Sunday, December 25, 2011
Run game finishes strong vs. Jets
By Matt Ehalt
The Giants' running game was nonexistent at the beginning of Saturday's game -- but rebounded to finish strong.
For the third time in their past four games, the Giants rushed for more than 100 yards as they tallied 115 on the ground in their 29-14 win over the Jets. The Giants had a measly six yards on seven carries at the half before exploding in the second half.
"Obviously at halftime we were not real happy and we talked about the fact that we had to do a better job of blocking them," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "They did a good job of matching our personnel schemes and taking away some of the things that ... we thought we had. We were able to put it on the ground and run some time off the clock and gain some yardage."
After a very slow start to the season in terms of rushing, the Giants' running game had been as strong as it had been all season heading into Saturday's game, tallying its best three-game stretch of the season by averaging 100.3 yards and garnering at least 100 yards in two of them. That strong performance had come behind a reinvented line with Kevin Boothe at center and Mitch Petrus as the left guard.
Saturday, the Giants reinserted David Baas, who had missed the previous three games with a neck injury and intense headaches, into the lineup and the results didn't immediately promising. The Giants had just six rushing yards on its first seven carries, with a long run of four yards from Ahmad Bradshaw.
The unit found its legs on the last drive of the third quarter. Leading 10-7 at the time, Brandon Jacobs galloped for a 28-yard gain that put the Giants at the 14-yard line. On the following play, Bradshaw went up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown that gave the Giants a 17-7 lead and seemingly changed the complexion of the game. Bradshaw added a 19-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to seal the game for the Giants.
"It was kind of in the first half we kind of stalemated sometimes, things weren't going good, defense kept us in it," Baas said. "Second half, we had some adjustments and different runs and we produced a little bit more and just really kind of did some things better in terms of blocking and scheme stuff. Their front did a good job in the first half of doing some things to shut us down and we did some things to not help ourselves. In the second half, we did some better things in terms of doing some plays that really helped us in terms of blocking guys, it worked out better for us to get some yardage."