New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings racked up a season-high 170 yards and a touchdown in the Giants’ 35-30 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17. The rushing total was just 7 yards shy of setting a career high, which came in Week 3 of the 2014 season against the Houston Texans. The effort against Philly on Sunday was only the third time Jennings has broke the 100-yard barrier in his tenure with the Giants and the second time he’s rushed for over a hundo against Philly in his career, the first came with the Oakland Raiders in 2013.
Rashad finished the season very strong, gaining at least 74 yards on the ground in the last 4 games – 107 against the undefeated Carolina Panthers, 81 in the win against the Miami Dolphins, and 74 in the blowout loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The Giants seemed to lean on Jennings and it paid off as the running attack allowed Eli to utilize play action more effectively.
The streak came after a low-point against the Jets in Week 13 when Rashad had only 5 carries for 14 yards. That output was rivaled by the previous week’s when Jennings rushed for 14 yards on 6 carries.
This season’s late renaissance for Rashad is something the Giants can build on in 2016. There are many who believe Jennings is still at the top of his game and has earned the right to be the Giants “bell cow” from now on despite calls for Orleans Darkwa to take the lion’s share during Rashad’s slump. One of the biggest regrets has to be waiting too long to tag Jennings as the feature back.
It’s good to see Jennings end the season on a high note after he came out and questioned the running back by committee approach. He believes he’s a workhorse and the Giants finally began to embrace it. But, is it enough to win games? With Jennings operating at his best, the G-Men still went 1-6 after starting the season 5-4. If Rashad can “play his game”, will it raise the game of those around him and elevate the Big Blue back to the playoffs?