Jacobs Has To Prove Himself To Doubters


By Zack Cimini


Originally the mold of Brandon Jacobs looked like a linebacker just bulldozing over men his equal size. At around the same time Jerome Bettis was retiring, Jacobs looked like the guy too carry the big men can be brute crushing backs torch. Jacobs showed in his breakout 2008 year that he had the nimbleness and speed to go along with his punishing size. Going into the 2009 season the departure of Derrick Ward only brightened fantasy owners expectations for a strong season from Brandon Jacobs. Before even stepping onto the field owners at least thought strong numbers in the touchdown category were a lock.

He was coming off an astonishing breakout year in 2008 where he totaled 15 touchdowns and annihilated defenses in the second half of games. Stacking yards and easily moving the chains for the Giants. From week one though Jacobs looked as if he had lost two to three gears to his 08 self. Word would later come out that he played the entire year with knee “issues”. As backs get older in their carries playing through injury issues is just a common theme. Staying productive isn’t. Is Jacobs the type of back that can produce playing through the various types of typical injuries that seemingly don’t go away for a back?

In 2009 he just did not have the same shiftiness and quick feet able to get out of the backfield. He seemed to be in a standstill each handoff, and in a span of a year may have caught “Eddie George” syndrome. Even his usual knack to get short yards for the Giants was cutback. As the year went on it was apparent that he was not going to snap out of his funk. Was it the fact that he did not have Derrick Ward as a neutralizer to opposing defenses? The perfect back to offset his skillset for when he entered the backfield. We find that unlikely as towards the second half of last season you could see the Giants tinkering with getting Ahmad Bradshaw more involved. In fact, Bradshaw practically surpassed Jacobs yardage numbers with much less carries, and did in the touchdown department.

Whatever the case may be for Jacobs last season to go a whole entire year being ineffective stands out. Blame the year on an imbalance and growing learning patterns between a young core of receivers and Eli Manning; we just won’t. Jacobs lacked the explosiveness and hardly ever made it out of the back field. His typical way of barreling over defenders and tacking on extra yards just did not happen. Instead he was supplanted and cut down with ease. We will factor his knee issue into the equation but fantasy owners must realize his 08 form may never return.

It is odd though that the Giants decided to go forth without any signings or draft picks to get Jacobs worried. They still plan on trying the Jacobs/Bradshaw show again. The organization is banking on the fact that Jacobs was nicked up with knee injuries that he tried to play through. Jacobs underwent off-season knee surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. An injury he admitted to trying to play through the entire season. Shouldn’t that be more of a red flag to the Giants?

Word around Jacobs conditions and recovery have been rather quiet. Even if he is able to come in fresh we do not see a back of his size able to sustain a beating for seventeen games. There is just too much wear and tear at that size and a huge target for defenders to drill into. It’s hard enough for most backs to stay healthy an entire season. Jacobs value is up and the air but we’d be safe with him as your second fantasy back, and a back with high upside as your third. Hopefully he can bring about numbers somewhere in the range of his 2008 and 2009 season. That would satisfy fantasy owners and bring a value that is hard to come by consistently for fantasy owners, which is touchdowns.


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