When the run game thrives, so does the New York Giants’ offense, and that will start and end with Paul Perkins.When the New York Giants last squared off against the Green Bay Packers, back in Week 5 of the regular season, rookie running back Paul Perkins was barely a factor in New York’s offensive game plan.
The UCLA standout received just two carries for nine yards during the Giants’ 23-16 loss. Meanwhile, veterans Bobby Rainey (five carries, 22 yards) and Orleans Darkwa (seven carries, 11 yards) failed to do much to make the offense any less one-dimensional.
Yet, now with the two teams set for a rematch in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs, Perkins will now be called upon as Big Blue’s lead back. His late season breakout has given the team a valuable weapon entering the postseason.
Perkins is the home run threat on the ground that the Giants had been lacking all season. Despite receiving 10 or more carries only once prior to Week 14, he still managed runs of 10 or more yards in seven games this season. His shifty running style and excellent vision make him deadly on a team that already has Odell Beckham Jr. to burn defenses through the air.
In New York’s final three games, Perkins increased his yardage totals every week from 56 against the Detroit Lions to 68 against the Philadelphia Eagles, and 102 against the Washington Redskins. He never dipped below 4.5 yards per carry in a game over that span and had runs of 20 or more yards in two of the three contests.
However, neither Philadelphia, Detroit, nor Washington was a top 10 defense in terms of rushing yards allowed. The Packers finished the regular season as the eighth best team in that category. New York was unable to get anything going against them on the ground during their regular season meeting, but if Perkins can rise to the challenge the rest of the offense will likely succeed with him.
Though he may not yet be ready to be the team’s bell cow runner, having him as a viable threat in the running game will be invaluable to the Giants as they take on Green Bay.