The Giants offensive coordinator admitted he should have called for an outside run from the New England 1-yard line in the second quarter of the preseason game against the Patriots. Payton spotted that the defense was massing for a running play up the middle and the play Payton called contained two options, inside or outside.
"Against that look it would have been an outside play,'' Payton said. "Then I thought we're six inches away from the goal line, let's hand it to Ron Dayne. If we can't get it, we're in trouble.''
The Giants were nearly in trouble. Fullback Darian Barnes had two defenders to block as the Patriots guessed correctly and sent a linebacker crashing into the middle of the line of scrimmage, directly into the hole Dayne was supposed to enter. "I had to go through the guys to try to get in,'' Dayne explained.
Dayne's first effort was one of hard-to-watch taps into the back of his offensive linemen, not getting anywhere. But then, Dayne plowed forward, pushing teammates and Patriots players just enough to crash into the end zone for a touchdown.
"Did he have to get that on his own?'' Payton asked. "Yes. That was good to see. That's the yard maybe two years ago maybe you didn't see him get.''
Dayne has kept a lower-key profile than usual during training camp, but the touchdown allowed his to surface, if only for one yard and one play.