Ahmad Bradshaw managed just 16 yards on 5 carries, 12 of which came on one play before going out with an injury in the second quarter, opening the door, not for David Wilson but Andre Brown. Brown proceeded to gain 71 yards on 13 carries and added the eventual winning touchdown on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds remaining.
The big story in New York will be Eli Manning’s performance as he set the Giants single-game record for passing yards, en route to a 510-yard passing day and it will be Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks who combined for 378-yards receiving. However, Brown’s emergence helped balance the Giants attack which had sputtered badly as Eli Manning threw three interceptions and the Giants had to settle for four field goals their first four trips to the red zone.
The Giants offense began clicking as soon as Brown started running the football. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Brown looked like a completely different player than the Andre Brown Giants fans had grown accustomed to seeing. Brown ran the ball with authority, something he was able to do in the preseason which allowed the Giants to cut D.J. Ware.
His numbers won’t stand out in the box score, not when the Giants had 510 yards in the air, but Brown will almost certainly earn more playing time, even if Bradshaw comes back next week after hurting his neck and requiring x-rays. That will probably mean David Wilson gets buried even further on the depth chart and will have to depend on special teams for playing time.
It has been a strange road for Brown who was drafted in the fourth-round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Giants. His only previous action in the regular season came as a member of the Denver Broncos in 2010. He later bounced around with the Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, and Washington Redskins before returning to the Giants practice squad last season.
He almost lost the first four games of this season after getting suspended for using Adderall, but that suspension was overturned.
It should be very interesting to see how the Giants use Brown moving forward. It is obvious Tom Coughlin has more trust in Brown than Wilson. The question now is, can Brown maintain this level of performance?