Two weeks ago I wrote on this very website that Andre Brown could quickly find himself to be the odd-man out in a crowded yet underachieving Giants backfield.

I would like to take this time to officially apologize to Brown for that article.

In his first NFL action in nearly 50 weeks, Brown was nothing short of fantastic.  He totaled 30 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown against an Oakland Raider defense that came in allowing only 96.8 yards per game on the ground.

The advanced statistics were even more kind to Brown.  Football Outsiders had Brown down for a 17.4% DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), and an impressive 180 EYds (Effective Yards)[1].

While the sample size is small – therefore these stats are prone to great variation – assuming that they’re not a fluke; it looks like the Giants can count on Brown to continue to perform well on the ground.

On Sunday, Brown’s tough running carried the Giants offense through yet another sub-par day from Eli Manning, and with some help from Terrell Thomas on defense, led the team to victory.

One cannot, however understate the help of John “Conan the Barbarian” Conner at fullback.  You have to point to his presence in the backfield as the sole turning point in the season for the Giants running game.

Both Brandon Jacobs’ and Brown’s 100-yard rushing games have been with Conner leading the way, and the Cox/Hillis/Conner combo in the backfield had moderate success in the games sandwiched in between[2].

Conner is a damn good fullback, and is certainly better than the obviously-not-100-percent Henry “The Hynoceros” Hynoski was early in the season.  But while you can’t give him all the credit for the modest turnaround in the rushing game, he certainly deserves some, especially since he plays the most thankless position in the game[3].

Hopefully the Brown-Conner Connection can help to bring more success to the Giants rushing attack, something they’ll need to rely upon if they are to continue a difficult-but-not-impossible road to the NFC East title.

Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist

Joe Vasile is the play-by-play announcer for Widener football and host of “Ball Four” on WTSR in Trenton.  Follow him on Twitter at @JoeVasilePBP.

[1] For a glossary of what these terms mean click this link:

[2] Cox, Hillis & Conner sounds like it could be some sort of firm.  Not a law firm, but maybe an accounting firm or something.

[3] The offensive line is not going the way of the Dodo, the fullback is.