Sunday, October 7, 2012
Bradshaw has best day of his career
By Mike Mazzeo
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Ahmad Bradshaw’s day couldn’t have started out any worse.
On his first carry, Bradshaw ran into guard Chris Snee’s shoulder and lost a fumble. Two plays later, the Browns were on top 7-0.
Bradshaw’s day only got better from there. Infinitely better.
The 26-year-old running back finished with a career-high 200 yards and one touchdown on 30 carries, and the Giants climbed out of a 14-0 hole, rolling past the winless Browns 41-27 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
“I was mad at myself,” said Bradshaw, who also caught four passes for 29 yards, and scored from four yards out to tie the game at 17 with 2:52 left in the first half. “I was angry at myself for fumbling, and I just used (that anger) when I was running the ball.”
Bradshaw came into Sunday’s game with just 133 yards rushing on the season.
“We should be way better than the stats say,” Bradshaw said. “This is a great (offensive) line. They do everything right. We just knew we could execute today, and we did.”
Many had been calling for reserves Andre Brown and David Wilson to get more playing time in light of Bradshaw’s struggles.
“They’re young guys and they can do it too. I don’t mind it at all,” Bradshaw said. “They’re backing me up, they can make plays and that's great for the team. Anything that will help us out. I don’t get into that.”
If he keeps this up, no one else will, either.
Zone plays. Misdirections. Perimeter runs. It all worked.
“We owed him that,” Snee said of Bradshaw’s 200-yard rushing game. “It's been tough sledding for a while.”
Coach Tom Coughlin called Bradshaw “as physically tough and competitive as anyone I’ve ever been around.”
Told of his coach’s praise, Bradshaw responded, “I love this game more than anybody. I put my heart into it. And I just feel I’m one of the toughest on the field when I’m out there.”
Tight end Martellus Bennett expounded on Bradshaw’s toughness in typical Martellus Bennett fashion.
“He’s a tough little bastard,” Bennett said. “He goes hard, he plays hard -- when you block for him he’s going to run hard and he’s going to do all the things that you want him to do and he’s a smart back. I’m super-excited. He’s one of my best friends on the team so I’m super-excited he had a great game today.”
Next Sunday, the Giants head to the left coast to take on the 49ers and Bradshaw’s “big brother,” Brandon Jacobs.
“I mean, of course I miss him,” Bradshaw said. “On and off the field, he was a brother to me, Brandon was.
“These guys here -- Andre’s been here a couple years, he’s like my little brother now. David’s coming into the room, we treat him the same way. Everybody in the room, we’re brothers, man. We’re a team. Everybody on this team is my brother and I like it that way.”
So how much is Bradshaw looking forward to seeing Jacobs?
“I can’t wait. It’s gonna be fun seeing him and Mario (Manningham),” Bradshaw said. “It’s gonna be a big game for us and we expect it.”
As for what it’s going to be like seeing Jacobs and Manningham on the opposing sideline?
“It’s gonna be real strange, man. Especially with them being like brothers to me,” Bradshaw said. “Mario was my neighbor. Brandon showed me the ropes in the NFL. He showed me a lot. It’s gonna be a great feeling, and it’s gonna be all right with them on the other side.”