Close your eyes. Bring yourself back to the 2007-2008 NFL Season, when the New York Giants 6'4'', 264 pound running back was bulldozing over linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs.
Fast-forward a year to February 26, 2009, when the Giants rewarded Jacobs with a four year, $25 million extension. The extension went unquestioned.
Now, back to the present day.
Brandon Jacobs leads the 6-5 New York Football Giants with 683 rushing yards.
Six-hundred eighty-three yards? What week are we in? We're going into Week 13? What happened to our bulldozing, punishing tank?
Simply put, Jacobs is not running hard. I have watched almost every Giants game since Brandon Jacobs broke into the league. I have never seen Jacobs go down from an arm tackle.
This is the same running back that had even retired Patriots safety Rodney Harrison saying "a couple times, I was afraid to hit Brandon Jacobs."
I'm used to Jacobs putting his shoulder pads into a defender, bouncing off, and taking the pigskin twenty yards down field, finishing off the safety with a punishing stiff arm.
This year, he has been anything but that kind of runner.
What are the reasons for Jacobs' lack-luster performance so far this season?
Yes, Ahmad Bradshaw saw a lot of action in the beginning of the season, but Jacobs will be the Giants No.1 back until he wears down (which is maybe sooner than we expected), so there goes the notion of Bradshaw maybe having more of an influence on the situation.
Maybe, Jacobs was running hard for a big contract, and once he got what he wanted, he rested. He has no reason to take the battery on his body.
Even if Eli Manning is under center, the Giants have won their games in the past few years on the back of Jacobs and their smash mouth running game.
It is no coincidence that the G-Men are struggling this season and the running game has gone down the tubes.
If the Giants want to turn this season back around, they need their linebacker-sized running back to start punishing teams.
The offensive line is still there, although there have been signs of diminished performance there as well.
The bright spot for the Giants offense has been the emergence of their young wide receivers. I think most people thought the Giants wouldn't be able to throw, but they have won their games this year with an impressive wide receiver core.
If Jacobs can get his act together and live up to his reputation and contract, the Giants may be able to sneak themselves into the playoffs. They do however, have more problems than just the offense.