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Bradshaw, Jacobs power running game

12/5/2011

No one booed Brandon Jacobs on Sunday.

Why would they?

For the first time in what felt like forever, Jacobs ran like a man carrying 265 pounds of muscle on his frame.

He took Green Bay tacklers straight on instead of sidestepping them and ran for 59 yards on eight carries. Jacobs' 7.4 yards per carry was a season-high.

Was the big man inspired by the presence of good buddy and running mate Ahmad Bradshaw?

"That may have had something to do with it," said Bradshaw, who returned on Sunday from a foot injury that forced him to miss the last four games.

The Giants totaled 100 yards on 20 carries against the Packers, the first time they'd reached the 100-yard mark since Week 9 against New England. And they were running behind an offensive line missing its starting center and left tackle.

"I thought we ran hard as backs and I thought coach Kevin Gilbride did a wonderful job of calling plays," Jacobs said.

The Giants entered the day ranked last in the NFL in yards per game (82.3) and per carry (3.2). They had gained just 102 yards on the ground in the last two weeks.

And there were no indications during the week that Tom Coughlin's club was on the verge of a breakout.

Consider: Bradshaw was going to try to play despite practicing just once in the last four weeks. Jacobs was battling his own demons, suffering through one of the worst seasons of his career -- on and off the field.

Just two weeks ago, Jacobs ripping Giants fans for booing him during an abysmal performance against the Eagles (21 yards on 12 carries).

But there was no booing Jacobs -- or anyone else, really -- on Sunday.

"Our fans were in the game the whole game and that definitely helped us a whole lot," Jacobs said.

Bradshaw showed little rust from his four-week absence, rushing for 38 yards on 11 carries (3.8 yards). He said afterward that his foot felt fine.

So for those looking for any positives coming out of Sunday's loss, look no further than the running game.

"I don’t really believe in having moral victories because this is a football game that we should have won," Jacobs said. "It hurts to lose, but seeing the way we can come out and play against an undefeated team like we did today, I think that gives us some momentum going forward."