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Bradshaw's running saves Giants from themselves

by | CBSSports.com National NFL Insider
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The move was quick. Slip, duck. That was it and Ahmad Bradshaw went for 13 yards. It wasn't the kind of juke that will make highlights since no one got ran over, danced around or shot. But it was typical of Bradshaw. This is what he does. This is what he does all the time.

Slip, duck, go. Nothing fancy. No high-stepping or finger twirling. Among the big names and studs at running back throughout the NFL, a number will be mentioned before Bradshaw. He just doesn't inspire nicknames or hero worship. Not even what he did during New York's 27-24 victory over Buffalo will get him much attention. But here we are, another day, another solid game by him.

His runs against the Bills were a series of jabs with a handful of liver shots. Brandon Jacobs, the other Giants runner, was reduced to cheering on the sideline because of injury. He might as well get used to seeing Bradshaw steal his carries.

The Giants beat Buffalo because they cut down on their usual mistakes -- interceptions, false starts and mental lapses. Instead, they opted to just hand the football to Bradshaw. It can't be overstated just how much the Giants obliterated Buffalo on the ground, though the statistics may not bounce off the page. Bradshaw carried the ball 26 times and while he barely broke the 100 yard mark (104) his day was still one of key runs, bullying runs and bursts of intimidating speed.

By the time Bradshaw was done he'd score all three of New York's touchdowns, all from one-yard out. It was unglamorous and intoxicating all at the same time.

"Anytime I have a chance -- to put the team on my back, keep making plays -- that is what I plan to do," he said, speaking specifically of the 30-yard run. "Anytime they give me a shot I try to take advantage of it. They called a great play, a misdirection, and those guys up front did a heck of a job."

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This is about the sexiest Bradshaw's quotes will get: "Every time I am out on the field, I put my heart out there and I just try to run with anger and use my speed and my power."

Bradshaw had 26 of the Giants' 33 rushing plays. He averaged four yards per carry and added two catches for 26 yards. Let's put it this way: Buffalo's Fred Jackson had 16 carries for 121 yards, but 80 of them came on a brilliant single run. Jackson was good but he had 107 yards rushing in the first half and 14 in the second. Jackson added some nice catches as well but it's the running, the pounding that wears down a defense. You could see Buffalo's defense getting a little winded as the game went on -– not crazily so -– but just enough so New York's offensive line could nudge Bills defenders askew and let Bradshaw be Bradshaw.

Part of the reason Bradshaw isn't a regular on the talk show circuit or having stupid debates with perky morning co-hosts is his demeanor. His personality can be best described as the same as someone who just rolled out of bed after getting two hours of sleep. He acts like he doesn't give a damn when he does dearly. This does not make for great sound bites or tweets.

His personality off the field can be best described as "whatever, dude."

But on it, he's vicious. And on an afternoon when the Giants needed to win after the Seattle debacle, Bradshaw was the perfect answer. Not the prettiest answer or the most well known. Just the best one.

Steady as he goes.

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