COMMENTARY | As if the New York Giants' offense didn't have enough problems, it appears Big Blue will be without its best running back for Thursday night's prime time matchup with the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
The Giants already rank dead last in the NFL at just 56.8 yards per game and their four lost fumbles are also the most in the NFL. Wilson leads the Giants with a paltry 146 yards on 44 carries through the first five games (3.3 yards per carry) and scored his first touchdown of the season in Sunday's loss.
New York brought back Da'Rel Scott on Tuesday after releasing him last week; about the only option the Giants had on the short work week. Scott knows the system and can be thrown back into the mix without any extra work. Scott has 56 yards on 16 carries; his 3.5 yards per carry is the best among Big Blue running backs.
The other options in the backfield are veteran Brandon Jacobs, who has just 48 yards on 22 carries (2.2 yards a pop) and Michael Cox, a seventh-round draft pick out of Massachusetts who doesn't have a carry as a rookie and has only been active for three of New York's five games this season.
Much of the Giants' problems with the running game ... with the entire offense, to be fair ... has been the play of the battered offensive line. David Diehl came back last week at right guard, but Chris Snee has a hip problem that may be career-ending and was placed on injured reserve last week, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News via Twitter and center David Baas missed his second straight game on Sunday because of a neck injury and did not practice Tuesday.
It's possible the Giants could bring in another running back after the Bears' game, since they will have 11 days before hosting the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, Oct. 21, but given the condition of the New York offensive line, Jim Brown in his prime would have trouble gaining three yards a carry for this team.
Big Blue hasn't won a game since the first week of the preseason, when they topped the Pittsburgh Steelers. But after averaging 3.8 yards a carry in the practice games, the Giants have managed just 3.3 yards a pop in their five straight regular season losses. That's 27th-best in the league, ahead of only the Steelers (3.2), New Orleans Saints (3.1), St. Louis Rams (3.0), Baltimore Ravens (2.8) and the team that is setting new standards for offensive incompetence, the Jacksonville Jaguars (2.7).
A far bigger culprit for the Giants is turnovers. With 20, the Giants have nearly twice as many as any other team in the NFL (the New York Jets are next with 12) and their minus-13 giveaway/takeaway ratio is the worst in the league (Pittsburgh has 11 turnovers and is minus-11, which gives you some idea how effective the Steeler defense has been).
Short weeks are difficult. Short weeks when having to go on the road are more difficult. An injury to a starting running back when having to go on the road in a short week?
That just makes a bad situation worse.
Phil Watson is a freelance commentator and journalist who covers the New York Giants, New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets for the Yahoo Contributor Network. He is also editor of brewers101.com and holds an editorial position at HoopsHabit.com.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- New York Giants
- New York