Redskins wary of Giants' running game

Redskins wary of Giants' running game
December 16, 2011, 8:20 pm
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The Giants enter Sundays game against the Redskins ranked last in rushing offense.

Really? I didnt even realize that, linebacker London Fletcher said.

New York is last with two runs of longer than 20 yards.

Thats a little bit surprising, safety Reed Doughty said.

The Giants are last at 3.3 yards per carry.

Theyve become a passing team, it seems, nose tackle Barry Cofield said.

Indeed, the formerly big, bad, smash-mouth Giants have turned into an Eli Mannings offense theyre third in passing yards per game (304.1) and Mannings 4,105 yards are already a career high.

Eli, the receivers and the tight ends have been awesome, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. I think this is the best Ive seen Eli play and its scary because of the weapons they have.

Said Cofield, a former Giants defensive tackle: Hes a completely different animal right now. Hes playing unbelievable. If he would have played that well last year, we might have given Green Bay a run for their money.

Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are both over 60 catches and 1,000 yards, making up for the fact Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs havent combined for 1,000 yards, due in part to them missing six combined games.

Since Tom Coughlin arrived in 2004, the Giants have ranked among the top 11 rushing teams seven times (including first in 2008) and have a combined seven 1,000-yard rushers.

This year? The toilet.

You think about the Giants, you think about them typically being a run-first football team, Fletcher said.

The Giants are last in gains of 20-plus yards (two) and are one of eight teams including the Redskins that have no rushes of 40-plus yards.

New York has 113 more passes than rushes, hasnt gained more than 122 yards in a game this season and has 30 or fewer attempts in 10 games.

And the 3.3-yard average per carry is on pace to be the Giants lowest since 1999.

Still, theyre 7-6 and in control of their own fate in the NFC East thanks to their win over Dallas.

The Giants are optimistic the running game can get untracked because of what they did against Dallas 31 carries for 110 yards.

I thought we started to run a little bit better against Green Bay and I thought it was continued improvement in this game, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride told reporters. We dont have huge stats, but Im looking for consistency. I thought for the most part, we got that.

Haslett points to the better health of Bradshaw and Jacobs as a reason why the Giants are still dangerous in the running game.

I still think theyre committed to running the ball like they were last week, he said. I think they understand thats what got them to the Super Bowl and theyre going to have to get back to it.

The running game statistics for the Giants since Tom Coughlin arrived as coach in 2004:

Year Rank Carry TD 1,000-yd rushers
2004 11 3.3 18 1
2005 6 4.6 17 1
2006 7 4.1 14 1
2007 4 5.0 15 1
2008 1 4.6 19 2
2009 17 4.7 14 0
2010 6 4.7 17 1
2011 32 4.5 13 0

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