clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Behind Enemy Lines: A wounded Colts team prepare for a Giant test on the road

Player Spotlight: Saquon Barkley

NFL: Washington Commanders at New York Giants Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts are coming off of another primetime loss in which they were shutout in the 4th quarter and an abysmal 0-10 on third downs conversions. Just the latest chapter on what has been one of the most embarrassing seasons ever as a Colts fan.

One good thing to come out of the Colts' latest defeat is that they now have the number 5 pick in the draft, a pick they can use to secure that void that this team has had since a certain player walked out a little over 4 years ago. Moving forward, any decision the Colts make should be with that draft pick in mind. That is how precious that pick is to the Colts' future.

Meanwhile, the team the Colts are facing this Sunday is the New York Giants, a team that is attempting to secure a playoff berth. The Giants came close to beating the Vikings last week and will look to rebound this week vs. the Colts. The Colts are currently 0-3 vs. the NFC East, and the Giants led by Saquon Barkley, would like to make that 0-4 on the first day of 2023.

NFL: Washington Commanders at New York Giants Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants have one of the worst rosters in the NFL. This was always supposed to be a rebuilding season, but what this coaching staff has done, led by Brian Daboll has been nothing short of amazing. A big reason for the Giants' success has been the return of Saquon Barkley.

If you haven’t been paying attention this year, yes, the guy that destroyed the league his rookie year, posting 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns, is back. Barkley seems like a lock for comeback player of the year and was just rewarded with a Pro Bowl nod after putting up numbers similar to what he had pre-injury. Barkley has 1,254 yards and 10 touchdowns with two games to go, but the thing that’s most important is that he has put together a fully healthy season in a contract year. Unless Barkley is franchise tagged, he’s gonna hit the open market and will have a lot of suitors, especially at 25 years old.

NFL: New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

One thing that made Barkley special as a running back in his first two years was the explosiveness and power he had as a runner. It was a rare combination, and why he was selected so high in the draft. Simple gun run here between the tackles with the game on the line last week.

While he’s not quite this player anymore.

He is still close to that player today and can do things like this to remind you.

Barkley is a special player that you have to game plan for, but the Giants make that very difficult to do because they use him in a bunch of different ways. He is in the wildcat with Daniel Jones to the left in the traditional running back spot.

This is another one that they popped for a chunk play against Green Bay…

Saquon Barkley checks all the boxes you want out of a running back. Luckily for the Colts, they have Grover Stewart and Deforest Buckner in the middle of their defensive line. Containing Barkley will take a total team effort as Zaire Franklin and Bobby Okereke will have their hands full as well. They will have the responsibility of fitting up in the run game and flowing sideline to sideline in case he tries to turn the corner on any of those jump cuts he’s famous for.

This Giants offense is extremely limited with what they can do, and as much as I hate to say this, the Colts match up extremely well with them. If the Colts slow down Barkley, then I see the Giants struggling to score and this being a low-scoring affair. This offense will go as far as Barkley will take them. So far, it’s been far enough we’ll see if it continues Sunday.