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Brandon Jacobs Should Provide a Quality Short-Term Solution for the Giants

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Brandon Jacobs Should Provide a Quality Short-Term Solution for the Giants
Al Bello/Getty Images

Brandon Jacobs. That's the answer to at least one two-day-old question that already has NFL fans panicking: Who will the New York Giants sign to ease the burden on David Wilson and Da'Rel Scott in the backfield? 

It's still unclear as to whether Jacobs is the answer to this one: Who or what can or will fix the New York Giants' train wreck of a backfield?

Jacobs is a Giant again, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. Hooray? Well, at least he's familiar with Big Blue's offense and should be ready to jump right in.

In New York's defense, the pickings were slim on the free-agent market. The Giants rolled the dice when they let Ahmad Bradshaw go, and four glaring and costly mistakes from Wilson and Scott in the season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys gave them the football version of snake eyes. 

That doesn't change the fact that the solution to a football problem is rarely, if ever, a 31-year-old running back, especially one who averaged only 3.8 yards per carry in his last full season. And no, that last full season wasn't 2012, which is yet another concern. 

Jacobs has been called soft and has caused some mischief within locker rooms, but it might be safe to assume he'll give 100 percent (not always a given) and will be on his best behavior, since this is probably his last shot in the NFL. 

Brandon Jacobs: Key 2011 stats
Metric Totals
Short-yardage conversions 17 for 24
Fumbles 3
Fumbles lost 0
Sacks allowed 0
Pressures allowed 3
Pass-block efficiency rank 41 out of 66

Pro Football Focus

The bright side is that he's a solid short-yardage back, a decent blocker and he did go the entire 2011 campaign in New York without losing a fumble.

Recoveries have been on Jacobs' side. He coughed it up three times on 152 attempts that year and twice more on 147 in 2010, which isn't great, but Jacobs himself has been responsible for only four turnovers on 747 carries since the start of the 2008 season.

The point is that he can probably get the job done in a very limited capacity. The expectations aren't high and neither are the requirements. He simply has to move his 260-pound body forward on a select number of third downs without letting the ball pop loose or a blitzer get a free crack at quarterback Eli Manning.

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If he can do that until Wilson can be trusted or at least until Andre Brown is ready to return from the short-term injured reserve, it'll be a mission accomplished. 

Yes, there were other options, but none were necessarily any better. Michael Turner and Willis McGahee are just as old. Turner's average was just as poor last season in Atlanta, and McGahee has had enough ball-security issues of his own. Jonathan Dwyer and Leon Washington were off the market before the Giants could make a move, and Beanie Wells—while at least young—lacks a track record.

This is a safe, cheap and familiar option for a team that cherishes all three of those values. It might not save the Giants' season, but at least the offense should be a little more comfortable in Week 2 than it was in Week 1. 

With the Denver Broncos coming to town and the NFC looking like an uphill climb, the help will be appreciated.

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