Paul Perkins broke out in Week 17, but he isn’t satisfied with what he’s achieved. The New York Giants running back knows there’s still work to do.
Week 17 was one of the most glorious times in recent New York Giants history. Not only did New York eliminate the Washington Redskins from postseason contention, but the offense was stabilized by the long-awaited emergence of a promising running back.
Though Paul Perkins is emerging as the best running back in recent Giants history, he understands that there’s a significant amount of work to be done.
Perkins ran the ball 21 times for 102 yards against the Redskins in what was a vindicating performance. The fan favorite became the first Giants player to run for at least 100 yards in 2016 and established his value with the postseason looming.
According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s NFL Nation, the Giants won’t have to worry about Perkins becoming satisfied or complacent.
"“I mean, I’m just going out here practicing, working hard,” Perkins said after Sunday’s win over the Redskins. “It doesn’t mean anything if I don’t do it next week and follow it up.”"
Perkins has work to do before he deserves such a label, but that’s the mark of a great player.
Perkins finished his rookie regular season with 456 rushing yards on 112 carries and 162 receiving yards on 15 receptions. He ran for 226 yards over the final three weeks of the season, however, tallying at least 56 rushing yards in all three games.
That includes the 68 yards he ran for against the Philadelphia Eagles and the 56 yards he picked up on 11 carries against the Detroit Lions.
For as promising as the Giants’ rookie running back may look, the playoffs are an entirely different animal than the regular season.
The Giants will take the road to play a Green Bay Packers team that’s in the midst of a six-game winning streak. Aaron Rodgers may be the best quarterback in the NFL, Jordy Nelson is an elite wide receiver, and the receiving options beyond him are countless.
Green Bay’s defense ranked No. 6 in the NFL in sacks and No. 8 in rushing yards allowed, which makes Perkins a critical piece of the postseason puzzle.
If the New York Giants are going to defeat the Green Bay Packers, then Perkins must run hard and exploit the rare opportunities presented to him.
It appears as though he’s prepared to do so.