It isn’t often that two of the most impressive offensive plays of a game are performed by a fullback, but that’s what happened Saturday when Henry Hynoski took his first ever NFL handoff for a gain of two yards on fourth-and-1 and rookie Joe Martinek scored the only offensive touchdown of the game on a 14-yard reception.
The Hynoski carry is worth noting. The Giants have not handed the ball off to a true fullback like Hynoski in the regular season since Dec. 21, 2008, when Madison Hedgecock ran for no gain.
“It’s something we’re slowly working into,” Hynoski said. “I knew if I didn’t get a first down I probably would never get a carry again. I just made sure I did, put my head down and moved forward and got it done.”
Hynoski said he thought he caught the Jets off guard with the play, especially since it’s been almost four years since the Giants last ran such a play. It’s not that Hynoski was not a part of the offense. Last year he had 12 catches in the regular season and another five in the playoffs. At Pittsburgh he was used mostly as a blocker but in 2009 he had 24 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. In high school he had 7,165 rushing yards and 113 touchdowns as a tailback.
Coughlin seemed pleased to have Hynoski as an option.
“The short yardage pick-up by Henry, although not a lot of distance, was a plus for us,” Coughlin said. “We’ve not always, in the last couple of years, been very good in that area. That was a plus. It gave us one more form of a weapon to be utilized in that circumstance. That was a good thing.”
So after such a momentous occasion, did Hynoski get to keep the football from his carry?
“I didn’t even ask for it,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll have many opportunities to keep the football.”