Andre Brown: Week 3 Performance Shows Giants RB Will Play Big Role in 2012

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IISeptember 23, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Andre Brown #35 of the New York Giants carries the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 16, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Andre Brown had a breakout performance in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, and his productive game has earned him a major role for the remainder of the 2012 season.

Brown carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards and a touchdown in the Week 2 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after starter Ahmad Bradshaw went down with an injury.

When Bradshaw was ruled out for the Thursday night game against Carolina, Brown received the starting job and took full advantage of his opportunity. He gained 113 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns.

Brown was picked in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Giants, but has battled injuries and spent time with four other NFL teams before finally returning to New York with a chance to start a regular-season game.

In both of the last two games, Brown has averaged 5.5 yards per carry or more. At 6’0” and 227 pounds, he is a strong back who can run with power.

But his patience and vision have made him an excellent fit for the Giants, whose offensive line has done an impressive job of opening holes for the running backs in the past two games. 

Brown also has excelled as a goal-line back. His touchdown against the Buccaneers came on a two-yard run, while both of his scores against the Panthers were one-yard runs.

Jenny Vrentas of the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that Giants head coach Tom Coughlin expects Bradshaw to be back for the team’s next game against the Philadelphia Eagles

But even with Bradshaw’s return, Brown will still receive a significant amount of carries. Vrentas quotes Coughlin saying, “In our history here, it’s been, not one—you’re always in need of at least two (running backs).”

Coughlin would be wise to split carries between Bradshaw and Brown going forward. Bradshaw is a smaller and faster back, while Brown is a bigger runner who will grind out tough yards. In addition, Brown is an ideal candidate for goal-line carries. 

These two players complement each other extremely well and are capable of giving the Giants a potent ground game—which they did not have until late in the 2011 season.

Brown has capitalized when he has been given chances thus far, and Coughlin will certainly continue to get the ball in his hands until this changes.