EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This season has not been easy on Giants running back Brandon Jacobs. There was the dissatisfaction with being demoted to the No. 2 back, the frustration that launched a helmet into the stands in Indianapolis, and an interview that ended when he stormed off.
But Jacobs seemed to absorb the reactions he encountered to his negativity, and the last few weeks have been placid. In Sunday's 28-20 Giants win over the Lions, Jacobs even scored two touchdowns to cap off the turnaround.
"It definitely makes it sweeter," Jacobs said. "It gets the bitter taste out when you go out there and punch it in."
Jacobs had nine carries for 35 yards on the day -- not as impressive as Ahmad Bradshaw's 19-for-133 performance, but there were numbers each could point to after the game. Bradshaw had the second-highest yardage total of his career. Jacobs now has 44 career rushing touchdowns, fourth in the Giants' record book.
"Bradshaw, he's been very good, he took care of the ball today," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "Jacobs did the same. They both ran hard."
Jacobs got the payoff, and Bradshaw didn't have any turnovers. After two fumbles each in games against Chicago and Tennessee, Bradshaw carried a football with him everywhere during the week, saying he needed to get to where he felt comfortable with it again. He said watching Jacobs score felt great.
"I love it," Bradshaw said. "He's like my big brother, and it's like any emotion. If your brother scores, it feels like you just scored. I feel good for him."
Overall, Jacobs sounds like a player who is making the best of a situation he might not be perfectly happy with, but realistically there is not much else he can do to change things.
"You have to accept it for what it is and you have to know the business for what it is and keep striving to make yourself better, strive to get your team better," Jacobs said. "It is not the end of the world. You have to go out, work hard every day at practice, and come out and play as hard as you can in the game."
And six games into the season, it looks like they have found the right formula.
"We work together," Bradshaw said. "We have each other's back no matter what. If he's taking a hit, I have his back, and the same thing for me. We know what we can do talent-wise, and all we have to do is just keep running."