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Giants RB Saquon Barkley has strong backing for Eli Manning

Saquon Barkley

At the end of his record-setting rookie season, Giants’ running back Saquon Barkley expressed his support for his quarterback, Eli Manning. “I know he has a lot of ball left and this team believes in him,” he said, as reported by Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

The Giants passed on an opportunity to select a successor for Manning with the second overall pick in last year’s draft to instead take Barkley. Should he return next year, it would be Manning’s 16th season.

Barkley may not be able to take the torch from Manning, but he’s proved his worth to the team with a phenomenal rookie season. This season Barkley ran for 1,307 yards, he had 721 receiving yards and scored 14 total touchdowns. He became the third rookie to eclipse 2,000 total yards, joining the likes of Edgerrin James and Eric Dickerson. He broke the Giants rookie rushing touchdown record during today’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, surpassing Bill Paschal, who ran for 10 touchdowns in 1943.

The tandem of Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. provided Giants fans with some jaw-dropping plays throughout the season, but were unable to put together a quality season, going 5-11 and missing the playoffs for the sixth season since winning the Super Bowl in 2011. In 2016 they lost to the Green Bay Packers in the wildcard game.

Manning’s decline has been a major contributing factor to the teams’ struggles this year. In 2018, Manning threw for just over 4,000 yards, but had 11 interceptions to go along with 21 touchdowns.

The Giants ended their season with a 36-35 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Manning had the opportunity to set New York up for a game-winning field goal, but threw four straight incompletions after starting in good field position on their own 48-yard line with 26 seconds to play.