New York Giants: Saquon Barkley’s issues appear to be mental

Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants have been one of the worst teams by far in the NFL. They are so bad they have even made Saquon Barkley a non-factor in games.

The New York Giants have been awful at every level this season. Between play-calling and execution, the G-Men have completely failed. Expectations were never really that high for this team if we’re being honest, but they have still failed to clear the low bar. Their saving grace, Saquon Barkley, has even fallen into the abyss of another lost Giants season.

Barkley suffered a high ankle sprain earlier this season which caused him to miss some time. To the surprise of most, he ended up only sitting out for three games. At first, fans commended him on his toughness for missing such a short amount of time with a difficult injury. But a speedy return to action might have been a bad idea in the long run.  If the last three games were any indication the team made a mistake bringing him back so soon.

Now he might be healthy, but it appears he is trying to do too much and it’s backfiring big time. There’s no reason for Barkley, one of the best running backs last season, to only rush for ONE yard against the Jets.

Nothing is going right for the New York Giants in their seven straight losses. It’s clear Barkley has tried to shoulder the load and make up for Big Blue’s struggles. Unfortunately, he’s hurting more than helping. Barkley has become non-factor in the passing game. Watching him be unable to haul in an easy pass from quarterback Daniel Jones with no defenders in sight is absolutely deflating.

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The simple plays just aren’t working which means it has to be in his head. Seeing his rookie quarterback struggle and turn the ball over every game, Barkley wants to help and take some pressure off of Jones. The Giants have yet to win a game Barkley played in besides the Tampa Bay game in which he exited early. That stat has to be on Barkley’s mind before every game and intensifies play after unsuccessful play.

The offensive line hasn’t helped the running game all year. They haven’t created the running lanes and holes he needs. Even though the line has held mostly steady with the same group, the regression is clear and the big back can’t count on them. Barkley spends far too much time in the backfield waiting for a lane to open. Offensive lines struggles are nothing new for this team, but they still have to find something that works so Big Blue can move the football downfield.

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While sitting him the remainder of the season is not a great option, resting him does make sense. On the other hand, there is something to be said for playing his way out of this slump. Either way, those missed opportunities we’ve been seeing will once again become the home run plays Big Blue fans expect from Barkley.