The New York Giants will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one of the regular season, offering up a tough test for a team coming off a 3-13 campaign. The addition of running back Saquon Barkley provides the Giants with the fire-power they need to take advantage of an above-average Jags defense.
Barkley brings a heightened sense of elusiveness for an offense that lacked spunk and unpredictability in 2017. Last season, Orleans Darkwa held the reigns to the backfield with a healthy dose of Wayne Gallman. Darkwa performance valiantly, racking up 751 yards with 4.4 yards per carry. Behind a lackluster offensive line Darkwa managed finish the year strong with a 72 yard run against the Redskins in week 17.
General manager Dave Gettleman made it a priority to address the offensive line this offseason, drafting Will Hernandez and signing left tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh.
What will Barkley’s workload look like?
We should expect to see the Giants’ first-round pick take on a massive role right from the get-go. Being that Barkley is an all-around back capable of running, catching, and blocking, his usage will likely start off at 15-17 touches per game and anywhere from 3-5 receptions.
His ability to deliver a block and bounce outside for a screen pass might be one of the Giants’ go-to plays in the coming season. Especially against the Jags in week one, he will be the featured player in their offensive scheme.
Having wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Evan Engram to help keep the defense on their heels will force opposing linebackers to stick with Barkley, who will ultimately leave them in his dust every time. We have already witnessed Barkley face off against B.J. Goodson and Alec Ogletree in the short passing game in which both were unable to keep up with his agility and speed.