Hyno leads the way
EAST RUTHERFORD N.J. - Coming away from the New York Giants' 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, one thing was clear - Henry Hynoski plays a major factor in the Giants' offensive plans.
Hynoski was on the field for five of the Giants' seven touchdowns. That's not a mistake.
On each of them, the second-year fullback picked up a blitzing blocker or cleared a path for the runner.
Rookie running back David Wilson, who ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns, lauded his lead blocker for opening holes. Hynoski was on the field for both runs, as well as the 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Wilson in the first quarter.
"Henry is everything you want a fullback to be - hard-nosed and he works hard," Wilson said. "He probably puts in more film time than anybody after Eli. He's a blue-collared type guy."
The Giants started the game by involving Hynoski as a target in the passing game.
The Southern Columbia graduate had a catch for eight yards on the Giants' second drive out of an offset I along the near sideline. Then three plays later, Manning again found Hynoski for a one-yard gain.
Those receptions were Hynoski's eighth and ninth of the sea-
son and he has 41 yards receiving.
"I'm always part of the game plan," Hynoski said. "A lot of times I'm not necessarily the first read, but I think I'm a good safety valve on a lot of plays and Eli feels comfortable with me back there. Coach feels comfortable calling plays that are specifically designed for me. It's nice to be getting involved a little bit as far as that's concerned."
And then, inexplicably, the Giants got away from using Hynoski.
Out of the next 18 plays in the first half, Hynoski was in for six. Those six plays resulted in a total of 26 yards, including a touchdown. Hynoski did not factor into the Giants' two-minute drill plans when they covered 69 yards in 1:37 and scored to go up 21-13.
He was also part of the kickoff return package that gouged the Saints for a total of 227 yards and a touchdown in the first half. For the game, the Giants had 287 return yards, a team record, and the 52 points is the first time New York had eclipsed the 50-point mark since 1987.
Then, the fullback played in 22 of 30 second half snaps.
Part of that was due to a first-half injury that limited starting tailback Ahmad Bradshaw, but part is also Hynoski's durability this season and ability to pick up blitzers.
"I'm a confident player," Hynoski said. "I believe in myself and I believe that when I'm in there, we're going to have success. Maybe it's just my confidence that helps out, but I'm happy to do my part and happy to be out there."
Hynoski did get a carry for five yards when he was the lone running back in a shotgun formation, and he was targeted with another pass that went over his head and through his hands.
He was also credited with a tackle after a Manning interception.
On the play, Hynoski looked to be the first option but was covered. When Manning looked off the fullback and decided to throw to tight end Martellus Bennett, Saints' defensive back Isa Abdul-Quddus intercepted the pass and was pushed out of bounds by Hynoski.
Hynoski's two receptions and carry are tied for the second-most touches he's had in a game, but the fullback couldn't help but think his team was capable of scoring even more points Sunday as the Giants maintained a one-game lead in the NFC East with three to play.
"It was amazing to see our offense do that and, to be honest with you, I thought we could have scored a lot more, too," Hynoski said. "I personally thought we left a lot out on the field. It comes with the territory. The guys across from us are professionals too and they're going to make plays."
Hynoski knows a thing or two about making plays. He made his share Sunday as both he and the Giants continue to surge toward the playoffs.