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With Andre Brown out until the Giants play in the Super Bowl, the Giants are now at a standstill. As Ahmad Bradshaw has said, they went through a similar situation in their title run in 2007. Derrick Ward, the Giants’ primary backup, went down with a broken fibula, just like Brown. In 2007 though, Bradshaw was the Giants’ speed guy, which seems to be David Wilson’s role, so far this season. Bradshaw seems to fit more into the Brandon Jacobs role. Although him and Jacobs have different playing styles, Bradshaw will see most of the carries like Jacobs did in 2007.
The Giants signed two running backs, Ryan Torain and Kregg Lumpkin. Lumpkin will serve the DJ Ware role in the offense. He will be the back that goes in to catch passes out of the backfield. Last year with the Buccaneers he posted forty-seven catches, two hundred ninety-one yards, and seven and a tenth yards per catch (NFL.com). He can be a power runner, but I think the Giants are more interested in his pass catching abilities.
What the Giants will miss most from Andre Brown, the touchdowns he scored for the Giants. All eight touchdowns he scored were for two yards or less. Bradshaw could get the goal line carries, but then his career with the Giants will be a lot shorter than him and the organization may like. Torain, will likely have the first shot at the goal line carries, if he doesn’t succeed, then Kregg Lumpkin will get his chance. If both do not work out, I’ve heard that Henry Hynoski a.k.a. “The Hynoceros,” might also have a chance (Giants.com).
Brown was also a guy they could plug into Bradshaw’s role if Bradshaw was injured. Brown averaged five and a third yards per carry. Now that role will fall to Wilson, David Wilson has been inconsistent as a runner, although he has been a spark in the kick return game. This leaves the Giants with some uncertainty. Right now for the Giants, only an injury to Eli Manning would be worse than an injury to Bradshaw.
What the Giants have to do is minimize Bradshaw’s carries, and rest him for the playoffs. On the other side of that, they will need to run him early in order for the Giants to keep the defense guessing, like we saw last week against the Green Bay Packers. The Giants started to run the ball with some consistency, and then they mixed in the play action, which they really stung the Packers with. None of Eli’s touchdowns were off the play action, but he completed a fifty-nine yard pass to Ahmad Bradshaw off the play-action (NFL.com).
The best thing for the Giants to do, is run the ball early and get an early lead. In doing this, Ryan Torain, David Wilson, and Kregg Lumpkin should see the carries late.