The New York Giants and Buffalo Bills kicked off the annual Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night, which is traditionally the first preseason game of the year. As such, the diehard football fans that tuned into the game had the chance to watch the pro debut of former Boston College running back Andre Williams. Last year's Heisman Trophy Finalist did not disappoint.
Williams finished with 48 yards on seven carries and did almost all of his damage in the first quarter against the Bills first and second team defense. It wasn't like he was running wild on the players that are questionable to make the team.
On the third series of the game, Williams came in to relieve Rashard Jennings, the back that Williams will substitute for this year. The rookie running back wasted no time putting together a couple of decent runs for five and six yards. Jennings came back into spell Williams for a few players and then the rookie really made his presence felt.
On a 1st-and-10 from the Buffalo 24, Williams took a run off left tackle and was met by rookie defensive linebacker Randell Johnson. Williams bounced the carry to the outside and exploded down the sideline for a 21-yard gain before being taken down at the three yard line. The run led NBC color analyst Chis Collinsworth to say "I absolutely love this young man. I know they brought Rashard Jennings in here to be the number one back. I'm going to be surprised if we don't see Andre Williams at least splitting carries in the backfield."
On the next play, Williams finished the drive with a three yard touchdown run. Williams took the carry between the right tackle and the right guard and cut to the inside. Buffalo lineman Manny Lawson latched on to Williams but he carried him into the end zone with him.
The touchdown run led Al Michaels to say, "You take a look at a guy like this and you wonder how he lasted until the 4th round."
Collinsworth added, "When you watch him--- even in practice--- he has a way of slipping tackles and making people miss. He is a load."
Williams stayed in on the next drive and was initiated into the NFL when safety Duke Williams lit him up after an 11 yard gain. Williams bounced up after the yard hit but it has been a long time since someone has been able to square up Williams for that hard of a hit.
Williams did not have any passes thrown his way but he was solid in pass protection when the Giants went to the air. That is another huge thing to monitor with Williams in the preseason, as Giants coach Tom Coughlin has absolutely no patience for backs that can't block.
Overall, it was as solid of a performance as Williams could have hoped for.