Bradshaw fired up to run against 49ers

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
5:51
PM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Ahmad Bradshaw isn't just coming off a career-high 200 yards rushing last Sunday against the Browns.

He's also coming off a career-high 30 carries.

That equals a lot of pounding on a relatively small frame -- 5-foot-10, 214 pounds. But the Giants running back sounds eager to get back on the field Sunday in San Francisco.

[+] EnlargeAhmad Bradshaw
Icon SMIThe Browns couldn't contain Ahmad Bradshaw last Sunday.
"Monday was a little tough, but now on Tuesday and yesterday and today, surprisingly I feel great," Bradshaw said after practice on Thursday.

In fact, Bradshaw would like to get that many carries every game. "I feel like as many times as I can touch the ball is as many times I can make a lot of different plays and get a lot of yards," he said. "So I don't mind touching the ball at all that many times."

The Giants' offense has been outstanding so far this season. Through five games, the team is second in the NFL, and tops in the NFC, averaging 429.2 yards per game.

In its past four games, Big Blue has racked up 1,877 yards combined -- the highest yardage total over any four-game span in franchise history.

Most of the attention has gone to Eli Manning and the passing game. But the Giants -- dead-last in the NFL in rushing a year ago (89.2 yards per game) -- are up to 12th in the NFL this season (120.2).

Even better, they're sixth in the league in yards per carry, at 4.8.

"We just played hard," said Bradshaw, when asked why the Giants ran the ball so well last week. "We handled every responsibility we could on every play, especially the runs. We finished."

It won't be quite as easy against the 49ers, who led the NFL in rushing defense a season ago (77.3 yards per game), and are ranked seventh so far this year (81.4).

"They're just physical. They're strong. They set blocks better than anybody in the league," Bradshaw said. "They hit people up front and they come back to the ball. If the ball gets past them, they make plays downfield -- even the big guys. So they never quit."

That said, Bradshaw can't wait to go up against them. "We like physical games. I do," he said. "I think we're up for the task and I think we're ready for it."

The last time these two teams met, in the NFC Championship Game nine months ago, the Giants managed to win despite gaining just 85 yards on the ground, on 26 carries, a 3.3 yard-per-carry average.

Manning threw the ball 58 times and racked up 316 passing yards, but was sacked six times and hit on six other occasions.

A more balanced attack this Sunday would keep Manning out of harm's way more often -- and likely give the Giants a better chance to win, too.

Can the Giants pull this off? We'll see. Either way, Bradshaw will have a hard time duplicating his 200-yard feat against the 49ers. After all, San Francisco has allowed just one 100-yard rusher in its past 43 games.

But Bradshaw wouldn't rule anything out.

"Expect the unexpected," Bradshaw said. "With this (offensive) line, there's no telling what we can accomplish."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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