball off and then took a knee. He had enough awareness to know that the game was over at that point in time with the offense only having one timeout and under 50 seconds . . . so he showed good awareness there.”
Thompson is the Giants’ third-round pick. He’s been seeing a lot of reps with the starting unit since his arrival and should vie for that job in training camp. He also came to the team with a reputation for being a ball hawk, something he has already flashed in his brief tenure with the team. Monday’s pick was his third takeaway in seven OTA practices.
So far this spring, the defense has certainly had an advantage over the Giants offense. As opposed to last year, when they didn’t seem to have an advantage over anyone.
“You can obviously feel the pass rush a little bit with the front and the secondary has good coverage,” McAdoo said, “so that is encouraging.”