Saquon Barkley had an underwhelming 2019 season stat-wise for his caliber. Can he bounce-back in 2020 and light up the NFL?
The 2019 NY Giants season was underwhelming in many regards; 2018 #2 overall pick, Saquon Barkley, surely falls under that category. Even though most other runningbacks would have been thrilled to have the type of campaign he had, Barkley is held to a higher standard, and for good reason.
Respectably, no one has been harder on themselves on the matter than Saquon Barkley himself. The second-year phenom ‘back was undoubtedly slowed by a high-ankle sprain in Week 3 against Tampa Bay and a porous offensive line that left him few holes to run through.
Will those problems be corrected heading into a pivotal 2020 season? For starters, Saquon seems fully healthy and recovered from his nasty ankle sprain. However, the offensive line issues have still not been addressed which has to worry those rooting for Barkley to have a monster 2020 campaign (all of us).
The former Penn State star just barely inched over the 1,000-yard mark by 3 yards in 13 starts in 2019. Coming back from his injury as fast as he did and playing through his pain in a lot season has to be respected as most guys in his spot would have shut it down for much longer.
Barkley still ran for an impressive 4.6 yards-per-carry average although he still leaned too heavily on explosive plays. In the red zone, he sometimes struggled to get the tough short yards and breakthrough into the end zone.
He was also slowed in the receiving game, which we can all only hope has more to do with Pat Shurmur’s failure to make him a focal point — something that drove almost every Giants fans nuts last season.
Barkley reeled in just 52 passes for 438 yards and two receiving touchdowns — down from 91-721-4 in his electric Rookie of the Year campaign. Stunningly, even though the NY Giants were down early so often, Shurmur didn’t elect to feed Saquon the rock behind the line of scrimmage to attempt to get Big Blue back in games.
Let’s take a deeper dive into where the team has improved this offseason and what Saquon Barkley’s 2020 season could look like from a statistical perspective.