The fight for the Giants starting running back spot has all the makings of a great boxing fight. It’s the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight of the Giants organization but this fight is actually happening.
In the red corner stands Ahmad Bradshaw, who has been the Giants starting running back since 2008. He is the defending champion and “title holder” if you will.
In the blue corner is “the challenger” Andre Brown, who has surprised everyone with his hard running in two games so far this year. He has quickly moved past other running backs such as David Wilson and now has earned the chance for more time in the Giants backfield.
New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) is still the starter, but backup Andre Brown has certainly put the pressure on Bradshaw. PHOTO COURTESY: BILL KOSTROUN/AP PHOTO
So who will win this battle? The champion or the underdog? The veteran or the newcomer? Although everyone wants to see a winner in any fight, this fight looks as if it is going to end in a draw, with both backs drawing fairly equal touches as the season progresses.
According to sources, Bradshaw has been cleared for contact and should be available for Sunday’s showdown with the Eagles. Bradshaw will still be the starter but there is plenty of reason to believe that Brown will get more than his fair share of touches and could significantly help a Giants running game which finished dead last in 2011, and will enter week four ranked 16th in the league.
The stats make a strong case for Brown, or “the underdog” of this fight. Both Brown and Bradshaw have officially played in two games and Brown’s numbers are surprisingly better than Bradshaw’s. Brown has carried the ball 11 more times and is averaging 5.6 yards/carry compared to Bradshaw’s 4.3.
Brown has also reached the end zone three times compared to Bradshaw’s one. Bradshaw has a total of 15 receiving yards through two games, while Brown has five receptions for 36 yards.
Brown was named the starter for Thursday’s 36-7 win over the Panthers while Bradshaw dealt with his neck injury. Brown’s performance on a short week caught the attention of Head Coach Tom Coughlin, which is certainly a reason to believe the Giants will continue to use him when Bradshaw does come back.
Coughlin told Brown he was starting on Monday, and he certainly made the most of his opportunity rushing for 113 yards on 20 carries.
“To prepare throughout the week, knowing he was going to play and play as well as he did was outstanding,’’ Coughlin said.
That being said, the job is still Bradshaw’s to lose. However, Brown has certainly put the pressure on. Brown has emerged as a new weapon for the Giants and will be an integral part of the Giants rushing attack. Giants’ fans are hoping that this battle doesn’t turn into an actual fight and that these guys can work together for the rest of the season.
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