Saquon Barkley

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Saquon Barkley sets Giants' rookie record against Redskins and Twitter responds appropriately

Saquon Barkley sets Giants' rookie record against Redskins and Twitter responds appropriately

Drafting Saquon Barkley No. 2 overall over a quarterback is paying off quite well for the New York Giants. 

Already through Week 14, Barkley has set a new franchise record for the G-Men by total touchdowns by a rookie.

The touchdown to break the record was an incredible 78-yard scamper against the Washington Redskins. Well, we should say trot, to the end zone as he went untouched in the second quarter. The closest anyone was to the running back was when he lined up at the line of scrimmage. 

And as always, Twitter did not disappoint. 

Barkley finished the first half with 10 carries for 159 yards and one touchdown. The Giants entered the locker room with a 34-0 lead over the Redskins.


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Jay Gruden calls facing Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham 'pick your poison'

Jay Gruden calls facing Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham 'pick your poison'

At 1-6, the Giants occupy the basement of the NFC East, and by the looks of the team's trades this week, the New York front office appears to be giving up on the 2018 season. 

Still, don't for a second think this team lacks talent. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden knows better anyway. 

"They're a good football team. We just mentioned two players that are possible Pro Bowl players – Saquon and obviously Odell," Gruden said on Thursday. 

While the Giants' record is among the worst in the NFL, the team arguably has the two most talented offensive players in the division in Odell Beckham and rookie Saquon Barkley. Beckham is a household name, and despite plenty of tabloid headlines, he's been electric on the field. He ranks in the NFL's Top 5 in receptions and receiving yards despite poor play from Eli Manning this season. 

Barkley has been quite impressive, particularly playing behind a bad Giants offensive line. He leads the NFL in runs of 20-yards-or-more and 40-yards-or-more. He's also proven to be a dangerous pass catcher out of the backfield. 

Add it all up and the Redskins have their hands full defensively in Sunday's matchup in the Meadowlands.

In five career games against Washington, Beckham has owned the Redskins. He's posted nearly 540 yards on 40 catches with five touchdowns. What's worse for the Redskins is that cornerback Quinton Dunbar seems unlikely to play while he deals with a nerve injury in his shin. 

Without Dunbar, the Redskins will need to rely on Josh Norman to cover Beckham. 

That duo has produced volatile results, and while Norman will deal with Beckham primarily, other corners will inevitably get matched up. That means second-year cornerback Fabian Moreau and rookies Greg Stroman and Danny Johnson need to bring their best game to New York. 

"We'll have a plan for Odell, but our corners are going to have to strap up and play. We can't triple him or double him every time. If you start doing that, you are lighting the box for Saquon Barkley so it's pick your poison," Gruden said. 

About Barkley - in seven career NFL games, he's averaging about 130 total yards with seven touchdowns. Don't even extrapolate those numbers to a 16-game season, because they're bananas. 

"He can jump cut. He can run you over," Gruden said of Barkley. "He can catch. I don’t know what else you want a back to be."

For Redskins fans looking for a silver lining, the Washington run defense has been particularly strong this season. In consecutive games, the Burgundy and Gold limited Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott to less than 60 yards. Combined. 

Barkley and Beckham are serious competition, but for most of the first half of the 2018 season, the Redskins have been up to the test.

Another big one looms Sunday.