The New York Giants currently sit at 2-5 after a hard-fought win against the Washington Commanders on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium. While it has often looked doom and gloom for Big Blue this year, there have been flashes of potential that show why this team was in the playoffs last year. It begins and ends with running back Saquon Barkley, who provides a dual threat that is essential to the Giants’ success.
After being sidelined with a sprained ankle against the Arizona Cardinals, the franchise running back would be shelved for three games. Without Barkley, the Giants averaged just over 10 points per game and looked stagnant on offense. The rushing attack was meager as New York averaged just over 75 yards per game. The lone time a rusher went over the 50-yard mark was quarterback Daniel Jones against the Seattle Seahawks. Needless to say, Barkley is the straw that stirs the drink of the Giants offense.
In his first game back against the Buffalo Bills in Week 6, the threat of Barkley allowed Tyrod Taylor — replacing the injured Daniel Jones — to utilize play-action and throw for 200 yards while the back carried the load on the ground with 24 attempts and 94 yards. The Giants‘ 317 total offensive yards was the first time they hit the 300-yard mark since Week 2 against the Cardinals.
As the Giants were able to establish the run game once again, that allowed head coach Brian Daboll to manage the game like he was able to do so often last season. If it wasn’t for the last-second stand made by Buffalo aided by a questionable missed call on the last play of the game, the Giants would be 3-1 with Barkley on the field this year. Although now sitting at 2-2 when he suits up, the winning formula seems to have been found in the Meadowlands.
“That’s how you win football games,” Barkley said when discussing the full team effort. “That’s something we haven’t been doing and obviously. We didn’t win 40-0 or we didn’t blow a team out but at the end of the day, we got the dub.”
The Giants were able to execute on both sides of the field and make plays when it mattered most to shut down the Commanders.
The offense continued to look improved, even if the final score did not exactly reflect it. Taylor has looked in control since stepping under center, and with Barkley in the backfield, Taylor has been able to manage the offense effectively and give New York a chance to win games.
The two have even started to develop a little bit of chemistry, headlined by a 32-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Sunday’s 14-7 win.
“Tyrod did a really good job of hitting me on the move,” Barkley said. “I was able to make a guy miss and find a way to get into the endzone.”
As the Giants continue to make up ground in the standings, it is clear they will need Barkley to be at his very best and add an additional threat to the Big Blue offense. The more the Giants are in control of the game, the more Daboll will manage victories.