Giants’ Saquon Barkley has big bounce back performance in victory vs. Washington

new york giants, saquon barkley
Dec 18, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) carries the ball as Washington Commanders cornerback Danny Johnson (36) defends during the second quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley looked like the player that was leading the league in rushing through the first nine weeks in Sunday’s 20-12 victory over the Washington Commanders, having his best game in over a month.

The Giants got a much-needed big game out of Saquon Barkley:

Barkley finished Sunday’s thriller with 120 total scrimmage yards and one rushing touchdown on 18 carries.

His 87 rushing yards were his most since Week 10 against the Texans, when he had 152 yards rushing. This was also the last game the Giants had won prior to Sunday.

Barkley also averaged 4.8 yards per carry on Sunday, the first time he eclipsed at least four yards per carry since that Week 10 victory.

From Weeks 11-14, Barkley achieved more than 30 rushing yards just once: the Week 13 tie against the Commanders. Undoubtedly, that was Barkley’s worst stretch of the season, so Sunday’s game serves as a huge bounce-back performance.

Barkley’s big moment in Sunday’s game came late in the fourth quarter, rushing for 48 yards in six plays to move the Giants down the field and well into field goal range for Graham Gano to kick a field goal to put New York up eight points in the final minutes.

Barkley said postgame what his mindset was when the Giants desperately needed a big play to swing the momentum in their favor.

“You realize the moment and you want to be the guy who can make plays in that moment,” Barkley said. “You relax, take a deep breath and let your body take over.”

Saquon Barkley via New York Post

Barkley also held himself accountable for his lackluster play in the weeks prior to Sunday’s game, stating to the New York Post that he was “lacking the last couple of weeks — being the guy and making explosive plays.”

His accountability demonstrates pure leadership and great character for a Giants team that has come out hungry for victories this season.

Barkley will look to replicate this performance when the Giants take on the Minnesota Vikings in a Christmas Eve matchup between two playoff teams.

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