NY Giants: 5 Players who need to step up in 2021
Saquon Barkley, Running back
Similar to the team’s quarterback conundrum, the NY Giants must figure out what to do with their star running back in Saquon Barkley.
Barkley is the current face of the franchise, a team captain, and their best player by far.
There is simply no other player on this team with his ability or claim to stardom in New York.
Unfortunately for Barkley, he has not done nearly enough through three years to justify giving him the dreaded second contract for running backs.
In 2020, Barkley suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 against the Chicago Bears where his season ended on a routine tackle and he seemed to have a routine fall before everything else went wrong.
Barkley missed over 14 games this season, he missed three full games in 2019 and sat out plenty while coming back too early, but was perfectly healthy for his rookie season in starting 16 of 16 games.
Total that up and Barkley has missed over a full season through three years, missing 17 total games and getting hurt early in both contests his injuries occurred in.
When Saquon is on the field, he is an electric playmaker with game wrecking ability to change an entire game on one play. That much has been quite evident by his performances against teams such as the WFT, the Buccaneers, the Panthers, the Eagles, among many other teams.
Saquon’s combination of size, speed, athleticism, and pure ability, is matched by very few (if any) running backs in today’s NFL.
Barkley struggled mightily in his two games in 2020.
His opening game stat line of 15 carries for six yards seems nearly impossible. Barkley had zero chance all game as he got little support from his line, there were never holes to run through, and he was consistently swarmed in the backfield by multiple Steelers defenders. He did somewhat make up for it in the receiving department with six catches for 60 yards.
Barkley enters year four with the NY Giants and the team has yet to win over six games in his tenure. As great as he is, his individual stats haven’t led to team wins and accomplishments, a very important thing to realize.
Barkley needs to stay healthy for an upcoming career-defining 2021 season. He needs to show he can come back from a significant injury, he needs to then remain healthy, he needs to light up the stat sheet again, make an impact all over the offense, and most importantly, his performances need to directly lead to wins. Saquon Barkley is an all-world talent but his fit and role on the Giants may not make much sense if the team continues its losing ways in 2021.