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Of Bradshaw and Giants' sneaky run game

INDIANAPOLIS -- We're all expecting a shootout in Super Bowl XLVI between a pair of quarterbacks who aired it out all season. And it's entirely possible that the New York Giants' Eli Manning and the New England Patriots' Tom Brady will put up big numbers Sunday night.

But K.C. Joyner, ever the contrarian, thinks the Giants would do well to try and run the ballInsider in the Super Bowl. K.C. points out, correctly, that "over the past seven games, most of which were against playoff contender-caliber competition or better, the Giants' rushing attack has been every bit as powerful as it was last season." K.C. also has data to illustrate a "sieve-like showing" by the Patriots' run defense over its past six games, and figures that's an opportunity for the Giants to exploit a weakness.

K.C.'s story is Insider, so that's all you'll get of it from me because we want you guys to pay for the Insider access. But part of the reason for the improvements in the Giants' run game since Week 12 has been the return of Ahmad Bradshaw, who's playing and running hard in spite of a fracture in his foot. As we've discussed before, Bradshaw isn't often given credit for being the physical back that he is, probably because he's compared to his extremely large backfield mate, Brandon Jacobs. But Bradshaw is a tough, powerful, physical runner who obviously doesn't mind getting hit. His work in blitz pickup, where he's among the best in the league, is a testament to that.

I asked Bradshaw about that aspect of his game during media day today and he brightened.

"Always," he said in answer to my question about how long blitz pickup has been a part of his game. "Since high school, when I played safety. I love the contact. Every bit of it. I love getting hit and delivering hits."

If the Giants see the same things K.C. sees on film, Bradshaw could get a heavy share of the load -- and a lot of contact -- Sunday night.