(K)Needless to say, the Giants messed up

The Giants have little to no chance of having a successful season due to the failure of the offensive line protection

Saquon+Barkley+is+sometimes+referred+to+as+Saquad+Barkley+because+of+his+almost+unreal+thigh+muscles+and+physique.+

Saquon Barkley is sometimes referred to as Saquad Barkley because of his almost unreal thigh muscles and physique.

Mya Mooney, Staff Writer

On Sunday September 20th, the Giants saw the downfall of their 2020 season. Saquon Barkley, a team captain and the most valuable player on the team, is officially out for the season due to an ACL tear. The former Penn State running back made waves in the NFL after being the 2nd pick of the first round in the 2018 NFL draft. In his collegiate career, he was one of the best running backs Penn State had ever seen, making unbelievable plays during games, especially in his last season with Penn State. When he was drafted to the Giants, fans went crazy as the Giants has managed to snag one of the best players that year, hoping he would continue to succeed in the professional realm of football. Barkley did just that, being named the 2018 NFL rookie of the year, and setting Giants franchise records. His performance on the field continued to grow, until this past Sunday when he tore his right ACL. This unfortunately means he will not be seeing any playing time for the rest of this season. The New York Giants are struggling offensively, Barkley being their little hope at having a somewhat successful season, which now has no hope with his absence on the field. Fans are enraged as this could have been avoided if the offensive lineman had been protecting him, rather than leaving him defenseless, and vulnerable to injuries.  Which resulted in Sunday’s season ending injury for Barkley. This will hurt the Giants offensively, as he was the main playmaker on the team, and truly is what held them together as best as possible.

 

Saquon Barkley came into the spotlight during his time at Penn State. In 2015 Barkley made his first appearance playing for the Nittany Lions, starting six games out of the eleven he played that season, being one of the very few true freshmen to start that year. By the end of his freshman season he managed to rush for 1,076 yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, averaging 97.8 rushing yards per game, 161 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown, and averaging 8.1 yards per carry. As his impressive freshman season wrapped up, Barkley second-team All-Big Ten, Freshman All American Honors, Big Ten Freshman of the year, Big Ten All-Freshman accolades, as well as some smaller awards. He was ranked second for true freshman running backs with 1,076 yards and ranked 64th overall. His outstanding freshman performance led to him becoming a full-time starter, starting all 14 games in his sophomore season, which really helped showcase his raw talent. He totaled 1,496 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns, averaging 106.9 rushing yards per game, 402 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns, and averaging 14.8 yards per carry. Barkley’s ability to make plays even when there seems no possible way to get the next down became very apparent, as this is when he began making unbelievable plays to keep the drive going. He was ranked fifth national for total touchdowns that season, and was ranked number one in the Big Ten Conference with his 22 touchdowns. He was also ranked number 1 in the Big Ten for all-purpose yards, number 2 in the Big Ten for rushing yards, rushing yards per game and number 4 in the Big Ten for yards per carry. As his junior season approached, fans believed this would most likely be his last season playing at Beaver Stadium, as talk about Barkley being a top 5 pick in the NFL draft rose. His final year at Penn State, he ended with 1271 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns, averaging 97.8 rushing yards per game,632 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, and averaging 11.7 yards per carry. While his rushing yards may have decreased, he made up for that in receiving yards, increasing his yardage that season by over 200 yards. As fans anticipated, Barkley declared for the 2018 draft, ending his remarkable career at Penn State.  He was awarded the Paul Hornung Award, selected as First Team All-American, was a Heisman runnerup , and won many other first team and second team awards in the realm of running backs. His career at Penn State was unforgettable; he had broken and set new school records, and has tied records with some of the best players to ever be part of that program. Barkley no doubt in anyone’s mind was a top 2 draft pick.

In the 2018 NFL Draft, first round second pick, the New York Giants would select Saquon Barkley , as their first pick of that draft. Saquon would keep his number 26 as he moved to the NFL. His first season with the Giants, Barkley had 1,307 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns, averaging 5 rushing yards, 721 receiving yards, 4 receiving touchdowns, average 7.9 yards per carry. In that season alone, Barkley proved he was more than just a talented college running back, but a talented NFL running back and could hold his own. He was named NFL Rookie of the Year over other highly anticipated players like Baker Mayfield. By his second season with the Giants, Barkley became a team captain over veteran players and continued to make waves in the NFL. The 2019 season would not be as successful for him, as the weaknesses of the Giants’ o-line became more evident, not doing their jobs of protecting Barkley or their quarterback. Barkley’s rushing yards decreased, tallying in 1,003 rushing yards,6 rushing touchdowns, 438 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns, and averaged 8.4 yards per carry. Although his stats did decrease in all aspects, Barkley still had a prominent presence on the field. Losing all games but 3 the previous season, with a new quarterback, Daniel Jones, the Giants hoped to improve their 2020 season, but that all ended during the second game of the season against the Chicago Bears when Barkley was taken off the field due to an apparent injury and did not make a return to the game. The Giants then announced Barkley tore his right ACL and partially tore his right meniscus, meaning he will not be playing for the rest of the season. Barkley by far was the main playmaker for the offense, but with an offensive line that was unable to protect him, an injury was inevitable. He will have to undergo an ACL reconstruction, physical therapy afterwards to get his knee healthy again, unfortunately in this process, his right leg will lose muscle definition, and he will need to work hard to get his right leg back to normal. With such a huge void left on the field, the likelihood of the Giants improving their record slims down a lot. They wasted his raw athleticism because they could not take care of him and protect him properly and will pay with the absence of him this season.

With Barkley being out of the season, big shoes will need to be replaced on the field. The Giants currently have four other running backs, Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis, and Elijhaa Penny, who could take Barkley’s place for the season. As for who will be starting, head coach Joe Judge will most likely pick whoever has been stepping up during practices, run similar routes to Saquon , and can make plays out of anything. Barkley will be greatly missed this season and his health comes first, so hopefully he will recover before next season.

*All stats found on Penn State and the Giants football website under Saquon Barkley’s name on the roster.