Giants’ Saquon Barkley basking in rivalry matchup vs. New York Jets

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates a Giants touchdown during the first half against the Washington Commanders at MetLife Stadium
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley only got to play against the New York Jets in their hometown rivalry once, dating all the way back to Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season.

Though he only collected one rushing yard, he enjoyed the rivalry and is looking forward to a better performance in his second go-round against the Jets come Sunday.

Giants: Barkley’s Lowest Point of His Career is Far Behind Him

According to AP News, Barkley spoke on his blunder of a performance in the Big Blue’s 34-27 loss to the Jets and how he’s grown as a result:

“I liked how I responded. I think in the next couple of weeks, I played pretty well and had one of my better games two or three weeks after that. So, you learn from it.”

The Jets’ defense looked completely different when they took Barkley out of the game four years ago. His one-yard on 13 carries on the stat sheet looked like an April Fools joke from one Giants fan to another. Fortunately for Barkley and the Giants, he bounced back incredibly as he alluded to.

Barkley combined for 301 yards rushing and three rushing touchdowns in Weeks 15 and 16 of that year. His strong play only accelerated from there, as his domination behind QB Daniel Jones propelled the Giants to playoff relevancy in the coming seasons.

Implications Behind Giants-Jets Rivalry

The Giants carry an 8-6 all-time record against the Jets. Albeit, the Giants have dropped the last two matchups in their rivalry. This will be the third time the two teams square off in the last 10 years.

Barkley is all about living in the moment and competing for “bragging rights for a long time” as he also exclaimed in his string of comments about the upcoming game. The City of New York is football-crazed and will bring energy to the head-to-head clash that only comes around as often as a leap year. Both teams share MetLife Stadium, making the fan tally an interesting added variable to the affair.

Barkley is just getting his footing under him as he works his way back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for three weeks. He has 46 yards on the ground and two total touchdowns in the Giants’ last two games.

He will meet a Jets defense that has allowed 811 rushing yards to running backs but has walled off the end zone, conceding only two rushing touchdowns for the league’s second-best prevention in that department.

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