Giants announced today that Jacobs will take over as starter for the fumble-prone Ahmad Bradshaw. This is the right decision and if you've been following this blog, you saw that I said they should make this move. (I guess Coughlin and Gilbride follow my blog also.) DJ Ware should get some carries in his place, though Bradshaw will not be permanently banished and will still play. Bradshaw, who is a good receiver out of the backfield and occasionally lines up as a WR could help the injury depleted passing game by lining up wide occasionally. He is not blinding fast, but he has the quickness to be a good slot receiver.
The truth is that Coughlin is so obsessed about ball security and turnovers that he would consider changing the QB also, if he had an alternative that was as good. Coughlin loves Eli and it would be a real shock to the team and to the locker room to change QBs, so he won't do that, but I am sure he is unhappy with all the INTs. This is a shot across the bow to the entire team about ball security.
Justin Tuck has a sore thigh and was added to the injury report, but interestingly, Shawn Andrews is not on the injury report. He played well against the Eagles, did not let Cole lay a hand on Eli, switched capably on some of the Eagles blitzes and did alright against the run. The problem with the OL and the running game Sunday night was more Boothe and the TEs than it was Andrews. It will be really interesting to see what the Giants do when Diehl and O'Hara come back. O'Hara should reclaim his C position; he is one of the best C's in football. Seubert had been playing very well at LG, so if he reclaims that slot, should Diehl displace Andrews at LT? Unless you want to play Diehl at LG in place of Seubert, the best OL alignment might have Andrews at LT and Diehl on the bench.
I can not understand why the Giants are 7 1/2 point favorites over the Jaguars. The offense is beat up and is turning the ball over at a rate of 3 per game. They scored only 17 points against a so-so Eagles defense and got further hurt when they lost the best WR on the team. The line opened up at 9 and has slipped down to 7 1/2, so I guess the wagering public is putting their money on Jacksonville.
Michael Clayton is signed to play WR, but after Nicks and Smith come back, I would like to see the Giants keep him and experiment with him at TE. He probably would not be a great blocker in the running game, but he would create mismatch problems for the opposing defense. It takes a while for the slot receiver to fit into the offense and figure out where to go. This adds to my idea above of using Bradshaw occasionally in the slot and feeding Clayton a diet of routes he is used to, from the outside WR position.This gives him the best chance at being productive right away.
With Jacobs starting at RB, look for the Giants to try to go to a power running game to protect their weak WR group. (This was suggested by my friend Ray in an email and I think he may be right.) Because the TEs were weak in blocking last week, I look for them to use a heavy dose of Beatty as an eligible receiver. Let's hope he remembers to report as eligible this week. He went to UCONN, for goodness sake, he should be able to remember that!
Even with Nicks and Smith out, Giants can not abandon the passing game. In fact, they should probably be more aggressive in the early downs to throw when the Jaguars defense is expecting a run.