When the Pro Bowl rosters were announced yesterday, it was shocking to find out that Brandon Jacobs wasn't on the roster, despite him gaining over 1,000 yards and over 5.0 yards per carry. His meaning to the New York Giants though isn't something that is a tangible number, his presence effects not only the Giants but it effects their opponents as well
Even though some may argue losing Plaxico Burress is a bigger loss than Jacobs being sidelined they really don't have complete understanding of what Brandon Jacobs brings to the table. Replacing Plaxico Burress can be done because the Giants do have other Wide Receivers that can run deep patterns, or they can use to TE Kevin Boss more.
My question I then ask is simply this: Do the Giants have another 265 pound RB who every time he touches the ball he can drag defenders forward for an average of 5.3 yards per carry? The obvious answer is no, in games in which Jacobs hasn't played (Arizona and Dallas), Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward have averaged 3.7 yards per carry.
Jacobs (Earth) is the key component to the trio of Earth, Wind and Fire because he sets up Ward and Bradshaw. If Jacobs plays on Sunday Night in the wintry mix the Panthers will get tired of getting bulled over by his hard style of running. If you were a defensive player, wouldn't you get tired of tackling a bull?
When Jacobs needs a rest they can put in Derrick Ward who has tallied over 1,000 yards from scrimmage this season and run draws and screens with him. They also can get Ahmad Bradshaw more involved who has the ability to break any run for a touchdown with his exceptional speed.
With Jacobs running the ball well from the inset, the Giants can establish play-action passes that have Eli Manning at his best. If the defense stacks the box with eight defenders then Manning will have single coverage on Amani Toomer on the outside. If not, then the Giants are happy playing smash mouth football and having Jacobs pound the ball inside.
The best part about the Giants running attack with Jacobs in there is that there are no gimmicks with him, he is going to take the ball, carry it and frankly other defenses are unable to stop him and they know it. When the Giants have their opponent beat mentally the game is over.
Brandon Jacobs running the ball on first down and second down sets up a manageable third down conversion. With Jacobs running the ball it also enables the Giants to control that all important time of possession. This in turn leads to Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiuwanuka having more rest so when opposing offenses take the field the Ends of the Giants can get after the QB.
I bet you didn't think one player could have this much effect on the Giants did you? Hopefully on Sunday night when I am in the stands for what should be an epic game he is able to play and have a classic Brandon Jacobs game.