Last week’s 45-14 dismantling of the Washington Redskins featured strong performances across the board from players on the Giants’ offense. Perhaps the only man left out of the party was starting running back Rashad Jennings.
After blowing up for a career-high 176 yards on the ground during the previous game against Houston, Jennings gained just 55 yards on 13 carries versus Washington. A lot of that was the Giants being smart about Jennings’ carries on a short week following an extremely heavy workload, so the veteran back should see a little more action with Atlanta in town this week.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Falcons own one of the NFL’s weakest defenses. At Minnesota last Sunday, the unit yielded 213 yards on 38 carries by Vikings running backs. In other words, this week should be a good matchup for Jennings. He’s not one to get caught up in the numbers, though.
“You can throw stats out the window, man,” said Jennings. “Football is week to week. It is a one game season every single week, they are going to come in here with an attitude and have something to prove, so stats are irrelevant. We’ve got to produce, we have to play Giants football, we’ve got to know how we are going to attack them and how they are going to attack us and just play physical.”
No matter how hyped the opponent is, Jennings and the Giants know that if they concentrate on doing what they do well, success will follow. Perhaps that mindset is the reason why the Giants have been so consistent during their past two games after an uneven start.
“It is not about any other team, it is about us and what we are able to control,” said Jennings, “Every time we are out on the football field, making sure we get first downs, control the clock, move the ball, put points on the board. Continue to build that energy on the sideline and the crowd helps out a tremendous amount and, like I said, man, just keep playing Giants football.”
Lately, “Giants football” has meant pounding opponents with the run and punishing them with precision passing. On defense, New York has been able to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and force turnovers. Jennings and the Giants are confident that their excellent play can continue as we get into the meat of the team’s schedule.
“I think we are just efficient, calm, poised, relentless, executing,” said Jennings, “Those are the types of things we are trying to be whether it is in the run game, whether it is in the pass game, whether it is on defense, whether it is on special teams.”