Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 7/9/12
I see only upside to the NY Giants' decision in letting running back Brandon Jacobs flee in free agency.

The former 2005 fourth-round draft pick out of Southern Illinois has typically been referred to as a power back.

At 265 pounds, what else? Jacobs' size makes him one of the biggest running backs in NFL history.

Combined with his speed, the Giants thought they had a guy they could mold into a threat who would actually put the thunder into 'thunder and lightning'. 

But Jacobs has been more like an ominous storm on the horizon that pretentiously passes by doing little harm or damage.

Or a prize fighter promising to pummel his opponent into submission, only to reveal that he's got a glass jaw himself. 

I don't know where NFL stats are kept on third or fourth down, short-yardage run situations. But Jacobs has been awful in his career converting these into first downs. Even to the casual observer it appears self evident.

I don't know how many times we've heard Fox NFL analysts like Hall of Famer Troy Aikman comment that Jacobs needs to square his shoulders and decisively go for it in these critical situations by smashing his huge and powerful frame into the line. 

I honestly can't recall many (if any?) instances of Jacobs simply imposing his will and being that force to be reckoned with. Not unless he were running open field behind a full head of steam. And I don't remember that happening without his offensive line ripping a nice hole for him to gallop through gaining the required momentum.

In terms of both pass protection and receiving, Jacobs is average at best. He doesn't rival Ahmad Bradshaw in either category. Speaking of Bradshaw, he will benefit greatly if first-round draft pick, running back David Wilson, is anywhere near as good as advertised.

The team brass is absolutely giddy over what they've seen so far from the rookie. Opposing defenses had to be relieved whenever Bradshaw left the field to be spelled by Jacobs. That shouldn't be the case with Wilson, who like Bradshaw is short in stature but powerfuly built, fast, quick, elusive and has great field vision.

Which is sure to open things up for both Bradshaw and the entire offense. In any case, the Giants need a healthy Bradshaw and a solid backup whomever that might be. Preferably one who Giant fans feel can occasionally make something out of nothing, as Bradshaw often does.   I for one will be very surprised if Jacobs has any meaningful impact whatsoever on the success of the 49ers' offense. San Francisco's offensive line is young, talented and only getting better.

But a conservative offensive philosophy combined with a passing game that has little resemblance to the wide open aerial attack featured by the Giants may all the more expose Jacobs' weaknesses. Opposing defenses stack the box and play run-first against the NFC West Champions.    Bad news for a big man who seems to require open space in order to be effective.  

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