The Giants ran the ball 32 times during Sunday's 17-6 win over the Lions -- more than the 28 passing attempts by QB Eli Manning.
The result was 114 yards, though the long was just 11 and they averaged only 3.6.
"It was good to get the attempts up," head coach Ben McAdoo said after the game. "I thought we pounded it in there pretty good. Big guys were coming off the ball and it's encouraging"
Paul Perkins led the team with 56 yards on 11 carries, while Rashad Jennings had 38 yards on 18 carries.
Shane Vereen had 11 yards on two carries and Odell Beckham, Jr. had nine yards on his only carry -- a pitch into the backfield.
The return of OL Justin Pugh also helped the ground game.
"I thought the big guys came off the ball, played physical upfront, played as a unit," McAdoo said. We'll have to go back and take a look at the tape but it was a good day for the big guys."
With the starting offensive line at 100 percent capacity for the first time in over a month, the Giants finally implemented an initiative McAdoo has been barking about for weeks.
The Giants' offensive troubles can be blamed on two factors this season. Their inability to run the football and their poor perfomance on third downs (32.16 percent). One naturally has a lot to do with the other.
After going 2-for-15 on third downs in their win over the Cowboys last Sunday, the Giants clicked on third downs against the Lions, converting on seven of their 15 chances, which tied their season-high.
Big plays have dominated the offensive story, but there was some light at the end of the tunnel that we could see some more balance in the future.
For the first time in recent memory, two of the Giants' top-ten gains on the day were generated by the rushing game. Both were by Perkins -- an 11-yard run in the first quarter and a 10-yarder in the fourth. Both went for first downs, but only five of the club's 17 first downs on the day were on the ground.
There's still a long way to go in the run game and perhaps it's becoming clearer that Perkins is their best option. He has much more upside than Jennings at this point and the Giants are just treading water by handing the ball to Jennings. With Perkins gaining confidence, it's time ot make him their featured back.
Not that it means much anymore, but the Giants finally won the time of possession in a game, although just barely, 30:16 to 29:44. They are still 30th in the league in this category, ahead of only the 0-14 Browns and 1-13 49ers.
Driving the football is still a key to winning in this league. The Giants haven't done that very well for a good part of the season and they still aren't. Their longest drive was the 11-play one that lasted 5:53 and resulted in a field goal.
One good sign, however, is that they are getting on top early in games.
They took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in 10 plays but only chewed up 5:37 on the clock. They did score a TD on the drive, the third time this season they've done that (the other times were vs Cincinnati and Chicago, both wins). They went on to punt on seven of their ten possessions after that.