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Another standout day for Saquon Barkley

The only things Saquon Barkley likes to talk about less than bumps and bruises are records and milestones.

So when he was asked about his shoulder in the locker room following the Giants’ 30-27 overtime win over the Bears, he deflected even more about breaking the franchise’s 82-year-old rookie rushing mark. He only wanted to talk about helping the team to its third victory in four games.

“It definitely means a lot,” he said. “We’ve been on the other side of this situation and the message at halftime was ‘come out, play for each other, and come out and finish the game.’ We started fast in the first half and we started fast in the second half. It took an extra quarter, but we got the job done.”

Barkley’s list of accomplishments grows each week. The second overall draft pick recorded his 11th game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage and his third in a row with 100 solely on the ground, fourth total. He did so against a Bears defense giving up 3.58 yards per carry, the fewest in the NFL. Barkley averaged 5.21 on 24 carries for 125 yards. But more important than the volume was the situation. Barkley’s two longest runs led to key field goals.

He broke a 22-yarder on third-and-23 near the end of the first half, and instead of the Giants settling for heading into the locker room down by a touchdown, it gave them a chance for more. Eli Manning hit tight end Rhett Ellison for a nine-yard gain on fourth-and-one, setting up a 57-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas as time expired. The longest field goal in franchise history cut the deficit to 14-10 and gave the Giants some momentum. They came out with 14 unanswered points in the third quarter.

“Huge, huge,” coach Pat Shurmur said of Barkley’s run before halftime. “It’s sort of a give-up call to just run it, and when you hand the ball to Saquon, that’s not the case. He’s a super, super talented guy.”

Barkley broke down what he saw on the play.

“The O-line did a great job first and foremost with the block in the front,” he said. “My mindset is try to get out of bounds in the situation like that and try to get as close as we can for the field goal. We broke the franchise record today right, on that field goal? That’s amazing for him but that was my mindset. Try to get as much as I can and get out of bounds and preserve time and try to get points on the board before going into halftime.

“In my mind, every time I touch the ball I believe that I have the ability to score and that I’m helping my teammates. We didn’t score on that play but it was a big play getting some momentum going into halftime making a 57-yard field goal. Everyone’s talking about me making cuts and moves on that but if you go back and watch the film you see the blocking down the field is what actually set that up so you’ve got to give credit to not only the offensive line and their ability but obviously the blocking down field and for us to be able to get in this situation and make another play to get us closer to field goal range before halftime.”

The Giants had seemingly sealed the victory by making it a 10-point game with 1:49 to play, but the Bears rattled off a field goal, an onside kick recovery, and another touchdown to force overtime. Then it was Barkley time. The Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner broke a 29-yard run up the right sideline and into Bears territory on the first play of the extra period. He touched the ball three more times for three, seven, and three yards to set up the go-ahead field goal by Rosas. The defense was able to finish it off that time, and the Giants are 4-8 after a 1-7 start.

“The first run of the overtime, that was an outstanding run and he did a great job of staying inbounds,” Shurmur said. “We’ve seen all year what he can do, and for those of you keeping track, I think he had 24 carries today, so that’s a good day’s work for him.”

In between the critical runs, Barkley made the crowd gasp for two very different reasons. First, he hurdled Bears safety Adrian Amos Jr. on a 17-yard catch-and-run before Odell Beckham Jr.’s one-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter.

“That was a cool one because it was off of two feet, but I’m just out there playing my heart out for my teammates,” Barkley said. “Trying to make plays and trying to find ways into the end zone to help my team win. You do things sometimes and you can’t explain it. Your body just takes over and that was one of those situations.

“Most of the time, sometimes you can just do it off of reaction. Sometimes watching film you know how the guy is going to tackle you. To be honest, there my body took over and I just reacted and I jumped.”

The other show-stopper came when Barkley briefly left the field late in the fourth quarter and was examined by the medical staff. He was asked after the game about what happened to his shoulder. “Nothing,” he said. Barkley added that he had “something underneath” his pads and he “had to fix it.” He was later asked again about the shoulder. “Shoulder is good.” And there you have it.

Barkley’s day started with another slice of history. On a two-yard carry, he broke Tuffy Leemans’ franchise record for most rushing yards (830) by a rookie. The record had held since 1936. Barkley was asked after the game if he has to pinch himself when things like that happen on what seems like a weekly basis.

“Not really,” he said. “You’re just so stuck in the moment and so stuck in the season and trying to get better every single day. At the end of the day you work your butt off, but stuff like that is pretty cool. You couldn’t do that by yourself, so I’ve got to give credit to the offensive line and coaches for helping me get that record.”

He did so with something special on his feet for the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign. Barkley was raising awareness for 22Q, a rare disorder that his niece was diagnosed with at a young age.

