Healthy again, Saquon Barkley presents big challenge for Commanders’ defense

by admin
0 comment

ASHBURN, Va. — After just four wins in 2021, the New York Giants (7-4) are firmly in the playoff mix this year.

There are many possible reasons for the Giants’ impressive turnaround in 2022. First year coach Brian Dabor has done a great job establishing the new culture. Quarterback Daniel Jones cut turnovers significantly. Left tackle Andrew Thomas was the cornerstone of the franchise. New York’s defense has also performed well overall, despite losing a few injuries.

Despite these positive changes surrounding the Giants, the reality is that the club wouldn’t be where it is now in contention for playoff berths in the final month of the season, without the return of Saquon Barkley… After two injury-plagued campaigns, Barkley will return to elite form in 2022, reminding the nation why he is one of the most talented offensive players in the NFL.

Commanders manager Ron Rivera said: “Sacwon is a really special footballer. “He really is. He’s 100% back. I know he was back in form last year. We could see, this year he’s back and we have to explain him.”

The No. 2 overall pick in 2018, Barkley initially dominated the NFL. The running back led the league in his yards scrimmage as a rookie, and in 2019 he continued that campaign with a 1,000-yard season. However, just two games into his 2020 season, Barkley tore his ACL. Occasionally throughout the 2021 season, even when he returns.

But this year, Barkley looks eerily similar to the player who spent his first two seasons as a pro. Commanders his cornerback Kendall Fuller believes a lot of it has to do with the running back having his first healthy offseason in two years.

“He’s just taken a step back,” Fuller said. “A lot of the time players have certain injuries and it takes a while to undo that step. It helps a lot. It’s in his play.”

Through the 12 weeks of the 2022 season, Barkley are near the top of every major statistical rush category. The fifth-year veteran is fourth in rushing yards (992) and tied for eighth-most rushing touchdowns with seven. Additionally, Barkley has scored seven runs of 20 yards or more this season. Only Cleveland Browns star Nick Chubb, 11, does more.

One of the reasons Barkley is such an effective player is his wide range of skills and versatility. The former Penn State star has the power to run in between tackles. Barkley’s 443 rushing yards after contact is his fourth-most in the NFL. But he also has the speed to run away from defenders in open space.

“I can’t say anything he can’t do,” Fuller said. “You have a man who can do anything. I think it’s self-evident.”

“Saqwon, he’s doing his thing,” added defensive tackle Daron Payne.

The Giants are still dealing with multiple injuries at wide receivers this year, and Barkley is a big part of New York’s passing game. The running back currently leads the Giants with 35 receptions and is fourth on the team in receiving yards.

The 25-year-old is clearly New York’s best offensive weapon. Del Rio believes the Giants are doing a great job of getting football in many ways.

“They do a really good job of letting him touch,” Del Rio said. whether by passing the ball to [He’s a] A really good player.”

As skilled as Barkley is, the Commanders are already facing several talented running backs this season, including former Pro Bowler Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Jonathan Taylor and Dalvin Cook. Surprisingly, only one of them (Henry) has exceeded his 100 yards on the ground against the Commanders this season.

Overall, Washington has allowed 108.4 rushing yards, the eighth-lowest this season. That was even lower before Atlanta ran for 167 yards in the rain against the Commanders last week.

Limiting Barkley’s effectiveness has been the number one way opponents have found success against the Giants this season. Barkley recorded his rushing yards average of 113.9 yards in his seven wins in New York. In his four losses for the Giants, he managed just 48.8 rushing yards per game.

That big difference is no coincidence. The Commander understands how important it is to slow the Barkley down. The numbers speak for themselves.

Over the past few years, Daniel Jones has stepped up his play under center against the Commanders. But going into Sunday, Washington’s plan is to beat Jones, not Barkley.

“If we can stop their run game and make them one-dimensional, let them throw the ball and get out there and hunt up front, I think we have a chance at winning,” Payne said. I said.

You may also like

Leave a Comment