It was no coincidence that Brandon Jacobs had such a solid outing during fullback John Conner's Giants debut.
Conner brought a physicality to the Giants running game that they lacked even during the brief stint in which Henry Hynoski was starting. Although Hynoski has been a prized lead-blocker in recent years, his injuries watered down his effectiveness until he landed on injured reserve. That's over 500 pounds of human being, by the way, between a fully-healthy Conner and Jacobs.
The Giants ground game enjoyed its most successful game of the season, thanks in large part to the efforts of their new fullback. New York gained a season-high 123 yards on 26 carries—the power running game was in full effect, as two rushing attempts crashed in for a score from inside the five-yard line. The Giants even scored on their first play-action pass of the season.
Not to be outdone by Conner, linebacker Jon Beason had a fine showing in his Big Blue debut. Beason earned the surprise start over Mark Herzlich at middle linebacker after being traded from the Panthers just last week. He even took over Spencer Paysinger's old No. 52 jersey.
Beason fit right in with his play, too. In his first start as a Giant, he led the team in tackles with 12 (11 solo). He was a force in the Giants' run defense, bottling up Matt Forte prematurely several times on the night. Forte, who entered the game as one of the league's most dangerous rushers, gained just 67 yards on 19 carries, as he struggled to shake Beason the whole game.
You have to respect the Giants' efforts to make a final push. Instead of folding and preparing for a rebuilding period—like the Browns were accused of doing when Trent Richardson was traded to the Colts—the Giants are trying to add any and all talent to help them win right here and now.
The only thing is the Browns are undefeated since trading Richardson, and the Giants are still winless...