Prioritize Their Superstar Running Backs
Again, today’s game is won through the air, but without an efficient run game, no offense is going to reach its true potential. Henceforth, why the Giants and Jets invested significant capital into two of the league’s best running backs.
After being selected second overall in 2018, Giants back Saquon Barkley took over the league his rookie season. His 2,028 yards from scrimmage and 15 touchdowns made him a superstar overnight on his way to his first Pro Bowl. His rookie year compares to the Pro Bowl years of Le’Veon Bell, when he averaged 2,015 yards from scrimmage.
Nobody can deny the talent Bell and Barkley possess. What is in question is whether or not Gase and Judge capitalize on their talent.
Already, Bell is having issues with Gase’s backfield by committee approach this season. Coming off of the worst year of his career, Bell is in better shape and has an improved line in front of him. Nevertheless, the Jets expect the additions of NFL legend Frank Gore and third-round pick La’Mical Perine to cut into his snap count significantly.
Unlike Bell, it was a nagging ankle injury that led to a solid but not great second year for Barkley. He was used less in the passing game, while the play of the offensive line was also a major factor. This season, Barkley is joined once again by Wayne Gallman, but also former Tennessee Titan Dion Lewis.
There is no such thing as too many running backs, however, Gase and Judge cannot allow their deep backfields to prevent their top playmakers from getting the ball. Both teams are without a number one receiver or a consistently-healthy tight end. So why limit their touches when they are necessary to make up for the lack of skill-position talent?