I was at the Giants' game this past Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The quote that I heard, over and over, from the Giants' faithful was, "Just run the damn ball!!" It seemed like the G-Men threw the ball on first down, time after time. I could feel the frustration all around me from the fans.
Over the last three years, Brandon Jacobs has made the transition from a power, short-yardage back to a legit feature back. I case you didn't know, Jacobs is the seventh leading rusher in the NFL. The stat that is even more surprising is that he is No. 1 in the NFL with his 5.4 yards per carry.
The time has come for Jacobs to get the respect and the carries he deserves. In the Giants' win, he had 17 carries, which he turned into 69 yards and two TDs. I would love to see Jacobs get around 20 to 22 carries per game. Combine that with 10 to 15 carries from Derrick Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw, and you have the best three-headed monster in the NFL.
Derrick Ward has been solid for the G-Men, especially on inside handoffs out of the shotgun formation. Bradshaw is explosive and can take it to the house at anytime. Unfortunately, Bradshaw has been putting the ball on the ground lately.
This week, the Giants will head to Pittsburgh to face the 5-1 Steelers. This matchup will feature a solid Giants running game against a fierce Steelers defense. I would love to see the G-Men set up the pass game with a solid running game early.
Eli Manning has proven to be very effective in the play-action passing game. It seems the Giants have gotten away from this the last two weeks. The Steelers are a fast blitzing defense that can be burned with a solid play-action pass. It needs to start with running the football often and effectively.
It is time to feed the big No. 27 and let him lead this team. Wear the defense down and kill them with the passing game late. This game should be the barometer for what this team is made of.