Now let me ask you a question. When is it ever in your life you have ever seen a running back at the size of 5’11″ to 6’1″ and 225-240 pounds? You probably have seen some like that before. That’s when somebody gives the name of that running back a power-back. We have seen them with the likes of Franco Harris, Larry Csonka, Jim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Jamal Lewis, Earl Campbell, and many many others.
But when have you ever seen a running back with the numbers like these: 6’4″ and 260 pounds, 4.56 seconds in the 40-yard dash? I have never seen that before. That is probably the fastest player I have seen who has a size like that. And what makes it scarier is that he is a running back. Imagine how those defensive ends feel? Worse: linebackers and safeties. The worst: cornerbacks. Everybody is afraid to tackle him. The man’s name is Brandon Jacobs, and he is the mammoth-sized, versatile running back for the New York Giants.
I remember when I first saw him in Week One of the 2006-07 NFL season. It was the Giants against the Indianapolis Colts. The big headline of that game was Peyton Manning against his little brother, Eli Manning. It would be called the Manning Bowl. But I saw something else in that game. I saw Brandon Jacobs. He and Tiki Barber were both sharing the ball in that game and Barber was doing excellent as usual. But then Jacobs came up. When I first saw him, I thought he was a guy who switched positions or somebody that just tried this year. But he’s been a running back for a while now. I mean, he was huge! Jacobs would end the game with eight carries for 54 yards and one touchdown. This would go for a 6.8 yards-per-carry average. He would continue to impress that season, and ran for a total of 423 yards, nine touchdowns, and a 4.4 yards-per-carry avearge.
After the Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs that year, Tiki Barber would announce his retirement. This came to a shock to many, as Barber would retire at a young age. He had a few more years left, but it was his decision that he retired early. This would mean that Jacobs would have to carry the load for the 2007-08 season. He filled in well for Barber, rushing for 1,009 yards and with four touchdowns. This would also include five yards per carry. Along with this, the 10-6 Giants pulled off the biggest upset of the year by beating the 18-0 New England Patriots, 17-14.
Jacobs would enter 2008-09 season with great hopes and expectations. The Giants played great and had the best rushing attack in the NFL that season, which included the Earth, Wind, and Fire combination of Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs would finish with 1,089 yards and 15 touchdowns with five yards per carry. Ward would also rush for over 1,000 yards. However, the Giants’ abruptly ended to the Philadelphia Eagles, 23-11.
Ward would leave to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would have a disappointing season. I couldn’t argue the same for Jacobs. Jacobs ran for 835 yards with five touchdowns along with 3.7 yards per carry. It came to a really disappointing season many expected more out of him. But it didn’t go so swell.
I didn’t hear from Jacobs since. But, however, just about a week ago the New York Giants-New York Jets pre-season game came up. They had a little segment with Sport Science and showed how strong Brandon Jacobs really is. They say that when Jacobs runs into an opponent, it creates over 2,000 pounds of force! It just showed how strong Jacobs really is. At full speed, he created 5,000 pounds of force! The numbers were crazy and were probably off the charts for any running back in football history. The ESPN analysts started discussing this on the Monday Night Countdown. At 6’4″ and 260 pounds, the guys expected way more from him. To have the numbers he had in the 2009-10 season, it was just unacceptable.
And it brings me to the point: Brandon Jacobs could be the greatest running back who had ever lived. Why? Well, when have you ever seen a running back so fast, strong, and have a size like that? He is one of the most unique backs I have ever seen and I have never seen somebody like him. At 28 years old, Jacobs could play for four more solid years and two years under rest. I can see him ending his career at 34 years old, where most backs usually retire when there is nothing left. And when you end with these estimates, Jacobs could end his career with at least 10,000 career rushing yards if he can produce well for these next seasons.
He may not be the best, but he could be one of the best power backs. He’s entering a new season with high expectations. He could be one of the greats, the legends. He could really be something very special. Jacobs is a Giant.
It’s time he’s finally acted like one, permanently.