Saquon Barkley might not care about his individual performances when the Giants lose, but everyone else can appreciate them for him.
After five nominations in six weeks, the second overall draft pick took home his first Pepsi Rookie of the Week Award after racking up 229 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in the Giants’ Week 6 loss to the Eagles. Barkley took home the honor over Denver's Bradley Chubb, New York Jets' Sam Darnold, New England's Sony Michel and Miami's Jason Sanders.
“You really don’t even know that you’re dominating in a game when you’re down two touchdowns, three touchdowns,” Barkley said after the Thursday night game. “Only thing on your mind is no matter what, if you’re down by 40, if you’re down by 50, 60 or whatever, you just continue to play your heart out for this team and for your brothers on the sideline, so you’re not even focusing on that. I guess that’s why you don’t even notice it because that’s just the mindset that I have.”
And there were many achievements he didn’t notice. Despite falling one receiving yard shy of becoming the first Giant ever with at least 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game, he joined Kareem Hunt as just the second player in NFL history to begin a career with at least six consecutive games with 100 or more scrimmage yards.
Barkley’s nine receptions brought his season total to 40, setting a franchise record for a rookie running back in just six games. The former mark of 37 was set by Bobby Duhon in 1968. Barkley is on pace to finish with 106 catches, which would shatter the current NFL rookie running back record held by Reggie Bush, who had 88 in 2006. Barkley was also the first Giants player with a 50-yard run and a 50-yard reception in the same game since Tiki Barber in 2004.
“How did I feel about my performance [Thursday night]? Doesn’t matter to me,” said Barkley, who has 811 yards from scrimmage and six total touchdowns in six games. “We didn’t get the win. To be completely honest, don’t care. As long as we get the win, I don’t care if I went for however many yards or even if I went for 30 yards, if we won, if we got the win, I would be satisfied, but at the end of the day we didn’t, so none of that matters.”
Here is a look at this season's previous winners of the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award:
Week 1: Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward (The cornerback recorded six tackles, three passes defensed and two interceptions against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward is the fourth youngest player (21 years, 134 days old) in NFL history to record two or more interceptions in a game).
Week 2: Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard (The linebacker led the NFL with 18 tackles (15 solo) in Week 2 and added one sack, one pass defensed and one forced fumble in the Colts' 21-9 win over the Washington Redskins).
Week 3: Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield (The quarterback completed 17 of 23 attempts for 201 yards and caught a pass on a successful two-point conversion attempt in the Browns' 21-17 win over the New York Jets).
Week 4: Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb (The running back rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the Browns' 45-42 overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders).
Week 5: Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward (The cornerback had five tackles, three passes defensed, an interception and blocked a field goal in the Browns' 12-9 overtime win over Baltimore).