Weak Run Defense Will Ruin New York Giants Super Bowl Chances

Brandon AlisogluCorrespondent INovember 5, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 04: Running back Isaac Redman #33of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs into the arms of Stevie Brown #27 of the New York Giants in the first half during an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on November 4, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The New York Giants appeared to have it all a month ago. They had just steamrolled the San Francisco 49ers and, more importantly, limited the potent Niner rushing attack to just 80 yards.

But that was fool's gold.

San Francisco only rushed the ball 17 times. The Giants had a 23-3 lead by the middle of the third quarter and had effectively shortened the playbook to Alex Smith passes, of which they intercepted three.

Had the Niners stuck with the rushing attack that was getting 4.7 yards per carry, the game would have likely been much closer.

Yet, the argument to be made today isn't about a game that occurred in October, but those that will be happening in January. The inability to stop the run will end what New York fans had expected to be another super season.

The actual numbers aren't necessarily terrible. The Giants rank 19th in the league and give up 118 yards per contest.

While that may not seem to be too brutal, the loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers was a showcase of how bad things can be when a team commits to the run.

The Giants led most of the afternoon and had frustrated Ben Roethlisberger for the most part. If you remove Mike Wallace's 51-yard catch-and-run, Pittsburgh's passer only had 165 yards. 

In a somewhat tragic turn of events, Isaac Redman was able to rush for career-high 147 yards and the game-winning score. In fact, he basically handled things at the end of the game for the Steelers.

Other teams will see this blueprint. And you can be sure that they will utilize it.

The best way to control the game against New York is to dictate how they use their best players by running the ball straight at them. Use the speed rushers that the Giants employ against themselves and expose the weaker linebacking and secondary units.

The road to the Super Bowl will likely require a win against San Francisco in the playoffs. Here's betting Jim Harbaugh will be better prepared with a determination to run the football.