Conference Championship Running Backs
Last round I covered the QBs. I’ll sum up this round of QB play quickly before turning to the RBs. Brady wasn’t his normal self. He made some bad decisions. In the end, it didn’t cost him. Philip Rivers showed some poise. If he can control his emotions better (see Jay Cutler incident, see Colts fans confrontations), he’ll really make the leap next year. Eli played within himself. He didn’t make mistakes and took what Green Bay gave him. He’s really maturing as a QB. Brett Favre waited until overtime, with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, to revert to his old ways. The interception was horrible. Just horrible.
OK, time to look at the Running Backs.
Leader of the class was Laurence Maroney. Man, he’s come on of late. He looked sharp. When he’s healthy he’s unbelievable. He’s quick and powerful. The mantra of pass first, run second seemed to take over the NFL this year. However, in the playoffs, New England has turned to the run. Maroney has delivered. 131 total yards and a score.
Brandon Jacobs – What a bruiser. With a couple weeks to rest, the Patriots could have their hands full with Jacobs. He’s virtually impossible to stop in short yardage situations. His yards per carry (3.2) was low, but Green Bay has a solid D. Finished with 75 total yards and a score.
Ahmad Bradshaw – He’s a real nice compliment to Jacobs. The G-Men don’t miss a beat when he’s spelling the big man. Had 72 total yards and a score.
Kevin Faulk – What can you say about Kevin Faulk? The guy is just clutch. When it’s third down and you’re looking to move the sticks, I’m not sure there are many RBs in the league I’d rather rely on. He has great hands and is shifty enough to make people miss. Just when you think he’s stopped, he’ll dive for a few extra yards. Kevin Faulk is as big a reason New England won as anyone else. His 90 total yards were huge.
Michael Turner – He ran hard, but couldn’t quite make it into the endzone to really pressure the Pats. Losing LT is tough, but Turner is very capable. Had 70 total yards.
Ryan Grant - It’s a shame that Grant’s out-of-nowhere season had to end like this. He couldn’t get it going vs. his old ‘mates. 13 carries for 29 yards (2.2 YPC). If you take away his 13 yard run, you really get a glimpse at how ineffective he was (12 carries, 16 yards, 1.3 YPC).
Darren Sproles – Probably the best 3rd string RB in the league. He sure can make you miss. His 26 yard run was a beauty. Had 39 total yards.
LaDainian Tomlinson – LT tried, but was just too injured. What a shame for a player like LT to have to sit there and watch his team compete for the Super Bowl without being able to help. That had to kill him. Had 6 total yards.