It’s been an up and down season for New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who went out injured early in the year and struggled with missing time and having slow performances after his return, but Barkley finally started to recover against the Miami Dolphins and had his first game with more than 100 yards since his injury.
It wasn’t the best performance in the world but it was markedly better than Barkley’s performances in his initial games after coming back, and one of the first games this season where he’s looked comparable to the same player that he was last year. Coincidentally, this game was also the first win in weeks for the Giants, which demonstrates a point that this season has driven home: when Barkley performs, the Giants tend to perform.
What did Barkley himself have to say about the performance and his recovery process?
One of the main things that he spoke on was the running style that he used, with more shorter rushes rather than the kind of explosive big gains that he’s known for.
“Thatâ€™s part of being a running back, thatâ€™s part of a running game. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been kind of preaching saying we havenâ€™t gotten to that yet. Not saying Iâ€™m pointing fingers as to why we havenâ€™t, it was more of the reason just the game and having an opportunity for it,” Barkley said on Thursday.
The Giants did perform well enough in the running department however for Barkley to pick up an important two touchdowns. He exceeded his touchdown total in any of the previous games of the season, only having two for the season coming into this game – a stat that shows just how much the earlier injury affected Barkley before now.
“The O-line did a great job creating holes and stopping penetration and having movement. Coaches made great calls, put me in the right spots, and I go some one on ones. Obviously, you donâ€™t win them all, but I won more than I lost. I donâ€™t think we had one run over 12 yards, so it was more of just grind and pound and efficient gain,” Barkley continued.
We’ll see just how Barkley’s recovery continues as the Giants take on the Washington Redskins on Sunday. The Giants have decided to not shut him down for the season, meaning he’ll still have a couple of games left to continue his bounce back from some of his worse performances this year.
Will it result in the Giants picking up another win that may endanger their draft hopes and their hunt for the number two pick? We’ll see on Sunday.