Moeller: Barkley Moments Should Be Cherished

It’s an understatement to say that we haven’t see the best of Saquon Barkley.

What we have seen, however, is truly remarkable.

Sure, you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that out.

But we should all hit the pause button and remind ourselves what he has accomplished – this is literally a one –man show and a legacy in the making.

Barkley will head into Atlanta Monday night with 483 rushing yards and a meteorically rising 5.2 yards per carry and crossed the goal line four times. He has caught 40 passes for 373 yards with a pair of scores.

More importantly, Barkley is second in the league with 811 all-purpose yards, sixth in rushing, eighth in yards per game (73) and ninth in receptions.

He also has a catch percentage of 78. 4 percent, meaning his receptions are divided by targets.

Barkley has been the Giants’ offense.

Again, no secret here.

Yet, Barkley arguably has been hit behind the line more than any other regular running back. He has made something out of nothing on the majority of his 84 carries.

Every game, Barkley has amassed roughly 75 percent of the team’s offense with his rushing and receiving.

He is playing behind one of the league’s worst offensive line, still looming as a unit with potential with time.

 Against the Eagles, Barkley didn’t have blocking tight end Rhett Ellison, and he responded with 130 yards rushing and 99 yards receiving, just shy of being the first Giants’ player ever to have a double-double of 100 or more yards.

This isn’t a new trend either.

At Penn State, Barkley was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on 44 percent of his carries.

On rushes where he was contacted at or behind the line of scrimmage, Barkley averaged just 0.46 yards per carry, which placed him 57th out of 58 backs in last year’s draft.  Penn State had him line up wider than in the Giants’ backfield.

Don’t forget that he also returned kicks for the Nittany Lions.

Aren’t the Giants having trouble in their return game these days?

Barkley will have the luxury of having Ellison and fellow tight end Evan Engram return to the lineup in Atlanta.

He also will be facing an injury-riddled Falcons’ defense that is 24th against the run this season and 30th overall, and Barkley’s quickness and elusiveness can be a huge dilemma for the Falcons’ defense that has been sloppy in his execution in recent weeks.

A big game by Barkley will give us another reminder of what he has accomplished in his surroundings.

Despite the recent panic involving the Giants not drafting a quarterback, they made the right call.

Barkley is getting the job done with a quarterback who doesn’t have time behind an offensive line that has mastered the art of back peddling on running plays.

Appreciate what you see from him.

In the team’s current state, Barkley may be able to pull off more magic this season than David Copperfield on one of his better nights.



About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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