|Written by Michael|
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New York Giants have a new, well old, number one running back, and it is once again Brandon Jacobs. After being frustrated with Ahmad Bradshaw's inability to hold the ball, Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Wednesday demoted Bradshaw and gave Jacobs the starting job for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
For his part, Jacobs didn't know what to make of the promotion. Coughlin has one reason for the switch: Bradshaw has fumbled too much, leading the NFL among running backs. While Bradshaw is fifth in the league in rushing with 867 yards, he has fumbled six times and lost five, with most of the turnovers happening when he struggles for extra yardage.
The most recent fumble came during Sunday night's 27-17 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, and that was enough for the veteran coach after seeing his Giants cough up the ball five times.
Coughlin plans to continue giving Bradshaw carries, but Jacobs will start and receive more work. Bradshaw has 185 carries this season. Jacobs has been limited to 78 carries for 387 yards.
Coughlin said Bradshaw obviously wasn't happy about the change, but the coach believes the fourth-year pro will fight his way through it. The change has to be awkward for Bradshaw and Jacobs, who are roommates and best friends.
Jacobs and Bradshaw had been the Giants' 1-2 punch the past two years. The 264-pound Jacobs would wear down defenses with his bruising style, then the quicker and nimbler Bradshaw would run past them late in the game for big gains.
All that changed in training camp. Bradshaw got the first carry in Albany, N.Y., and his style seemed to fit with an offensive line that was opening cracks instead of gaping holes.
Jacobs will take the majority of carries now. Jacobs isn't the type of back who will break the big run, although he is capable of doing that once he gets up a head of speed. Bradshaw can score on any handoff, something the Giants might need these days with receivers Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks sidelined with injuries.
With an average of fewer than eight carries per game this season, Jacobs said he is very healthy heading into the 11th game, good news for sports betting fans.
Quarterback Eli Manning said the change isn't a major one. He believes that Jacobs ran the ball well this year, and knows how it is to get most of the carries. But thinks the Giants should use both Ahmad and Jacobs