For all the Eli Manning talk, and rightly deserved, the key to the New York Giants victory sunday was Ahmad Bradshaw.
The 7th round Marshall product changed the game giving the Giants offense the speed it needed to open up the running game that would eventually lead to the short-passing game that Manning perfected throughout the game.
On the first three drives Brandon Jacobs, the team's number one running back had four carries for negative three yards. His worst carry, one that saw Barrett Ruud fly into the backfield to take down Jacobs for a four-yard loss was indicative of the way the game could have turned out. Tampa's defense was too quick and used a swarm tactic to ensure Jacobs could not get off tackle where he has had so much success turning up-field.
Instead of abandoning the run, or continuing to force the slower Jacobs into holes that were not there, the Giants and coordinator Kevin Gilbride, realized the way to counteract a speed defense is to bring in a speed running back who has enough power to utilize his speed to get to the outside and than use his power to break tackles.
Enter Bradshaw who had a good first drive with an 8 yard-run and 9 yard-catch before breaking down the Buccaneers line as the sole runner on the 15 play 92 yard drive that sealed the win for the Giants.
In this day of scouting and combines, it is simply amazing to me that Bradshaw fell to the 7th round, but maybe scouts should be watching a little more youtube instead of 40 times and verticals. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=JxsvvXfSTNY)