The verdict on whether Saquon Barkley will ever recapture his blue-chip status remains a question mark. Still, every now and then we see glimpses of the dominant New York Giants running back that once took the league by storm back in 2018. His touchdown reception in garbage time against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 14 was one of those moments.
With less than five minutes remaining in regulation, Barkley hauled in an 18-yard score from quarterback Mike Glennon, putting on a brilliant display of route running which left both Chargers cornerback Michael Davis in the dust and Barkley’s fellow Pen State alumn Micah Parson’s disgusted at the sight. “Omg eeeeew,” the star Dallas Cowboys linebacker said on Twitter in reaction to Barkley’s savvy receiver chops.
Barkley: ‘We’ve Just Got to Be Better’
In total, Barkley hauled in three receptions on the evening, accounting for 31 yards through the air. His touchdown reception marked the second of the season for the former No. 2 overall pick and just his third since December 29, 2019. In the ground game, Barkley ground his way to 64 yards rushing on 16 attempts. Believe it or not, that rushing total checks in a season-high for a Giants running back who hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards rushing since 2019.
While he wasn’t ready to put a grade on his play, Barkley did insinuate that he’s feeling more and more like his old self as time goes on.
“Got to go back and watch film before I just give myself an honest grade. I felt a little more explosive today, getting comfortable getting a rock,” he stated postgame. “But yeah, that’s it. I’ll go back and watch film and be able to give myself a better answer.”
Still, despite Barkley slowly getting his feet back up underneath him, the Giants continue to disappoint. With no Daniel Jones and no Kadarius Toney, Barkley and Glennon led the Giants to just seven points in the first three-quarters of play and were mostly toyed with by a superior Chargers roster for the better part of 60 minutes.
“Obviously, we lost the game, so at the end of the day we’ve got to go back and watch film to see what we could’ve done better,” Barkley said. “Obviously, there are plays out there that need to be made that we didn’t make as a team. We’ve just got to be better.”
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Parsons Making Case for DPOY?
At this point, barring some unforeseen dropoff, Parsons is penciled in as the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year — that’s a forgone conclusion that we’ve all come to accept. However, considering his recent dominance, it may be time Parsons starts making room on his mantle for some extra hardware.
With 9.5 sacks over his past six games, Parsons has bumped his total to 12 on the season, to go along with 75 tackles, 27 quarterback hits and 17 tackles for loss. Looking like one of football’s elite hybrid playmakers, Parsons’ play has put himself squarely in contention for Defensive Player of the Year honors as well.