The Saquon Barkley phenomena continues.
Barkley was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for his three-touchdown effort on the ground and in the air.
His 142 rushing yards were the fifth-highest total ever by a Giants rookie, and the highest since Ahmad Bradshaw’s 151 yards against Buffalo on Dec. 23, 2007.
He has arrived..at least for the time being.
There is more, however, to this Giants’ attack. That is, there is more that has to regularly surface.
Barkley’s ability to run the ball is the pass key to unlock the offense. Picking up guard Jamon Brown off waivers from the Rams may be GM Dave Gettleman’s top cue.
We will need to see more from Odell Beckham Jr. and Evan Engram, mainly the latter. Sterling Shepard is the often overlooked constant who is always good for three to five catches a game.
Remember during the summer? The talk was how were teams going to defend Barkley, Beckham, Shepard and Engram on passing downs.
Someone was bound to be open. As you know, however, the scenario never surfaced.
That was until the past two weeks.
With Barkley’s emergence, Beckham has slipped into the background and still is quietly having a solid year with 69 catches for 932 yards, a 13.5 clip with five touchdowns. Shepard has 44 catches.
So where is Engram in the mix?
The touted second-year hybrid tight end/receiver has just 23 catches for 257 yards and a pair of scores. He did make a timely 54-yard grab against Tampa Bay last week, one that arguably saved the game.
But Engram’s playing time has been overshadowed by Rhett Ellison and Scott Simonson, both of whose blocking prowess has freed space for Barkley.
Against Philadelphia Sunday, the Giants will look to keep Barkley on the move, likely impacting Engram’s playing time again.
Still, the Giants would like to infuse Engram in the offense, primarily with Philadelphia’s secondary riddled with injuries and making it a bullseye for Eli Manning. The Eagles had four cornerbacks out of practice Wednesday.
Last week, New Orleans rolled up 546 yards of total offense, 373 yards and four touchdowns via the air.
The Giants – at least Beckham – believe they can still make a run at the division, even though Dallas looks ready to separate themselves especially if they win Thanksgiving afternoon.
It will be about getting the big four back in the spotlight and raising the bar for Barkley. Philadelphia can be the start.
If they can, save some money for playoff tickets.
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