Beating a dead horse ... because they can't run, either

We have pretty much beaten to death the topic of the problems our New York Giants have had with the running game. Whether it's the blocking, Brandon Jacobs not running well, or Kevin Gilbride passing too much doesn't matter.

And I really don't mean to harp on it. But, it's pretty annoying when writers from Dallas, this week's opponent, are throwing it in the Giants face.

The Giants finished fourth in the NFLin rushing in 2007 on the way to a Super Bowl championship, then finished first last season in garnering the top seed in the NFC playoff bracket. The Giants still rank a respectable 10th in the NFL in rushing in 2009 – but it's been a tale of two seasons.

In the first five games, when the Giants ran off to a 5-0 start, New York averaged 160.4 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry. But in the last six games, the Giants have averaged only 98.8 yards per game and 4.0 per carry.

At 6-5, sitting two games back of the first-place Cowboys and a game back of the second-place Eagles, the Giants are perilously close to having their season slip away.

New York has been unable to get Jacobs untracked. He has yet to rush for 100 yards in a game and is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. He has rushed for only three touchdowns. A year ago at this time, Jacobs had four 100-yard rushing games and 11 touchdowns. Two years ago at this time, he had three 100-yard games and 12 touchdowns.

If head coach, Tom Coughlin reads Giants.com, he would find out that even the team's own Web site is harping on the team's rushing numbers, both offensively and defensively.

The Giants have not had a run longer than 25 yards in eight consecutive games, their longest such streak since Sept. 7-Nov. 2, 2003.

In Coughlin’s career, whether or not his teams rush for 100 yards is often an accurate barometer in predicting success or failure. His Giants teams are 40-19 when they hit the century mark, 13-19 when they don’t. Including his eight years in Jacksonville, Coughlin is 91-49 when his teams rush for at least 100 yards, 30-49 when they fall short.

As Coughlin noted, the Giants’ ability to stop the run is also an issue. The Giants are 11th in the NFL, allowing 107.8 yards a game. Through 11 games last year they were sixth, giving up 84.8 yards a game on the ground. In both 2007 and 2008, the Giants allowed fewer than 100 yards per game over a full season.

Pretty obvious what needs to be done. Now we find out if this team is capable of doing anything about it.

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