After another season opener, many New York Giants fans have feelings of deja vu. It’s another year, but the outcome was the same as usual and the presence of new weapons hardly helped the offense in putting up more than 13 points against the Broncos.
While the game had the return of Saquon Barkley from an ACL tear, you could be forgiven for not noticing him on the field. Barkley was only able to pick up 26 yards on 10 carries, and backup running back Devontae Booker didn’t do much better with 7 yards from 4 carries. In other words, getting Barkley back wasn’t enough to cover over the other problems with the Giants offense.
But what does the running back himself have to say about the performance? Barkley’s confidence in the offense hasn’t changed – but after the game, he stressed the need to capitalize. That’s something the Giants have rarely done on a consistent basis over recent years.
Barkley speaks following season opening loss
“We just got to go out there and capitalize that’s been the thing for the last, what I guess itâ€™s, wow, my fourth year? That’s just what itâ€™s been,” Barkley told reporters. “We have the talent. We have the players. Logan (Ryan) kind of said it after the game, it was a lot of situations that the players, we didn’t capitalize on it. Whatever the call is or whatever, we didn’t capitalize.”
He spoke about the team’s belief in each other, and in their coaches. Barkley blames the offense’s struggles on not putting it all together and coming away with points when there’s a chance to score.
“That’s what we gotta do a better job (of). So when we get down in the red zone then we got down in the lower red zone and the red zone like three times or four times and came away with no points. So, weâ€™ve got to change that.”
Belief is important, but it doesn’t win games on its own. The Giants have come into the last few seasons optimistic, only to end up with the expectations being quickly lowered after poor starts eliminate the team’s chances of winning the division.
While nothing Barkley said is technically wrong, it’s clear that patience is running thin for the same outcomes happening every year. Something will have to change soon. Either the Giants show a large improvement in their early season games, or changes are made at the organizational level.