Saquon struggles in 'MNF' loss: 'It will turn around'

  • By Grant Gordon
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In a flash, Saquon Barkley showcased the explosiveness and astounding ability that delighted the Giants faithful in his rookie season.

It was but a flash, though.

Barkley was bottled up on Monday to a frustrating level as the Giants offense sputtered in a 37-18 defeat to Dallas and questions remained as to whether the 22-year-old dynamo is his old self since returning from an ankle injury.

"It's football, it's the NFL. It's week what? I don't even know," Barkley told reporters following the last game of Week 9 when asked where he was physically. "I'm coming off of an ankle injury. I'm not going to make any excuses."

It was a brilliant Barkley 65-yard catch and run from Daniel Jones that stood as the lone highlight of the night for the Penn State product. It came in the fourth quarter, but it led only to a field goal and a deceiving stat line for Barkley. In 14 carries, Barkley produced just 28 yards, tying a career-low in a full game, with a scant two yards per handoff. Though he had the aforementioned 65-yard reception, he finished with six catches for 67 yards. Quick math will tell you that's five grabs for only two yards on the rest of his plays in the passing game.

"Things aren't going our way right now, we can't just cry about it," Barkley said. "It's part of football, it's part of your profession, it's part of your job. You just have to go back, watch film and learn from it and try to get better throughout the rest of the season and focus on the next game with that being the Jets."

Losers of five in a row, the Giants have yet to win since Barkley returned in Week 7.

To be fair, his first two games back were fine and dandy. They just weren't outstanding and Barkley has showed time and again that's the elite level he lives at.

Barkley began his sophomore NFL campaign with back-to-back 100-yard rushing outings. Questions will continue as to Barkley's health and perhaps extend into quandaries if he'll reclaim the stellar level he seemingly made standard.

He's not losing focus or hopefulness, though.

"We are struggling right now and things aren't going our way, but I'm not going to lose my focus, I'm not going to lose belief in this team and this coaching staff," Barkley said. "I'm just going to continue to come to work every single day and I am 100 percent sure that it will turn around. It just hasn't turned around as soon as we would have liked it to."