Just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Giants on Sunday, except for the player for whom everything went wrong the last time he stepped foot on Soldier Field. 

Saquon Barkely, returning to the spot where he tore his ACL in Week 2 of last season, looked more like his old self, putting together his first 100-yard rushing game since the devastating injury in an otherwise brutal 29-3 loss to the Bears. 

“Coming here, to be able to have a 100-yard game and come to the place where the injury happened and kind of made my career go backwards a little bit, it does feel good,” Barkley said after taking 21 carries for 102 yards. 

“I feel like a monkey came off my back, to come to the spot where everything felt like it went downhill, personally. To be able to get the run game going, especially with the help of the offensive line who did a great job today, I appreciate those guys up front for continuing to believe in me [even though] things haven’t been that great this year.” 

Saquon Barkley rushed for 102 yards in the Giants' 29-3 loss to the Bears.
Saquon Barkley rushed for 102 yards in the Giants’ 29-3 loss to the Bears.
Photo by Mark Black/UPI/Shutterstock

The only bright spot on a dark day for the offense, Barkley recorded his first 100-yard rushing game since Dec. 22, 2019. Before Sunday, he was averaging 41.9 rushing yards per game — one of which he exited early with an ankle injury — this season, hardly looking like the player he was before the big injury. 

During the week, Barkley had downplayed his return to Soldier Field. But he also dismissed questions about whether he might take the final two games of the season off to make sure his body was healthy for next season, which he harped on Sunday. 

“I don’t want to say that was a dumb question, but for me personally, it’s kind of insulting me,” Barkley said. “At the end of the day, I know it’s the league, but I still love this game. So me sitting out and not going out there and trying to compete for my brothers is nonsense to me.” 

Barkley’s strong production came on a day when the Bears knew what was coming, too. It was quickly evident that the Giants’ game plan was to run the ball on almost every down, with backup quarterback Mike Glennon hardly a threat to complete passes. Barkley even took a handful of direct snaps with Glennon split out wide. 

“I thought Saquon did good things,” coach Joe Judge said. “A couple times they had him in the backfield with some blitzes or pressures, he was able to slip out and make something out of nothing at certain times.I thought he ran hard and he ran with good ball security. He went out there and really played as a good team player today and fought to the end.”

Source: NYPOST

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