The New York Giants most recent performance against the Lions can tell us a lot about the future of their run game, especially Paul Perkins.
So far this season, the New York Giants running game has been abysmal, to say the least. They are currently 30th in rushing yards per game averaging a meager 81 YPG. In the Giants last game against the Lions, they rushed for 114 yards, well above their average.
While some may believe that this is a fluke, it is entirely possible for the Giants to keep this up.
One of the major stories on Sunday was the return of Justin Pugh. Pugh had been one of the best guards in the game prior to his injury and looked like he was back on track to being dominant. He helped to open up many holes in the running game that just weren’t there when he was injured. With Pugh’s return, the running game should continue to improve.
The main reason for optimism for the Giants to continue this running tear is Paul Perkins.
Perkins has been looking better and better as the season has continued on. According to Pro Football Focus, against the Lions, Perkins was the NFL’s fifth highest-graded offensive player with a score of 73.4.
Not only has Pugh’s return meant a lot, but Perkins is also receiving an increased workload. For the first time this season, he’s seen two consecutive games of 10 plus carries. Although Perkins only averages 3.8 YPA, this is mostly due to the poor work of the offensive line.
The other knock on Perkins is his pass blocking. It is poor, although he has shown improvement in the past few games. The future is only brighter for Perkins if he can get more carries.
If one running back should get more carries, then that only means that another player will see fewer attempts.
The player that is on the opposing end of Perkins is Rashad Jennings.
Jennings is a solid player, but he is already 31-years old, way past the short-lived prime of a running back. Jennings is only averaging 3.2 YPA and has compiled a minuscule 497 yards. These numbers are unacceptable for a team’s number one running back.
Although Jennings has not fumbled once on 154 attempts and leads the team in rushing touchdowns (with just two), somebody will be forced to take the fall. What may save him some carries is the solid job he does in pass protecting Eli, and with the loss of Shane Vereen for the season, it wouldn’t hurt to have Jennings in on passing downs.
For the Giants to keep running the ball well, Perkins must be the starter over the incumbent Jennings. Perkins is a home run threat every time he touches the ball and adds another dimension to the offense that Jennings does not.
With Perkins as the lead back, the Giants running game should once again spell trouble for opposing defenses.