A big reason for the New York Giants getting off to such a strong start this season has been the performance of running back Saquon Barkley. He has bounced back in a major way in 2022 after dealing with injuries and ineffectiveness the last three seasons.
Part of the reason that Barkley was not able to produce was how poor the supporting cast around him was. The offensive line was abysmal, struggling to open holes for him in the running game, but that is no longer the case.
However, it was the injuries that he had to overcome that were sapping his production. Barkley tore his ACL in the second game of 2020 and he looked like a player coming off of an injury in 2021. He dealt with an ankle sprain as well during the season, which led to lackluster production as he rushed for 593 yards in 13 games.
This offseason he worked hard to get back to where he was as a rookie when he led the league in yards from scrimmage, winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and earning a Pro Bowl nod. The offseason work paid off as Barkley looks as explosive as ever and should be earning some hardware after the season.
The Penn State product has been the hub of the Giants’ offense this season as their 7-2 start can be largely attributed to him. He currently leads the league with 103.4 rushing yards per game, already surpassing his yardage from the last two seasons combined. If he keeps up that pace against the Detroit Lions this weekend, he will surpass his rushing total from 2019 as well.
What makes Barkley such a special player is that he can make something out of nothing, ripping off big plays with regularity. He is also a dual threat coming out of the backfield as he is a strong pass catcher as well. That is why he currently leads the NFL with 125.3 scrimmage yards per game.
Opponents know that the ball is going to be put into his hands as often as possible and they still can’t stop him. Brian Daboll and his staff have done a wonderful job game planning this season, getting the most out of a roster that many believed to be one of the least talented in the NFL.
Having a healthy Saquon Barkley gave them one superstar to build their offensive attack around and thus far they have found a ton of success from it. If he keeps this pace up, Barkley is going to be rewarded handsomely this offseason as a free agent.