As the bye week nears its conclusion, the New York Giants front office must decide whether to make changes in the team’s infrastructure before the November 1st Trade deadline. Of the numerous decisions to make is whether the running back, Orleans Darkwa, who has been secondary to notables such as Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings, should be traded for a more productive running back.
Whether on 4th and short or second and long, a hand off to starting running back Darkwa is sure to yield only a small gain at best. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, in 2015, he totaled 153 yards in 36 attempts. This year, he has seen the ball 30 times and has a total yardage of just over 100 yards, averaging around three to four yards per carry. At worst it is to result in a loss of yards in times when the Giants offense is at a season low in the ability of the offense to score touchdowns.
While there are no highlights of botched hand-off fumbles or other errant play, there is not much on the Giants’ highlight reels of Darkwa as an outstanding running back.
Not to put all of the blame on one player, some have said that it is McAdoo’s responsibility for the low numbers in rushing this season.
As our sister site suggests, McAdoo has not found a successful strategy for outsmarting each defense he faces, even with the help of the trio of wideouts, a healthy Jennings and a more motivated offensive line.
Darkwa has had numerous opportunities to prove that he could be as productive as his fellow running backs, Jennings and Vereen. Time and time again, he has not passed the expectations placed on him.
The problem for the Giants’ general management is that Darkwa has been loyal to the Giants in his contract negations and has been consistent in displaying to Coughlin and Mcadoo that he is not content with the status quo and wants to put in the practice workouts with 110% energy day in and day out. As the New York media has reported on the Giants since Darwka’s rookie season, his name never was featured in a negative light, Darwka never had bad publicity involving incurring penalties and fines and he has avoided the injury bug.
The rub in Darkwa’s case is that there is an abundance of talent in the NFL at the running back position. Ask any fantasy football expert, and the answer will be that Darwka has priority for the ever wire. Look at the top ten run-in backs in the league and yardage of over 800 makes Darkwa’s numbers seem quite unproductive judging by the league’s high standards.
The Giants have the option of trading for the rival top 13 running back who leads in rushing this season Matt Forte. Should the Jets agree to a swap of Darkwa, they might also welcome the disgraced yet effective kicker Josh brown, which would clear the liabilities which have been a bother to the Giants since the middle of last week. On October 20, 2016, the Giants released an official press release which implied that replacing Brown and trading him to another team would allow the Giant to stay focused on winning games without further distractions.
Sure, there are other problem areas in the Giants starting line that could benefit via a trade, but no other position is as important to a team’s ability to gain yardage as the running back.Ask any offensive coordinator and the response will be that the combination of speed and the ability to change directions on a dime without the awareness of the defenders takes pressure of the quarterback to convert downs with completions against most NFL defensive secondaries which are generally airtight.
The Giants have shown their thought process in their shift in the practice squad rotation. Per Zack Links of NFL Rumors.com from October 18, 2016, the Giants are giving lesser known players more time and experimenting with line-ups for the last stretch of the season.
"New York Giants"
"Signed: LS Tyler Ott"
"Cut: DB Doran Grant"
In games where Eli has driven the ball to Washington’s end zone, Eli lacked an Ezekiel Elliot who could rush for two yards to score. Throwing the ball in crowded territory to the tight end or to the Giants’ wideouts has been abysmal, leading to either an interception or fumble. This red zone anxiety can be easily corrected with the right trade for Darwka and the Giants will be able to win games they normally lose, and at minimum not appear like a team that is limping to the finish every time.