Saquon Barkley, Eli Manning
(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New York Giants running back once again stands by quarterback Eli Manning when asked about the criticism towards him. 

As he’s done since he’s entered the league, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is coming to his quarterback’s side.

In an interview this week with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Barkley was asked if he has a difficult time hearing the criticism towards Giants quarterback Eli Manning. 

“Yeah, it bothers me, I’m not gonna lie, because it’s not his fault,” says Barkley, who the Giants drafted with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. “He’s not the reason why we went 5-11. We lost seven or eight games this year by seven points or less as a team. We love to put the blame on one person. But in football it takes 11 men. I’m fine with having 1,200 yards next year, 1,300 yards next year, but with a 12-4 record.”

This isn’t the first time Barkley has defended his quarterback. During Super Bowl week, Barkley spoke to NFL Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst Cris Carter, saying, “Is [Eli Manning] washed up? I don’t believe that at all.”

Barkley had a tremendous rookie season and is mature enough to know he owes some of his success to his veteran quarterback. He had 1,307 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 91 balls for 721 yards and four scores through the air. Barkley’s 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the NFL.

These statistics and overall on-field success from Barkley propelled him to win numerous regular season awards. Barkley was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, the Pepsi Rookie of the Year along with the FedEx Ground Player of the Year. He also made his first of what will potentially be many Pro Bowls in his career.

Barkley has the right idea too. It takes 11 guys to perform well on the offensive side of the football. It’s not Manning’s fault that they finished last in the NFC East. With an improved offensive line going into next season, hopefully, Barkley, Manning, and the Giants can make the playoffs once again.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.