Three Ways the New York Giants Can Use David Wilson Down the Stretch

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 09:  David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants carries the ball past Isa Abdul-Quddus #42 of the New Orleans Saints to score his third touchdown of the game on December 9, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

David Wilson could hold the key to the New York Giants' playoff future.

The rookie running back had a coming-out party against the New Orleans Saints, amassing 327 all-purpose yards—part of a record-setting day for the former Virginia Tech running back (h/t Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN).

David Wilson broke team's all-purpose yardage record.

— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 10, 2012

After spending most of the season on the bench after landing in head coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse for fumbling in the season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys, it appears that Wilson's roll will surely increase following his Week 14 performance.

If the Giants are smart—which I'd like to think they are, considering they've won two out of the last five Super Bowls—they'll begin utilizing Wilson in all aspects of their offense.

And so we will analyze how Wilson can be used in the G-Men's offense.


Rushing Game

Since coughing the ball up against the Cowboys, Wilson has been a steady rusher for Big Blue, averaging 5.1 YPC in 41 attempts.

Nothing was more telling of Wilson's rushing abilities than his day against New Orleans, as he rushed for 100 yards on 13 carries (7.7 YPC) and two touchdowns, including a 52-yard scramble into the end zone.

Of course, having this kind of day against the Saints' defense isn't something to necessarily brag about, but you can still clearly see the ability this kid possesses.

He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his final season at Virginia Tech, scoring nine touchdowns and sporting a 5.9 YPC average.

With Ahmad Bradshaw nursing injuries all season, Wilson's emergence is just what Big Blue needs as they begin their usual December push for the postseason.

New York ranks 15th in the league with 116.4 rushing YPG, and if Bradshaw gets healthy down the stretch, the Giants will boast one of the deadliest two-headed rushing attacks in the NFL.

One thing's for sure: Wilson gained some new fans this past Sunday, including none other than New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira:

David Wilson may be my new favorite player. STUD!#GiantsvsSaints

— Mark Teixeira (@teixeiramark25) December 10, 2012

Facing an Atlanta Falcons' defense that allows 127 rushing yards per game in Week 15, Wilson is set up nicely for another big day on the ground.


Passing Offense

New York hasn't utilized Wilson much in the passing offense, as he's primarily helped out more on blocking and chipping assignments, but that doesn't mean he can't be integrated.

He only has two receptions for eight yards this season, but Wilson showed in college that he can be a viable option out of the backfield in the passing game.

In 2010, Wilson had 15 receptions for 234 yards and four touchdowns, and in his last season as a member of the Hokies, Wilson caught 22 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.

Are they eye-popping numbers? No, not by a long shot.

But they do prove that Wilson has and can be used in the receiving game.

Manning likes to utilize his running backs in the passing game. This is evident by the fact that Bradshaw has had at least 20 receptions every season since 2009, and that's while splitting time with Brandon Jacobs.

As the season closes and the playoffs begin (barring a choking performance from the G-Men), I wouldn't be surprised to see Wilson's role increase through the air.


Special Teams: Kick Returner

Wilson is an artist when it comes to kick returns, as we saw last weekend and have really seen all season from him.

Even after being benched on offense for fumbling, Wilson was primarily used on special teams for returning kicks, which is where he made a name for himself.

In 48 attempts, Wilson has amassed 1,321 yards, including 227 yards and a 97-yard TD against the Saints on just four returns, which is a franchise record according to Youngmisuk.

David Wilson's 1301 kickoff return yards now a franchise record

— Ohm Youngmisuk (@NotoriousOHM) December 9, 2012

Don't you think the Giants knew what they were doing when they drafted him?

Wilson was an impressive kick returner for the Hokies, as he accumulated 1,324 return yards on 61 returns, including 584 yards and two touchdowns in 2010.

He has a unique combination of speed and vision that allows him to see the field and make cuts and see blocks before they even fully take affect.

According to the New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano, teammate Justin Tuck wasn't shocked by Wilson's performance and now expects this to become a weekly ritual from the rookie:

Justin Tuck on David Wilson's long-awaited breakout game: "I don't know what took him so long." ... And, go.

— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) December 10, 2012

More from Justin Tuck on David Wilson: "Now that it’s on tape we’re going to expect that from him every game.

— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) December 10, 2012

The Falcons' special teams rank 21st in the NFL in terms of kick return yardage allowed, meaning Wilson should have an opportunity to break a big one this Sunday.

Wilson has certainly injected excitement into this Giants squad, similar to what Victor Cruz did for New York last season.

While we're still waiting to see if he can match the production of Cruz, one thing's for sure: Wilson has the Giants heading in the right direction as the season comes to a close.


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