New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning believes that running back Saquon Barkley will have a big impact on the pass game.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is a great all-around player. He ran for 3,843 yards and added 1,195 yards receiving during three years at Penn State.
Many members of the Giants are excited to have added the running back, and one of them has been veteran quarterback Eli Manning. Speaking to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com, he spoke about how he feels Barkley can help a passing game that struggled last season (ESNY’s Jason Leach agrees, saying he could finish second in receptions this season).
Manning feels that Barkley will make playing zone against the Giants extremely difficult, saying, “I think teams that have that running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, it’s such an advantage. When teams are playing zone, and they’re dropping back or double-teaming your wide receivers, that guy can not only just get four or five yards, he can turn that into a 10 or 12-yard gain and first downs.”
Preventing teams from playing zone will force them to play man-to-man, which is next to impossible when going against an offense featuring Odell Beckham Jr. and Evan Engram. However, Manning thinks Barkley will also make playing man harder.
“Also, when you get man-to-man, and get him matched up on linebackers or get him catching routes out of the backfield, those are throws where the ball gets out of your hand quickly,” Manning told NJ.com’s Lombardo. “It kind of turns a short-pass into big plays. I’ve been really impressed with his route-running, his catching, and it’s just kind of that option and that check-down that won’t just get you four yards but he’ll get you first downs.”
Barkley has been hyped about as much as anybody can be before playing an NFL game, being ranked as the highest rated rookie in Madden, appearing in the ESPN Body Issue, and signing a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike.
Barkley has very lofty expectations, but should he meet them, it could go a long way towards making the Giants a playoff team once again in 2018.