The New York Jets are firmly in the mind of Giants running back Saquon Barkley leading up to their Week 8 matchup
The Jets take on the Giants in the battle for New York in Week 8, and one player is entering it with a chip on their shoulder.
Giants running back Saquon Barkley is looking for redemption after his 2019 performance against the Jets that saw him gain only 1 yard on 13 rushing attempts. It remains the worst performance of his career in terms of both total rushing yards and yards per rush attempt (0.1).
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Barkley admitted that the 2019 matchup is still fresh on his mind leading up to Sunday’s game. His younger brother – who is a Jets fan – didn’t hesitate to remind his older brother of his porous performance, either.
“My little brother definitely reminded me,” Barkley said. “That’s when I realized like, dang, I really had 1 rushing yard against this team. At that moment — before I ever [tore my] ACL or anything like that — that was probably the lowest moment I had as a player.”
Saquon Barkley discusses the Jets-Giants rivalry and playing them on Sunday:
"There's definitely a little more something to the game and I felt that the last time I played in it… at the end of the day all you want to do is win and that's our goal." pic.twitter.com/1wlVyNUIBz
— Giants Videos (@SNYGiants) October 26, 2023
The Jets won that 2019 matchup 34-27 with Sam Darnold under center. Barkley would be outrushed by quarterback Daniel Jones and backup Wayne Gallman, who combined for four rushing attempts.
This time, Jones won’t be under center for the Giants. And if the Jets want to come away with another victory over their New York rival, they will need to put the clamps on the Giants running back once again.
In one way, victory has come early for the 26-year-old running back – who grew up a Jets fan. The Giants running back managed to convince his father, who remains a diehard Jets fan, to hope for a Giants win this Sunday.
“My dad is a real big Jets fan, having a Jets tattoo,” said Barkley. “He’s still rooting for the Jets this game, but he hopes we win this time. So, I got him to say that out of his own mouth two or three days ago. I finally got my father on my side.”
While Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers downplayed the rivalry between the two teams, Barkley believes there will be added pressure in this matchup.
“There’s definitely a little something more to the game,” started Barkley. “I felt that last time I played in it. We ended up losing in a really close game, but you could just feel the atmosphere and the fans that were there. At the end of the day, all you want to do is win and that’s our goal.”
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