Saquon Barkley, the New York Giants’ reigning rookie of the year, is in the midst of a disappointing season. He is getting his fair share of touches, but the overall team performance is hurting him badly. Barkley had 83 yards on 19 carries in the Giants most recent game vs the Green Bay Packers.
Barkley is also still working himself back from the injury he had last month.
“Yeah, definitely getting back into a rhythm.” Barkely recently admitted. “I think the offensive line did a great job of establishing the line of scrimmage. We just got behind in points and when you get behind in points, you try not to go away from the run game but that naturally happens. We have to find a way to start earlier and get ahead so we can get the run game going. I know if that was the case we could have had a game in our hands.”
Getting behind on the scoreboard has been a theme for this Giants team. The Giants have trailed after the first quarter in half of their games this year. When teams find themselves trailing that means they will abandon the running game and look to throw the ball more.
On Sunday the Giants trailed the Packers by 11 in the fourth quarter. Barkley and the running game became almost non existent. Barkley was asked how frustrating it is when he can’t have his regular impact when his team is down by 11 late in the game.
“I agree and disagree with that,” said Barkely. “When the other team is up, you try not to run away from the running game but it naturally happens. I don’t envision myself as just an inside the box running back. I think I can catch the ball out of the backfield, catch screens, make plays with stuff like that. I don’t feel like I’m out of the game. I have to continue to keep my eyes open, be ready for blitz protection and try to get to spots where, if need be, I’m there for DJ. At the end of the day, if that’s the case where we need to go away from the run, we still have to find a way to make plays in other areas and we just didn’t do that enough this game and, to be honest, the whole season.”
Barkley is having a down year statistically, amassing just 544 yards rushing yards with two touchdowns. He also has 38 receptions for 291 yards and one touchdown. If he didn’t get injured those numbers would be better, but it is still far off from from his outstanding rookie season.
In his six games since he returned from injury he has not surpassed 100 yards in any game. Two weeks ago he was held to one yard on 13 carries against the New York Jets.
This is an extremely surprising stretch of games for Barkley. His injuries are a big part of it. The fact that the whole team isn’t playing well, and the fact that the supporting cast isn’ that strong is also a big reason for his down year.
The Giants head out to Philadelphia in Week 14 to play the Eagles on Monday Night Football. The Giants are on the verge of losing their ninth consecutive game. They would tie the franchise’s longest losing streak with a loss. Barkley is aware of this and hopes his teams comes out and get a win in primetime.
“No one goes into the game planning on losing,” said Barkley. “Hearing that or not hearing that, no matter what, we are trying go into the next week trying to get a win. Let’s go figure it out from here, watch film, break down this game, put it in the past. Move on from it but also learn from it and get ready for our next game so hopefully we don’t tie that record.?
A game against the hapless Eagles may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered for the struggling Giants and their struggling young star. Philadelphia is 5-7 this season and is coming off a loss to the Miami Dolphins.