Run game key to Giants NFC East title hopes

The Giants are enjoying their bye week atop the standings in the NFC East by a half-game. However, the team …

The Giants are enjoying their bye week atop the standings in the NFC East by a half-game. However, the team has work to do when they regroup Monday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center at the Meadowlands. Specifically, Big Blue’s seventh-worst rushing attack is going to need to improve if they want to finish where they currently stand come season’s end.

Tighten the rotation

Historically, the Giants have been successful at using two — or even three — running backs. This season, they have been pushing the limit with three backs receiving carries behind leading rusher Rashad Jennings.

The Giants could benefit from getting a single runner or two momentum during the latter half of the year. Orleans Darkwa is a candidate for a bigger role, as he leads all the Giants’ running backs with an average of 4.7 yards per carry. He can take touches from Andre Williams, as the second-year back has run for the second fewest yards per carry in the NFL (2.8).

Time is now

If the Giants are ever going to breath life into what has been an anemic run game, it appears their Week 12 matchup against the Redskins would be the perfect opportunity.

Not only will they have the long break to get healthy, but the Giants will be facing a Washington defense that is the third-worst against the run in the NFL.

Run to the finish

An improved run game is the easy fix to what has been a season-long theme of blown fourth quarter leads and clock management issues for the Giants. Last Sunday’s heartbreaking defeat could have been the first loss on the Patriots’ unblemished record if Big Blue had more confidence in their running backs.

Eli Manning’s incompletion to Odell Beckham Jr. on first and goal a second before the two-minute warning meant the extra clock stoppage gave Tom Brady enough time to orchestrate a last-second comeback.

BEN SHAPIRO. Special to amNewYork