Wan’Dale Robinson needed to at least give a spoiler alert on Thursday night.
While watching the NFL’s regular-season opener between the Bills and Rams with his girlfriend, he kept predicting the plays and the reads that would happen seconds after he blurted them out. He had a pretty good success rate, too, he said.
“I would be like ‘I know this play, he’s gonna do this or that,’” the Giants rookie receiver told Newsday on Friday afternoon. “She was like ‘That’s so crazy.’ She was mind-blown that everything ties in together like that.”
Robinson was impressed by himself too.
“It was actually pretty cool,” he said.
The Giants' offense isn’t an exact carbon copy of the system used by the Bills to score 31 points in their win over the Rams, but it’s close enough to what was displayed on Thursday to recognize that they are related. Think of them more as fraternal twins than identical ones.
So when Josh Allen and his receivers came to the line of scrimmage and surveyed the Rams’ defense, Robinson, in his living room in New Jersey, was right there with them, making the same reads, making sure he knew the proper decisions as well as the Bills do.
It was one last reinforcement for the Giants before they open their own season on Sunday that the system works and can produce at a high level.
Brian Daboll, who brought that system to Buffalo five years ago then left it behind as a souvenir when he came to be head coach of the Giants this year, said there were “teaching moments” to take from Thursday’s game. He was more focused on the penalties and turnovers, though, rather than the routes and the runs.
“It’s good to be able to watch those first games where everybody is playing and coach off of some of the things that happen,” Daboll said.
It’s probably even better to do so when there is already an intimate understanding of the team they are watching.
Strangely enough the Bills offense wasn’t the only one Robinson was able to pull a Tony Romo with presnap predictions. New Rams offensive coordinator Liam Corn held that title at the University of Kentucky last season when Robinson was a wide receiver for the Wildcats. He had a pretty good grasp of what the Rams were running, too.
“It's kind of nice to be able to watch the game and know what’s going on on both sides of the ball,” he said.
But it’s the Bills offense he is in now with the Giants and that’s the one that had the whole football-watching country shaking its collective head and wondering how any team can stop them.
Unlike the Bills, the Giants are only a few months into their relationship with the system. Allen and Stefon Diggs and the rest of the Buffalo juggernaut have been at it for years. Still, Thursday could have been a sneak peek at what the Giants can do this season.
“That’s what we strive to be,” Robinson said. “That level of execution is what we want to see out of our offense. We don’t want to have those turnovers, but being able to score that amount of points and move efficiently like that is what we want to do."
“We’ll see on Sunday," Robinson said.
No spoilers, please.