June 22, 2024

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants not only were unsuccessful with the “tush push” but also lost two players to injury on the play in the first quarter Monday night. Rookie center John Michael Schmitz and tight end Daniel Bellinger left the 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium and did not return.

Schmitz is dealing with a shoulder injury, and Bellinger sustained a knee injury. They are undergoing further tests Tuesday to determine the severity.

“Yeah, both guys got hurt on that play,” coach Brian Daboll said of the fourth-and-1 rush attempt on the Giants’ opening drive Monday night.

Daboll also conceded it wasn’t something the Giants had practiced live recently.

“You walk through it,” he said. “It’s not a live rep of practice. We’ve been successful at it. Just not on that one.”

The Giants called a play at the Seattle 27-yard line that the Philadelphia Eagles have seemingly made commonplace and perfected. It has also been referred to as the “brotherly shove.” The idea is that the quarterback sneaks forward in a short-yardage situation and is aided with a push from behind by the players in the backfield.

New York had offensive linemen Mark Glowinski and Shane Lemieux in the backfield flanking running back Matt Breida. Quarterback Daniel Jones took the snap and was pushed forward. However, Seattle, led by middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, stuffed the Giants at the point of attack for no gain, and it resulted in a turnover on downs.

“We’ve been successful with it,” Daboll said. “They did a good job of stopping it. Got some penetration, built a wall and ended up stopping the play.”

It was the beginning of another frustrating evening for the Giants. They failed to score a touchdown for the second time in as many home games.

Daboll didn’t seem to question after the fact whether it was the right call to use the “tush push” instead of opting for a different play or a field goal attempt.

“Just felt that was the right thing to do,” he said. “Again, those are stuff we talk about throughout the week. Talked about it during the drive where we were at. Felt comfortable with the decision. Felt comfortable with the play.”

Jones and the Giants used a version of that play and were successful with it at times last season. But not this time, when they just can’t get much right offensively at this point early in the year.

Of course, this wasn’t the only costly play. Jones lost a fumble on the next drive and threw a pair of interceptions — including one that was returned 97 yards for a game-changing touchdown in the third quarter by rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon — and the Giants allowed 11 sacks.

“I mean obviously I didn’t play well enough,” Jones said. “It was unacceptable and I let the team down, so I’ve got to fix it. I’ve got to work hard to get it right, and I’m going to do that.”

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