The New York Giants won the Super Bowl a season ago after averaging the fewest rushing yards per game during the regular season, but chances are, they would like more offensive balance this time around.
They may finally have that with running back David Wilson.
The rookie runner has explosive ability, something that has been definitively lacking from the G-Men's rushing attack over the last five seasons.
Wilson hasn't demonstrated a keen knack to consistently take what's there on certain runs—you know, to simply pick up small chunks of positive yardage—so he's probably not ready to take on feature-back duties. With Ahmad Bradshaw still running rather decisively, the Virginia Tech alum won't be given a considerable amount of carries down the stretch anyway.
However, Wilson has displayed much more patience than he did earlier in the season, and his enormous game against the New Orleans Saints in all likelihood provided a much-needed boost of confidence for the runner and the coaching staff.
The Saints' run defense is the worst in football; therefore, expecting Wilson to spring 52-yard touchdown runs every week would be unreasonable.
But now he's a threat—a scary home-run hitter who lurks and can break a huge gainer any time he's on the field.
He wasn't before.
Opposing defenses must account for Wilson when he's on the field, and the Giants should utilize him more often on screen plays, outside pitches and other plays that get him the ball in space.
When it comes to Wilson, think C.J. Spiller.
Like Wilson, the Buffalo Bills' running back had an illustrious career in the ACC and was billed as a guy who would instantly become an electrifying playmaker at the pro ranks.
He struggled out of the gate, often running into blockers, and so, unsurprisingly, he frequently fell back on the speed and freaky athleticism that got him to the NFL.
After the Clemson stud learned to run with initial patience then make one cut and go, he blossomed into one of the game's most dynamic runners.
Wilson is still learning the finer intricacies of running successfully as a professional, yet he seems to have fixed his fumbling problem and will find a few plays a game in which the game comes naturally to him.
That's when he'll break a big one.
With Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Co. already placing significant pressure on opposing defenses down the field, Wilson will add another frightening presence to the Giants' offense, which will be integral to another New York playoff run.