“Definitely special,” Barkley said of wearing the clears. “I wish I was able to get into the end zone but you know, the only thing that really matters is a team win and we got a team win. To be able to wear those cleats with my niece’s name on there, help raise awareness and bring awareness to 22Q definitely meant a lot.

“She was excited to see those cleats. She actually got a kind of version of those with her own shoe so I got to give her those cleats and I’m going to take my own money and donate to the charity in her name.”

Barkley’s list of accomplishments grows each week. The second overall draft pick recorded his 11th game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage and his third in a row with 100 solely on the ground, fourth total. He did so against a Bears defense giving up 3.58 yards per carry, the fewest in the NFL. Barkley averaged 5.21 on 24 carries for 125 yards. But more important than the volume was the situation. Barkley’s two longest runs led to key field goals.

He broke a 22-yarder on third-and-23 near the end of the first half, and instead of the Giants settling for heading into the locker room down by a touchdown, it gave them a chance for more. Eli Manning hit tight end Rhett Ellison for a nine-yard gain on fourth-and-one, setting up a 57-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas as time expired. The longest field goal in franchise history cut the deficit to 14-10 and gave the Giants some momentum. They came out with 14 unanswered points in the third quarter.

“Huge, huge,” coach Pat Shurmur said of Barkley’s run before halftime. “It’s sort of a give-up call to just run it, and when you hand the ball to Saquon, that’s not the case. He’s a super, super talented guy.”

Barkley broke down what he saw on the play.

“The O-line did a great job first and foremost with the block in the front,” he said. “My mindset is try to get out of bounds in the situation like that and try to get as close as we can for the field goal. We broke the franchise record today right, on that field goal? That’s amazing for him but that was my mindset. Try to get as much as I can and get out of bounds and preserve time and try to get points on the board before going into halftime.

“In my mind, every time I touch the ball I believe that I have the ability to score and that I’m helping my teammates. We didn’t score on that play but it was a big play getting some momentum going into halftime making a 57-yard field goal. Everyone’s talking about me making cuts and moves on that but if you go back and watch the film you see the blocking down the field is what actually set that up so you’ve got to give credit to not only the offensive line and their ability but obviously the blocking down field and for us to be able to get in this situation and make another play to get us closer to field goal range before halftime.”

The Giants had seemingly sealed the victory by making it a 10-point game with 1:49 to play, but the Bears rattled off a field goal, an onside kick recovery, and another touchdown to force overtime. Then it was Barkley time. The Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner broke a 29-yard run up the right sideline and into Bears territory on the first play of the extra period. He touched the ball three more times for three, seven, and three yards to set up the go-ahead field goal by Rosas. The defense was able to finish it off that time, and the Giants are 4-8 after a 1-7 start.

“The first run of the overtime, that was an outstanding run and he did a great job of staying inbounds,” Shurmur said. “We’ve seen all year what he can do, and for those of you keeping track, I think he had 24 carries today, so that’s a good day’s work for him.”

In between the critical runs, Barkley made the crowd gasp for two very different reasons. First, he hurdled Bears safety Adrian Amos Jr. on a 17-yard catch-and-run before Odell Beckham Jr.’s one-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter.

“That was a cool one because it was off of two feet, but I’m just out there playing my heart out for my teammates,” Barkley said. “Trying to make plays and trying to find ways into the end zone to help my team win. You do things sometimes and you can’t explain it. Your body just takes over and that was one of those situations.

“Most of the time, sometimes you can just do it off of reaction. Sometimes watching film you know how the guy is going to tackle you. To be honest, there my body took over and I just reacted and I jumped.”

The other show-stopper came when Barkley briefly left the field late in the fourth quarter and was examined by the medical staff. He was asked after the game about what happened to his shoulder. “Nothing,” he said. Barkley added that he had “something underneath” his pads and he “had to fix it.” He was later asked again about the shoulder. “Shoulder is good.” And there you have it.

Barkley’s day started with another slice of history. On a two-yard carry, he broke Tuffy Leemans’ franchise record for most rushing yards (830) by a rookie. The record had held since 1936. Barkley was asked after the game if he has to pinch himself when things like that happen on what seems like a weekly basis.

“Not really,” he said. “You’re just so stuck in the moment and so stuck in the season and trying to get better every single day. At the end of the day you work your butt off, but stuff like that is pretty cool. You couldn’t do that by yourself, so I’ve got to give credit to the offensive line and coaches for helping me get that record.”

He did so with something special on his feet for the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign. Barkley was raising awareness for 22Q, a rare disorder that his niece was diagnosed with at a young age.

“Definitely special,” Barkley said of wearing the clears. “I wish I was able to get into the end zone but you know, the only thing that really matters is a team win and we got a team win. To be able to wear those cleats with my niece’s name on there, help raise awareness and bring awareness to 22Q definitely meant a lot.

“She was excited to see those cleats. She actually got a kind of version of those with her own shoe so I got to give her those cleats and I’m going to take my own money and donate to the charity in her name.”

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