New York Giants: Which Running Back Should Get the Most Work Versus Oakland?

Travis WakemanCorrespondent IINovember 7, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Running back Peyton Hillis #44 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during a game at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

After starting the season 0-6, the New York Giants seemed as though they were headed for a dreadful 2013 season. And who knows, maybe they still are.

But the team has won back-to-back games and, at 2-6, is just 2.5 games out of first place in the NFC East.

On deck are the Oakland Raiders (3-5), who will pay a visit to MetLife Stadium in a game the Giants must win.

Eli Manning is probably salivating over the fact he gets to face the team that Nick Foles just threw seven touchdowns against, but establishing a running game is important if the Giants are to get out of the hole they've put themselves in.

News broke on Thursday afternoon that the team has decided to shut down running back David Wilson for the season by placing him on injured reserve.

That leaves the Giants searching for answers in the backfield.

Andre Brown, who has missed the entire season, is ready to make his return to the lineup. That has to be encouraging for the team and fans alike.

Brown ran for 385 yards and eight touchdowns last season and he should be a shot in the arm for what has been a dismal New York running game this season.

Still, he won't be ready for a full workload in Week 10.

Brandon Jacobs may also be ready to play against the Raiders, but he may not be up to full speed after sitting out the last two games with a hamstring injury.

That leaves the player who should see the most carries on Sunday—Peyton Hillis.

Hillis once graced the cover of the incredibly popular video game Madden. Shortly after, he fell into relative obscurity. But since returning to the NFL for a team that was clearly in desperation mode, he has played well.

Though he has averaged just 2.8 yards per carry, Hillis is the healthiest running back the team has and for that reason alone, they should continue to ride him.

Aside from that, Hillis is a decent pass-blocker and he is a good receiver out of the backfield. This gives Manning a player he can trust, something he hasn't really had from a running back this season.

Hillis is the best option against Oakland and perhaps going forward. If they start with Hillis and then mix in both Jacobs and Brown, the Giants running attack could actually become pretty potent.

In Hillis, the team also has a player who can convert on short-yardage situations and can pound it into the end zone once the team gets down near the goal line.

Jacobs gives the team virtually the same thing, but Hillis doesn't have quite as much wear and tear on him as does the 31-year-old Jacobs.

Aside from that, the team is 2-0 with Hillis getting the majority of the carries. Though he is nowhere near responsible for either of those victories, why change it up?

Manning has averaged about 38 pass attempts per game this season. But if the Giants are going to get back in the NFC East race, a running game will be imperative.

Look for Hillis to have a big game against the Raiders on Sunday.