When a running back has just 21-yards on 12 carries in a game, clearly there’s a problem with the team’s running game. When the stats are that bad, everyone shares in the blame.
The coaches don’t have the right play call or blocking scheme for the defense being played against them, the quarterback and line aren’t making the correct adjustments before the snap based on the defensive alignment, the blocks aren’t being executed and the back isn’t making the correct reads / cuts. On any given play it can be any one of those issues and it’s the truth is that it’s usually some a combination of all of them.
In the NFL, if the wrong play is called against a particular defense or a play is not blocked correctly, I don’t care if you’re Jim Brown, the chances of a productive play are slim. The guy carrying the ball almost always takes the hit for the poor running game and almost always gets the credit when the running game is on fire, that’s the way it works. The running back can’t be productive however if first contact with the defense is constantly being made in the backfield. There, I’ve defended New York Giants’ Brandon Jacobs as best I could…
That said, Jacobs just bought his ticket out of town.
Giants’ fans as a group have long had the reputation for being as conservative and loyal as they come. That said, the G-men have been largely competitive in since the Parcells era and many current Giants either aren’t old enough to remember or forget what it was like to be a fan in the 60’s and ‘70’s. In the 20-year period from 1964-1983 the New York Giants won just 100 games, that’s an average of just five per season. Do fans get disappointed, upset and angry when team doesn’t perform? Sure they do. Do they get on players when they are perceived to not be performing? Sure they do, but dealing with the fans boo’s and cheer’s is part of being a professional athlete.
So when Brandon Jacobs stood up in front of the media after Sunday’s 17-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and commented on the Giants fans booing him and the rest of the team replying, “That’s the best thing that they do here is to boo. I’m not worried about that. I’ve been hearing that for seven years,” he committed the cardinal sin of blaming / challenging the fans.
To his credit Jacobs acknowledged the Giants’ running games was awful. “It was absolutely pathetic. The worst I’ve ever experienced in my seven years of playing,” Jacobs said. “We’re used to being in the top two, top three in the league and now we’re 40th.” [Technically they are 29th]. Head Coach Tom Coughlin used similar language after the game calling Giants’ running game “as pathetic as it can get.”
Rather than leave it at that and just let the fans / media vent their frustrations after a dismal on-field performance, Jacobs chose to challenge the fans and that’s a battle a player can never win. A few weeks ago, after complaining about his role with the team and then and running for just 10-yards on four carries against the Miami Dolphins, Giants fans booed him at home. If he felt the fans were vocal then, wait until he gets stuffed for a loss against the Green Bay Packers at home on December 4th.
I’m not even suggesting that Brandon Jacobs’ poor season is his fault. I’m not certain any running back in the league would do any better behind the poor Giants blocking to date. However, if Jacobs really wanted to stay in NY, challenging the Giants fans is something he will regret. The moment he did that, he was no longer “one of them.” From a PR standpoint, Giants’ management is not going to keep someone they view as a malcontent on the team, this will be the last season for Jacobs in a Giants uniform; you can bank on it.
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The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.