It looked like it was going to be another such game for Saquon Barkley.
No, not one of his dominant games as he rushed to an NFL high 164 yards in Week 1. One of those strange games where a talent from around the world is held against a staggeringly low hasty total.
But the Giants held onto the run and a healthy Barkley worked through the second half on Sunday to finish with 21 carries for 72 yards after being held to five carries for 3 yards in the first half.
Barkley’s two most important runs in a 19-16 win against the Panthers were a 16-yarder who fueled a game-binding touchdown drive in response to trailing for the first time and a 6-yarder who helped to set the clock for fourth. to be carried out quarterly.
“We made a few adjustments at halftime, but a lot of it was just sticking and wearing them out,” said quarterback Daniel Jones. “The run game will sometimes happen like this if they match early in the game and play them physically, but I thought we ramped it up in the second half and found some folds. If you hit one it helps the next. guys up front did a good job Saquon did a good job too.”
The Panthers allowed 217 rushing yards (5.6 per carry) in a season-opening loss to the Browns, so it looked like a mismatch came into play.
But Barkley, who has had three career games with at least eight rushes and 10 yards or less, expected an improved opponent. He got it when the Panthers held the Giants to six points in the first half, despite a great starting field position created by turnover.
“The week before, they were cut open like crazy,” Barkley said. “We knew there were opportunities to be there, but [the Panthers] had a great game plan. All [our coaches] guys came in and adjusted it. We didn’t panic, we didn’t waver. We sat down and started the game.”
The Giants needed two first downs in the last 2:06 to seal the win. Barkley passed for 6 yards before the chains moved on a defensive penalty. He then ran for 4 and zero and would be the target of a third-and-6 pass that became a scramble from Jones for 11 yards.
The message was clear: With the game on the line, the Giants want the ball in Barkley’s hands.
“We have a lot of guys who won’t quit, who will fight and keep that competitive mentality,” said Barkley. “The attacking guys can do better, especially with such a field position. But in the end you just want to win.”