NEW YORK GIANTS FOOTBALL: Brandon Jacobs Ran Through Dallas Like the BULLY they Begged For.
His own fan base berates him; belittles him; and dumps on him endlessly. Many point to him as the primary cause for the Giants' running woes this season. He's also been tagged as an ingrate and an ungrateful bad guy for many things he's said over the seasons, to include certain comments he made in recent weeks. Judging by many Giants fan's attitudes and reaction to some very select words, both sides seem content to part ways after the season. Financially, the Giants appear motivated to make that happen as well.
Yet, I've always defended him. I've consistently maintained his importance towards playing successful Giants football in December and beyond. Before criticizing his obvious short-comings, I've been inclined to criticize Coach Gilbride's play calling, lack of creativity, and lack of faith in the running game first. And second, I looked at how well the Offensive Line performed.
I've also often said to ignore things he says because he maintains an adversarial relationship with the Media, and quite simply, he's just not good with effective public speaking. So most things he says are in direct response to some writer or reporter pissing him off. Then what often gets reported and written, or talked about is some bunker-type mentality sound bite. It's a Media trap he's all too willing to fall into because he just doesn't care and doesn't particularly like them much.
However, his actions speak louder than his words. His team mates like him. He likes and supports his team mates very well. And as evidenced in a locker room display, he harbors no ill will towards his coach, and I dare say has respect for Coughlin. When his starting status was given to his running mate, he stood tall on the sidelines. And with little complaint, encouraged his Little Buddy with vigor. And need we be reminded, in all probability knowing he'd lose a handsome sum of money, he opted to rework his deal to accommodate the resigning of Ahmad Bradshaw this season.
In spite of all the good things he done team wise, many dote on the negative exchanges between him and the Media who are in full control of how to get a good story out of him or about him before deadline. I ask my fellow Giant fan, outside of his hold-out; when has he ever caused a problem in the locker room, for his team (other than coming close to getting stupid penalties...see last game), his team mates, or his coaches? What came between him and Jerry Reese was just money. That's precisely what the GM's job is all about.
Leading up to last Sunday's showdown, the Dallas Cowboys called him a Bully. I've always called him Brandon Jacobs. Whatever you call him, the fact is, he went to Dallas more than willing to oblige them. He promised to be the Bully Dallas craved for, or feared. Either way, they got both - nineteen bruising times. Truth is.....
"People like you need Brandon Jacobs around to point your fingers at and say, there goes the bad guy. Well, say hello to the Bad Guy!" - paraphrasing Tony Montana.
In the Giants biggest game of the season and in hostile territory no less, Coach Coughlin benched Ahmad Bradshaw for the first half in a move that I can only describe as being done by someone who clearly clings to and is faithful to his principles, but who also possesses an enormous set of pigskins for following through when most coaches would have not dared sending such a (coaching wise) self-destructive message. The message was in effect delivered, facilitated and probably hammered home by Ahmad's Big Buddy. If not for having the game he had; over sixty yards in the first half, maybe Coughlin doesn't keep Bradshaw out as long as he does, and is made to look weak in the process.
Regardless, the fact remained. Big Blue needed a running game to supplement Eli Manning's heroics. Sunday night, Brandon Jacobs gave Dallas, everyone in the House that Jerry Jones built, his team, and every Giant fan back home in NY watching on TV, a throw back performance, and did things I even said he couldn't do prior to the game. Last week in TEXAS SHOWDOWN, I wrote:
"The clearest evidence the O-Line was doing something right was noticeable in the way Brandon Jacobs got into Green Bay's secondary. The maligned back rushed eight times for fifty-nine yards. And with a hop here and a skip there, he could have rushed for much more. But he's never been accused of being a hurdler, now has he? Those tree trunks of his were made for running in two directions; straight; and right at people."
Boy did I ever mis-speak! Because Brandon Jacobs spent Sunday thumpin' and pumpin' - jukin' and jivin' - divin' and drivin' the pigskin to daylight all night long. And Yes! He even hurdled would be tacklers on his way to 101 yards rushing on 19 carries against the Cowboys. But the real trick to his big game Sunday was his ability to bounce many of those plays outside.
Fellow Giant Fans, I'd encourage you to show Brandon Jacobs some love this Sunday before the game against the Redskins even begins. In all likelihood, the next three regular season home games are all Brandon Jacobs has left in a Giants' uniform. One game is technically a road game against the Jets. But do it; get up and cheer him and do it well before the game starts Sunday, because we never know what will happen after kick-off.
Do it, because today, no other running back in Giants history has ever rushed for more touchdowns than Brandon Jacobs. He accomplished that feat this past game against the Cowboys with two trips into the end-zone. Don't make 2007 such a distant memory that we can't show him a little appreciation for being a part of that, and for helping us get through Sunday' game as well.
We ALL loved him once. We were happy to take the ball from Tiki Barber and put it in his hands. But his old group of supporters have dwindled in numbers considerably over the last few seasons. When you review last season, while still very productive, Coach Gilbride stunted Jacobs' contributions considerably. But when we needed one of those old games from him, he plowed through Dallas like a BULLY going through a pack of sixth graders.
That's what he does. Or rather, that's what he used to do a lot more often. But the fact remains he got it done Sunday. Had we lost, our next three games are damn near rendered meaningless. Brandon Jacobs has been part of many late December games as a Giant, and Sunday, he just gave us one more.
Don't be so blind as to piggy-back on talkie-takes and chastise Brandon Jacobs with holier than thou crap. Take stock of his career as a Giant..... and thank him for it. And do it right. Do it as soon as you see him come out of the tunnel next Sunday.
"Look out....Bad Guy Comin' Through!"