The Giants running game hasn’t been the dominant, clock-eating entity is should have been going into the season. But that will have to change Sunday night against the Bears.
If the Giants don’t want to see Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher in the backfield the whole night, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are going to have to kick things into high gear, something the Packers didn’t even try to do in Monday night’s 20-17 loss to those Bears.
Moreover, they’ll have to stick with it, even if the going gets tough.
“Some people get discouraged really quick,” Jacobs said. “Some people look at the paper and look at the numbers on the paper and get discouraged. And that’s what turns some coaches away from certain parts of the game plan.”
The Bears have the top defense against the rush in the league so far, averaging 39.7 yards allowed per game. However, teams have tried to run just 56 times against them, just two more attempts than Houston’s league-low 54.
“I think Green Bay is a great running team. Of course they lost Ryan (Grant), but they have Brandon Jackson – he’s back there and I think he’s been doing a good job for them so far,” Jacobs said. “So I don’t think it was any reason to get away from it, but I don’t know if they had plans on doing it from the beginning, or whatever the case was. But Chicago is very good. They have a very good defense. They play fast. They play physical, and we’ll have to bring our “A” game.”
The Giants are averaging a so-so 115 yards per game, but have scored just two rushing touchdowns. Bradshaw’s infamous fumble at the 6 last week helped cost the Giants the Tennessee game.
“We’ve got to clean up a lot in the run game,” Jacobs said. “We’ve got to clean up a lot as a team to go out. To be successful in this league, you’ve got to stop hurting yourself, number one.”
Of course, getting an early lead would help. The Giants have played from behind most of the time, a situation that is certainly not conducive to maintaining a ground attack.
“We want to eat up the clock with running the ball,” said Bradshaw, who is averaging a healthy 4.9 yards per carry. “That’s the plan going into every game. We want to show each team that we’re physical, and we just have to outplay them running the ball and throwing it over their heads.
“We play from behind and that takes the running game away a lot. We just have to come out, show our physical-ness, and show that we got to air it out and pass it over their heads.”