Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:19

NY Giants, Manning hope to rev up running game against New Orleans Saints

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giants3The Giants are 6-4 and tied for first place in the NFC East largely because of a proficient passing attack that has increased its production as the running game has sputtered. They rank fifth in the NFL with an average of 281.4 passing yards per game.

The Giants' running game dropped to a season low in the loss to the Eagles. They ran for only 29 yards on 17 carries, a 1.7-yard average. That was the Giants' lowest per carry output in a game since 1999.

The Giants' longest run against the Eagles was a nine-yarder by Brandon Jacobs.

Prior to this season, the Giants lows of the eight-year Coughlin era were 114.8 yards per game and a 4.1 yards a carry, both in 2009. The ranked 17th and 20th, respectively, in the NFL in rushing yards per game and per attempts that season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, nine teams averaged 82.3 or fewer yards a game and a 4.1 yards a carry or fewer, six of those nine teams finished with losing records.

The Giants are 31st in the league with 83.2 rushing yards per game and 32nd with an average of 3.16 yards per carry. The Giants haven't had so few rushing yards over a full season since 1945.

"It seems like we always wait until the fourth quarter before we start playing our best football," said quarterback Eli Manning in judging his team's performance this season. "In eight or nine games, that has been the case. We go into the fourth quarter and we are down or it's a close game and we have to fight back.

"Five of them we were able to win and three of them we got into the red zone basically and something happened. We were  stopped, you get a fumble or a tipped ball or a guy slips. It is the little things. We still have to play with more urgency throughout the game."

The Giants on Tuesday activated defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy, who was suspended last month after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances.

Cornerback Michael Coe suffered a shoulder injury in the Eagles game and will require surgery and end his season. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and linebacker Michael Boley (hamstring) both missed last week's game and it's unknown if they will play against the Saints.

Former Saints tackle Willie Roaf and New Orleans native Aeneas Williams have advanced to the semifinal round of Hall of Fame voting.  The selection committee has whittled the initial list of modern-era candidates from 105 to 26. The other 24 are, via safety Steve Atwater, running back Jerome Bettis, receiver Tim Brown, receiver Cris Carter, coach Don Coryell, running back Roger Craig, running back Terrell Davis, center Dermonti Dawson, owner Eddie DeBartolo, defensive end Chris Doleman, linebacker Kevin Greene, defensive end Charles Haleyk defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, running back Curtis Martiun, linebacker Clay Matthews, linebacker Karl Meckenburg, receiver Andre Reed, safety Donnie Shell, Commissioner Paul Tagliuabue, special-teamer  Steve Tasker, GM Ron Wolf and GM George Young, coach Bill Parcells and offensive lineman Will Shields.  That list will be cut to 15, who'll be considered on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, for induction.

by Ed Staton

(Visit Louisiana Sports Talk for your Saints, LSU jerseys)

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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