It would be exhausting to list all the areas where the New York Giants have struggled this season, but one weakness that has stood out is the rushing attack. New York’s backfield has been decimated by injuries, and combined with a weak offensive line it’s made for a rough first half to the 2013 season.
The original plan involved a dual-back set made up of David Wilson and Andre Brown. Wilson was tabbed as the starting back and Brown would provide the thunder to his lightning. Brown ended up fracturing his leg in the preseason and now Wilson has missed the last three games with a neck injury.
Brandon Jacobs was signed back in mid-September after Wilson looked shaky early, including a two-fumble performance in the season opener. Jacobs broke out for 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Chicago Bears but suffered a hamstring injury along the way.
The Giants then signed Peyton Hillis after rookie Michael Cox was left as the only healthy running back on the roster. Hillis has proved to be a godsend in the last two weeks, racking up 106 rushing yards, eight receptions for 60 receiving yards and one touchdown in his two games as a Giant. The numbers don’t jump from the page, but his impact led to the first two wins of New York’s season.
If Brown comes back healthy he should take over as the starting running back. Brown showed last year that he can handle the load when he stepped in for an injured Ahmad Bradshaw. The highlight of his season came in Carolina last year where he rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Brown should provide a lift and improve New York’s 29th ranked rushing attack. A successful ground game will alleviate some pressure from Eli Manning‘s shoulders and fast-track the Giants to continued success.