First off, thanks to Brandon Jacobs, who always seemed proud to play for the New York Giants up until his last game on us. While he will probably be picked up by another team, he ended his career with the Giants on top. No matter what he said in the media or did during the week, Jacobs came and gave the Giants his best effort every Sunday.
Still–he had to go.
For a team that is trying to shed salaries, Jacobs provided a great opportunity to do just that. No reason the Giants should be paying their backup RB $4.9 million base salary (or even half of that number to be perfectly honest). I mentioned recently that the Giants could look to upgrade the position through the draft. Perhaps they choose to bring in a veteran who is willing to play for around $1 million a year. That question will be answered soon.
Anyway let’s look back at Jacobs’ tenure with the Giants. Stats wise–he averaged just about nine rushing TDs per season over his seven-year career. Pretty impressive. His lowest total was four in 2007, which also may have been his best year. He broke the 1000-yard mark and rushed for 92 yards per game.
After showing flashes as Tiki’s backup in 06 it seemed like everyone had high expectations for Jacobs heading into 2007. And while he was great in 07 and 08, breaking the 1000-yard barrier in each season, it always seemed like he was falling just a bit short below of the (maybe unfairly) high expectations that everyone had for him. Then again the timing was never right for Jacobs to be a star. Splitting carries with another 1000-yard back in Ward (and to an extent, Bradshaw) prevented Brandon from ever having a 250-300 carry season in the heart of his prime. Who knows what a fresh-legged Jacobs could have done behind one of the best run-blocking lines the Giants have ever seen. That is something that seems to get lost on some people.
By 2011 many had become frustrated with his inability to hit the hole with purpose (while the logical fan knew it was some combination of that and the struggles of the offensive line) and ruled out the back as a viable option. But the running back’s second half of the season proved that Jacobs still could run well, despite the Giants’ struggling o-line.
He always showed up for the big games, especially Dallas (that goes a long way with me) including this season when he lit up the Cowboys in a game where Bradshaw was suspended. He was pretty solid for the Giants down the stretch this season and turned in some pretty good games while Bradshaw was hurt. None bigger than the Dallas game.
By the end of his time with us he became a very good pass blocker, something he inexplicably wasn’t earlier in his career. I’ll always have the lasting image of the “veteran Jacobs” in Super Bowl XLVI taking on a blitzing Rob Ninkovich and just absolutely standing him up and delivering a massive blow. Great stuff.
Jacobs Giants run can also be quantified in the collection of YouTube moments that he has compiled throughout his career—like this one, or this one, this one, this one, this one or this one. I mean–come on–Jacobs just seems like a natural fit in professional wrestling. Seriously. The man is a football player AND an entertainer.
While all of that is great stuff, it’d be foolish not to focus on Jacobs’ on-field production and contributions. He played a major role on two world champion teams as both a player and a team leader. He’s no longer a NY Giant, but he was a very effective player who was a major contributor to two world championship football teams.