Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians focused on stopping Saquon Barkley
The New York Giants have ushered in some significant changes ahead of their matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season. Regardless, head coach Bruce Arians understands that the game plan to stop them remains the same.
Although the Giants have decided to bring in the Daniel Jones era under center this week, running back Saquon Barkley remains as the focal point of the offense. According to Tom Rock of Newsday, Barkley is still going to be the Bucs’ primary concern:
“For us, it’s trying to stop Saquon and forcing them to throw the ball,” Arians said.
Arians’ comments are certainly understandable. Despite the Giants’ abysmal 0-2 start to the season, Barkley has picked up right where he left off last season when he established himself as one of the NFL’s elite running backs as a rookie. He is currently second in the league in rushing yards with 227 while averaging a whopping 7.8 yards per carry.
The fact that New York has decided to replace quarterback Eli Manning with Jones solidifies Arians’ notion that they must stop Barkley. Although Jones showed plenty of promise in the preseason, it is safe to assume he will need some time to find his footing under center. The onus will be on the Bucs defense to ensure that it does not happen in his first career start.
Regardless, trying to contain Barkley is much easier said than done. Fortunately, they have already proven to be capable of slowing down elite running backs after limiting Carolina Panthers workhorse Christian McCaffrey to 53 yards on 18 touches in Week 2.