It would have been unrealistic to expect Rashad Jennings to return from his knee injury against one of the NFL’s premier run defenses and have him put up a huge game.
Jennings wasn’t bad though, and he was hardly the reason the Giants fell 16-10 to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. He carried the ball 18 times for 59 yards to lead all Big Blue rushers. Henry Hynoski added one carry for four yards, and Andre Williams rushed twice for two yards.
The highlight of the day for Jennings was a 15-yard rush behind Weston Richburg late in the third quarter, which was lost in the shuffle of what would transpire three plays later: the now infamous 4th and 1 debacle.
This week should get a little bit easier for the Giants ground game, going up against the rival Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are a bottom-third team defending the run, but the Giants didn’t have great success the first time the two teams met up.
Williams was the featured back that day and carried 18 times for 51 yards, while Peyton Hillis added 29 yards on six scampers.
Having Jennings back for round two with the ‘Boys should help the Giants’ productivity on the ground, but something more may be needed.
What Ben McAdoo needs to do is get Williams in more as a spell back. Jennings is the superior receiver and blocker, so Williams is not really a third-down back type, but using Jennings and Williams as a tandem ala Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward could prove to be effective. As putrid as the Giants rushing attack has been for the past three years, it couldn’t hurt to at least experiment the rest of the way in what looks to be a lost season.
Sadly that is what 2014 has come to.
Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist