Some might mention that New York Giants’ rookie running back Saquon Barkley has earned a putrid 2.9 yards on 44 carries, while others would add in his two big runs that gained 92 yards on just two carries. Overall, the young back has amassed 220 total rushing yards on 46 carries, averaging out at healthy 4.7 yards per carry.
Barkley is composed of various different skill-sets, including running the ball with extreme dynamics, blocking with a strong base and upper body, and catching the ball about as well as a professional receiver. Utilizing him to the best of his abilities is tough, why? Because he’s so good at everything and you can’t simply focus on him at all times…or can you?
Over the past three weeks, the Giants have looked Barkley’s way 21 times in the passing game, which is enough to coin him as a top receiver on the team, and maybe in the league (in terms of targets and receptions). While most of them were short dump offs, he proved he can also go up and grab the high passes.
In the fourth quarter with the Giants trying to ice the game, Eli Manning threw up a pass towards the right boundary where Barkley was lined up. About 15 yards off the line of scrimmage the rookie jumped up above the defender and snagged a pass to continue the drive and ultimately get Sterling Shepard into the endzone to bring the Giants to 27 points.
The methods that head coach Pat Shurmur used to make the most of arguably his best player, were nothing next to superb. I mean c’mon, when do you ever see a running back line up as a wide-out and run an actual route that is targeted? Most of the time it’s just a distraction, but this play was focused around Barkley and the mismatches he creates.
In addition to his stellar day receiving, Barkley finished the game with a 17 carries for 82 yards, with one being a 15 yard elusive touchdown run.
What is the most impressive aspect of Saquon Barkley:
We just listed off several impressive items in regard to the powerful back, but my favorite aspect is his ability to create positive yardage from nothing. The Giants’ offensive line hasn’t been very good in the first three games, and Barkley has felt the pressure almost immediately on multiple occasions. This didn’t stop his willingness to fight and grind out the yardage to even get back to the line of scrimmage.
He’s tenacious, exciting, powerful, elusive…you name it. The Giants got a good one in Barkley, and we should continue to see him excel and improve week in and week out.