I’ve followed the Giants all season, and I can’t recall the name of running back David Wilson being called on an important play even one time. I’ve been waiting for Wilson to explode ever since his senior year at Virginia Tech, where he was sensational: 1709 yards with an average of just under 6 yards a try.
Yet, the Giants, who have been at or near the bottom in rushing all season, seemed reluctant to give their number one draft pick a real shot. Not that Wilson looked all that great when he did play: just 28 carries all season before yesterday fro 111 yds and a 4.0 average. As a kick returner, he was more impressive, 44 for 1094 yards, a 24.9 average.
Wilson, how is just 5-10 and a solid 206 with sprinter speed, finally arrived Sunday in the Giants 52-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints. If you were at the game or just saw it on TV, you may remember it as the day a star was born.
For a team supposedly making a late season push for the payoffs, the Giants were sluggish. Eli had 4TD passes but also had 2 interceptions. Drew Brees riddled New York’s secondary for 353 yards. Wilson was the difference; after Manning had a pass picked off and returned for a TD – a play which, in the NFL, almost always guarantees a loss – Wilson gave Big Blue a shot in the arm with a 97-yard kick return.
Before the day was over, he would return 3 kicks to New Orleans’ side of the field, setting up 2 cheap Giants TDs, and run for a 52-yd score from scrimmage, and, overall, a team record 327 yards on kick returns and rushes. And he did it on a day in which both Washington and Dallas staged come-from-behind wins that would have deadlocked the NFC East race if the Giants had lost.
The Giants haven’t looked very good all season long, but with the coming of David Wilson they have a sensational new weapon that gives them a big edge coming down the stretch, as a runner, a pass receiver, and, especially, a kick returner. He’s the Giants — and the NFC’s — X-Factor.