Getty Images - Jim McIsaac
Derrick Ward joined Brandon Jacobs by topping the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Ward rushed for a team-high 77 yards in Minnesota and finished the season with 1,025. Ward and Jacobs (who was inactive and rushed for 1,089 yards this season) became the fourth pair of running backs – and the fifth set of teammates – to run for at least 1,000 yards in the same season.
Here’s the list:
1972 Miami Dolphins (Larry Csonka, 1,117; Mercury Morris, 1,000)
1976 Pittsburgh Steelers (Franco Harris, 1,128; Rocky Bleier, 1,036)
1985 Cleveland Browns (Kevin Mack, 1,104; Earnest Byner, 1,002)
2006 Atlanta Falcons (Warrick Dunn, 1,140; QB Michael Vick, 1,039)
2008 GIANTS (Brandon Jacobs, 1,089; Derrick Ward, 1,025)
“It’s just an exciting feeling right now,” Ward said. “Although we came up a little short in the game, all my credit goes to my offensive line. They wanted it more than I did and I didn’t want to disappoint them. So I went out there and did my thing.”
“That’s a goal I’m glad we achieved and it’s something very, very, very big to do,” Jacobs said. “A lot of people thought there wouldn’t be enough carries for both of us. D-Ward took advantage of his opportunities. I feel very good. To share something like this with Derrick, who I’m so close to – there couldn’t be a better person to share s omething like this with. He’s like a brother to me.”
Ward would have had the record sooner had his 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter not been nullified by a penalty.
“Any run a runner gets called back is frustrating, especially a touchdown run,” Ward said. “But it comes with the game. The (officials) made a call, so we have to deal with it. But we still held tight and were able to get some more yards.”
Ward also caught two passes and finished with 41 receptions. He is the fourth running back in Giants history with 1,000 rushing yards and 40 receptions in the same season – the others are Ron Johnson (1970 and ‘72), Rodney Hampton (1991) and Tiki Barber (2002-2006).
The Giants have now had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last seven seasons (Barber, Jacobs and Ward), tying them for the league’s longest streak with the San Diego Chargers (LaDainian Tomlinson had all seven).