The New York Giants have an interesting dilemma on their hands concerning their upcoming Sunday Night Football matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles. After a breakout performance against the Carolina Panthers, it would appear the Giants should give Andre Brown more of the load in the backfield. However, incumbent starter Ahmad Bradshaw missed that game and is expected to return, and start, against the Eagles.
Conventional wisdom might lean you towards thinking the Giants should stick with Brown. The Giants have not been very successful running the football the past two seasons. Last Thursday was just the third time they had a 100 yard rusher in their past 19 regular season games, and the first such time this season. Brown looked dominant, displaying excellent patience, vision and toughness as he knifed through the Panthers defense.
There are two problems with thinking Brown should be the guy going forward. For one, the Panthers defense is awful. They couldn’t stop a nosebleed that night and the Giants scored on almost every single possession. That, combined with the fact that Brown has had the opportunity to run behind a much better offensive line means Bradshaw should not lose the starting job.
And he won’t, according to Tom Coughlin, but they won’t rule out splitting carries or using whoever plays better.
“At this point in time it will be according to however we plan to use them,” Coughlin said. “Naturally, we reserve the right of who has the hot hand. So many times it has been Ahmad in that situation”
Brown looked better than Bradshaw against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Brown ran behind the offensive line combination that started last week’s game. David Diehl‘s injury appeared to be a blessing in disguise (not surprising), and Bradshaw will likely run behind this new combination with Diehl missing practices again this week.
One thing is for sure though, while this may appear to be a problem, having more than one back that you can trust is a great problem to have.