Saquon Barkley could be major problem for Eagles defense
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Giants RB Saquon Barkley could be major problem for Eagles defense

After missing 21 games over five seasons, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is finally healthy. He played through a neck injury when he last faced the Eagles, and his results were underwhelming. He’s better now, and that could mean bad things for Philadelphia. 

Barkley appeared on New York’s injury report with a stiff neck just days before the Week 14 matchup against Philadelphia. He started the game but had only nine carries for 28 yards and two catches for 20 yards in an embarrassing 48-22 loss.

To his credit, Barkley refused to use injury as an excuse saying, “We got our a-- whipped, point blank.” With the team down 21-0 in the second quarter and 24-7 at halftime, the Giants couldn’t afford to run the ball as they’d hoped. 

Barkley was a healthy scratch for the Week 18 rematch, but in his final three games of the season, he averaged 76 yards rushing and 25 yards receiving with two touchdowns. He looked explosive in his playoff debut with two more touchdowns and 109 total yards in a 31-24 win against Minnesota in the NFC wild-card game.

The Eagles may lead the league in sacks, but they’re vulnerable against the run. Only five teams gave up more yards per carry than the Eagles (4.6) this year, while only two teams had more rushing yards (2,519) and yards per carry than the Giants (4.8).  

Barkley shows no signs of the ACL tear that forced him to miss the 2020 season, and he’s a far cry from the running back who managed only 593 rushing yards in 2021. If he can repeat his performance from the Vikings game, it could be a long night in Philadelphia for the Eagles.

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