Commentary

Tough crowd? Boo-hoo, Brandon

Giants' struggling RB needs to forget the fans -- and find the end zone

Updated: November 21, 2011, 9:41 PM ET
By Rob Parker | ESPNNewYork.com

Brandon Jacobs should just be running, not running his mouth.

Instead of rushing for much-needed yards in the Giants' offense, Jacobs -- the talented, but disappointing back this season -- is bothered because fans are booing.

Boo-hoo.

Brandon Jacobs
Howard Smith/US PresswireHey Brandon Jacobs, stop running your mouth about the fans, and start moving the chains.

"That's the best thing they do here is boo," Jacobs said Sunday night. "I've been hearing that for seven years."

Jacobs shouldn't care.

It's what fans do. They boo when a player or a team is terrible and they cheer when a player or a team is great. Fans have a short menu -- cheering and booing. Get used to it. It's always been that way and won't change.

And you can't blame Giants fans for unleashing Da Bronx cheer early and often after that debacle -- a 17-10 loss to the Michael Vick-less Philadelphia Eagles on a prime-time, national telecast at MetLife Stadium.

The only thing worse than the loss was the Giants' running game, er, lack of a running game. Jacobs had 21 yards on 12 carries. You can hardly call that a bad day at the office. That's more like not going to work at all.

To be fair, it was the entire running game. In all, the Giants gathered 29 yards on 17 carries. No matter how good you think the Eagles' defense is -- and it isn't that great -- that's downright sorry.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin didn't soft-soak the results either afterward, calling New York's running game "as pathetic as it can get." It was so bad Joe Pisarcik handing off to Larry Csonka would have been a welcome sight to Coughlin -- even in a game against the Eagles.

Coughlin saw exactly what the home crowd saw and booed -- terrible production from a once productive player. Let's face it, running the football is what made the Giants good again and helped win a Super Bowl a few years back.

That seems like decades ago, not years, because the Giants' running game has gone south with Jacobs leading the way to nowhere.

"It was absolutely pathetic," Jacobs said when told about Coughlin's comments. "The worst I've ever experienced in my seven years of playing.

"We're used to being in the top two, two three in the league. Now we're 40th [29th, to be correct]."

It's the reason Giants fans are frustrated and boo-happy these days following back-to-back losses. A big part of winning games in the NFL has to do with the ability to run the football. It's really simple. And when you can't, the chances of winning on a consistent basis drop big-time.

That's why fans are so mad at Jacobs. He used to produce and make the big plays that would electrify the stadium. But those seem few and far between now.

Jacobs, at 6-4, 264 pounds, is a bull. But this season he's been more like a lamb. He has just three touchdowns. He's averaging just three yards a carry, down from his career average of 4.5. His longest run this season is a paltry 15 yards. That's nothing to celebrate for a man who has a career-long 73 yards on one play on his résumé.

Jacobs is having a head-scratchingly bad season. There's no other way to paint this picture.

That's why this wasn't the first time this season that Jacobs got showered with boos. Fans were on him hard during his 10-yard, four-carry stinker against the Miami Dolphins a few weeks back. For a runner like Jacobs, that was totally unacceptable.

From this point on, Jacobs just needs to worry about hitting the holes, running over defenders and moving the chains with his legs.

Talking or complaining about the fans is a total waste of time. It's a miracle players get so caught up in it all. It's like a player worrying about what's written about him by sportswriters or what's said on sports-talk radio by puffy couch potatoes.

None of it has ever mattered.

If only sportswriters and sports broadcasters had that much power. It's just not true.

Hopefully, Jacobs will understand it, get over his hurt feelings.

Fans are fickle. It's very easy to change those boos into cheers -- do your job, play well and help your team win.

So simple, yet it seems so hard for most players to figure out. Hello, Brandon Jacobs.

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