Giants running back Saquon Barkley is second in the NFL in rushing yards heading into this Sunday’s game against the Bears and that’s one sign that he’s rebounded from a dismal 2021 season.
Another came last Monday night when Barkley cut back and ran 36 yards for a touchdown against the Cowboys. It wasn’t enough to get the Giants a win, but Barkley said at a Thursday press conference that the play made him feel like he is back to being the kind of back he was in his first couple of NFL seasons.
“Yeah, you know, not to be arrogant, when you see plays like when I went back, and you watch film on the touchdown run I had on Monday, making that jump cut inside a hole and making those two guys miss and find a way to score,” Barkley said. “Those are the plays where it’s like, kind of put a smile on your face and you’re like, ‘That’s the guy I know. That’s the guy who always was there.’ He was there last year to be completely honest; I just had a hard time finding a way to bring him out. That’s coming with a mental disconnect, I lost confidence, and its human nature. That happens. You’re going to have your ups and downs in life, but you got to find a way not to waiver and continue to trust yourself, continue to trust the process, and just find belief in yourself again. I feel like I’m starting to do that also with the help of the coaches and my teammates.”
In addition to staying productive, staying healthy will be a key for Barkley over the rest of the season if he is going to fully position himself as being back to the form that made him a star upon entering the league as the second overall pick in 2018. If he can pull both off, how he and the Giants handle contract talks next offseason will be interesting to watch.