The Giants’ offense is not the same without Saquan Barkley

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at State Farm Stadium
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In a disappointing 30-12 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3, the New York Giants‘ offense showcased a stark decline. This marked their second major loss to an NFC rival this season, underscoring the widening gap between Big Blue and their NFC counterparts.

Saquan Barkley’s absence during this week was unmistakable. The Giants’ output was a mere 150 total yards, with a lone touchdown coming off a brief dash by Barkley’s understudy, Matt Breida. Interestingly, despite being the primary rusher, Breida managed only 17 yards. Drawing a parallel to their Week 2 performance against the Arizona Cardinals, where the Giants averaged an impressive 6.6 yards per play, Week 3 saw a halving of that statistic. A paltry 3.3 yards per play painted a vivid picture of Barkley’s pivotal role in buoying the Giants’ offense.

Giants’ Aerial Attack Grounded

New York’s passing game, too, failed to find its rhythm. Top receiver Darius Slayton could muster only 32 yards, while tight end Darren Waller had a mere 20 yards from three catches. Without a dynamo like Barkley, the 49ers’ defense could easily focus their energies on Waller, culminating in what can be described as his least effective display in a Giants jersey.

“We didn’t create a rhythm,” Jones said. “We didn’t execute, didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. Certainly is a good defense. It’s a good team. When you’re playing good teams, you can’t afford to do that. We didn’t play well enough.”

Glimpse Ahead: Challenges Galore

As the Giants recharge over an 11-day hiatus, all eyes are on Barkley, eagerly anticipating his comeback from an ankle injury. The Week 4 clash is against the Seattle Seahawks in a much-awaited Monday Night Football face-off.

The subsequent weeks don’t offer much respite either, with Big Blue set to lock horns with formidable teams like the Buffalo Bills in Week 5 and the Miami Dolphins in Week 6. In case Barkley’s absence extends, the Giants’ offense will have to radically up their game, lest they risk a dismal 1-5 kickoff to the season.

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