Jan 1, 2017; Landover, MD, USA; New York Giants running back Paul Perkins (28) is tackled by Washington Redskins linebacker Will Compton (51) during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

X-Factor: Paul Perkins

When the Giants played the Packers in week five, their running game was a mess. It did not improve substantially in the coming weeks, but it seems that in the final month of the season, New York has finally found their pecking order at running back.

And the man at the top is none other than rookie, Paul Perkins.

While Perkins has seen limited time throughout the season, he finally had his breakout game against the Washington Redskins last week. After seeing his workload increased, Perkins exploded for 102 yards on 21 carries in week 17.

He improved his per-carry average to 4.1 yards on the season, and with game-time temperatures expected to drop into the single digits, the run game should be a major focus for both teams. If Perkins can build on his strong performance from last week, he could bring the balance to the Giants offense that New York has looked for all season.

Billy Nayden is an SMU Mustang from Connecticut born and raised on New York sports. Avid fan of nearly every sport from MMA to handball. His heart is in NYC, but Billy has seen games on multiple continents, and has frequented arenas ranging from high school gyms to world class meccas.