Remember when Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day said to the groundhog behind the wheel, “Don’t drive angry”?
Well, for Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, the saying should be, “Don’t run the ball angry!”
While the surly Jacobs has had a chip on his shoulder all season, he has yet to successfully run the football. The bruising back appears unhappy with his contract situation with the Giants. This year is likely his last with the Giants.
Jacobs is starting to break down, thanks to his bruising running style. Jacobs has only rushed for 379 yards on just 111 carries. His 37.9 YPG is in his lowest in five years.
While the emergence of Ahmad Bradshaw certainly has something to do with Jacobs decline in production, his attitude isn’t helping.
So, with Bradshaw ailing and Jacobs pouting, the Giants have basically abandoned the run in most cases. Instead, they rely on the arm of Eli Manning to move the chains.
Make no mistake, the Giants wouldn’t want it any other way. Eli Manning is having perhaps his best season.
Manning has already thrown for 3,705 yards and 23 touchdowns through 12 games. Manning should surpass his career highs in both categories (4,021 yards in 2009; 31 touchdowns in 2010).
Manning’s confidence appears at an all-time high right now.
Manning seems to love the weapons he has at his disposal. The breakout season of Victor Cruz has only enhanced his productive receiving corps, which includes the reliable Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.
Manning is also doing a terrific job of limiting his interceptions, which was a cause for concern last year. This year, Manning has 11 interceptions through 12 games. In 2010, Manning threw 25 interceptions.
So, with Manning’s confidence high and his receiving crew stepping up, Jacobs’s role with the offense has become a secondary one.
For the Giants to succeed, though, they will need a strong running game and the maximum effort from Jacobs. But, for now, the Giants are excelling in passing the ball.
That won’t change anytime soon.
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