The Pack and the Beanstalk
Pounding runs from behind the New York Giants line have changed everything.
The G-Men, now playing harder than James Brown at the Apollo, have returned to the run, and in turn, turned back the clock. Yes, one of the NFL's worst rushing offenses in the regular season is again a juggernaut on the ground.
It helps that guards Chris Snee and Kevin Boothe can't be stopped in pursuit of forging lanes. They don't merely make space, space sees them coming and lays out in fear. Large men have that affect. But more importantly, Brandon Jacobs, as fee-fi-fo-fum as they come, won’t easily be toppled from his playoff beanstalk.
Jacobs busted up the middle of the Falcons defense last week with the reckless, grunting style we came to know in 2007-08. Now, inexplicably, as if fueled by the raucous New York crowd, and maybe by his inspiring defensive ends - led by another Fewell, Perry - Jacobs is again a hostile goliath.
Jacobs’ barge and spin on fourth and inches near the end of the first half was just brutal. The line collapsed inside, Jacobs stomped outside and then pirouetted, banged his head against a Falcon, and dove back in to pick up the difference. And just like that, the Giants had 75 yards in a single half, almost twice as much as they'd gained through the air. Atlanta looked more distraught than crash test dummies.
So now Green Bay's defense - a mid-tier obstacle for sound rushers - faces a rejuvenated Jacobs, who should truly terrify the Pack’s defense. This is mainly because the Giant Jacobs is as much a psychological issue as a physical one - Fox's half time backdrop of him pumping his fists was testament to that. In other words, the idea of him is as scary as the reality.Continued on the next page