How the New York Giants brought Saquon Barkley back to form in Week One

Anthony Rivardo
saquon barkley, new york giants
Sep 11, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) leaves the field after a win against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants pulled off a thrilling upset victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Superstar running back Saquon Barkley grabbed all of the headlines as he powered the Giants’ offense to victory with an incredible performance. Barkley has dealt with injuries over the past two years and received scrutiny from fans and analysts. But with this dominant performance to kick off the 2022 season, Saquon Barkley has silenced all of his doubters.

The Giants have not seen this version of Saquon Barkley since his rookie season. Barkley looked faster, stronger, and more patient than ever before. It was only the first game of the season, but if the Giants’ running back keeps this pace he could lead the team to a successful first season under new head coach Brian Daboll. That new head coach along with his coaching staff helped Saquon Barkley return to form through the usage of pre-snap motion and by getting Barkley involved in the passing game.

How the New York Giants brought Saquon Barkley back to form in Week One

The New York Giants unveiled a brand new offensive scheme on Sunday, unlike anything they have deployed in the past. The Giants’ new offense is modernized and electric. The players are set up for success through innovative play-calling. One of the innovations that Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka have introduced is the heavy usage of pre-snap motion.

The Giants used presnap motion on 38 of 58 offensive plays in Week One (Dan Schneier). In the previous Giants offensive schemes, the team rarely utilized pre-snap motion. To see Mike Kafka call plays utilizing pre-snap motion on over 66% of his calls was shocking and thoroughly exciting. Many of these play calls opened up huge rushing lanes for Saquon Barkley, springing him free in the game’s most crucial moments.

Saquon Barkley ran all over the Tennessee Titans’ defense, totaling a league-high 164 rushing yards in the season’s first weekend. In addition to the Giants finally calling plays that allow Saquon to break free, they also called plays to get him involved as a receiver. Barkley hauled in a team-high six receptions while also leading the team with seven targets. Saquon served as the Giants’ primary receiver on Sunday, in addition to being their dominant lead rusher. The New York Giants are running their offense through Saquon Barkley and reaping massive benefits.