Giants QB Eli Manning says Saquon Barkley will help NY vs. zone
The New York Giants made quite the investment when they selected running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. However, it will be well worth it if he can do what Eli Manning hopes.
It goes without saying that having a balanced offensive attack is crucial to scoring points in the NFL. According to Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media, Manning says having a strong run game behind Barkley will allow the Giants to capitalize on zone defenses:
“I think teams that have that running back who can catch the ball out of the backfield, it’s such an advantage,” Manning said. “When teams are playing zone, and they’re dropping back or double-teaming your wide receivers, that guy can not only just get four or five yards, he can turn that into a 10 or 12-yard gain and first downs.”
A player of Manning’s caliber has seen it all throughout his career. He knows what works best after having won two Super Bowls. That said, it appears New York’s lack of a playmaker in the backfield has allowed opposing defenses to sag back in recent years. This allows defenders to get into their coverage more quickly, thus making it harder for Manning to find his receivers.
However, respected running backs like Todd Gurley and Le’Veon Bell are often a point of focus for opposing defenses. This allows players on the outside to take advantage of more single coverage opportunities. For a team with the Giants’ personnel, this could make all the difference.
There is plenty of hype surrounding Barkley entering his rookie campaign. It appears even Manning will be relying heavily on the young stud to make an immediate impact this season.