David Wilson suffers from Chris Johnson disease.
During the Giants’ second preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, Wilson carried the ball eight times and gained 34 yards averaging a respectable 4.25 yards per carry.
However, 21 of those yards came on one rush, meaning the other seven netted just 13 yards.
Much like Johnson, the speedy running back from the Titans, Wilson is gathering a reputation as a back who will get modest two yard gain after two yard gain, before breaking one loose.
While this style of running back is exciting because you never know exactly when the big run is coming, the instability and unreliability can hurt the team on the field.
If Wilson wants to pull ahead of Andre Brown – who rushed eight times for 36 yards against the Colts – in the heated starting running back competition, he needs to show a little more consistency when he touches the ball.
While David Baas’ injury forced a shakeup along the offensive line, which may have affected Wilson’s effectiveness to a point, his volatility is a problem that stems back to last season.
Even so, as the Giants prepare for their third preseason game – their annual matchup with the Jets – it appears as if Wilson still holds a slight edge over Brown in the competition.
Wilson has started each of the first two preseason games so far, and has seen a majority of the snaps on first and second downs. Meanwhile, Brown has taken the lion’s share of snaps on third downs and will occasionally go out for an entire series.
The reason for that, of course, is Wilson’s struggle with pass protection. While there has been some marginal improvement this year over last, Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride clearly don’t feel comfortable trusting Wilson in important third down scenarios.
Look to see more of the same usage pattern this weekend against the Jets, except each back will play more, with Tom Coughlin stating starters will see approximately 30 snaps.
Joe’s Crystal Ball (Pre-Season Week 3):
Wilson rushes nine times for 44 yards and wins the starting job. Brown will be announced as the third down back and will spell Wilson from time to time.
Joe Vasile is a play by play announcer for High School Cube and Widener Pride football and host of ‘Ball Four with Joe Vasile’ on 91.3 WTSR in Trenton. Follow him on twitter at @JoeVasilePBP and visit his website.