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Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley

After the Giants fell to the Dallas Cowboys in their season opener last week, a video of a young Big Blue fan went viral. The child, wearing a Giants jersey, tried to get the autograph of the Cowboys' Demarcus Lawrence following the game. 

The Dallas defender wasn't having it. 

Lawrence told the kid to "get the right jersey" and blew him off. 

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Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley

After the Giants fell to the Dallas Cowboys in their season opener last week, a video of a young Big Blue fan went viral. The child, wearing a Giants jersey, tried to get the autograph of the Cowboys' Demarcus Lawrence following the game. 

The Dallas defender wasn't having it. 

Lawrence told the kid to "get the right jersey" and blew him off. 

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Giants thin at wide out 00:00:47
New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur discusses how the Giants will have to produce at wide receiver despite being hit by the injury bug.

Sterling Shepard spent the week in concussion protocol, but the fourth-year wide receiver was out on the field Friday as the Giants turned the page from the past weekend's 35-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The Giants hoped to have Shepard back by the time Sunday's 1 p.m. kickoff at MetLife Stadium against the Buffalo Bills arrived, but they instead enter the home opener without one of their top offensive weapons.

After Friday's practice, Shurmur said that Shepard was not entirely held out of action, but there were further steps needed to gain clearance before Sunday's game.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Odell Beckham Jr., Russell Shepard, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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Sterling Shepard
Sterling Shepard

Giants WR Sterling Shepard, who has been doing light activity on the side at practice this week while still in concussion protocol, has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Bills. 

Along with Shepard, the Giants will also be without Darius Slayton, who is dealing with a hamstring injury.

Adding to the wide receiver injury woes, Cody Latimer is questionable for Sunday's game due to a calf injury.

Tags: Cody Latimer, Evan Engram, Russell Shepard, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) shakes hands with head coach Sean McDermott after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Sep 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) shakes hands with head coach Sean McDermott after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Sunday's 1 p.m. kickoff at MetLife Stadium between the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills just got a bit more interesting.

A day after Pat Shurmur said Wednesday that Bills quarterback Josh Allen "had a chance to be a starter," repeating the head coach's take on the Wyoming product as the Giants evaluated the position ahead of the 2018 NFL draft, the Bills took notice.

According to Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic, a tweet published by NFL Network's Kimberly Jones with Shurmur's comments about Allen appeared on televisions displayed inside the Bills' facility Thursday.

Tags: Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley
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Josh Allen (Vincent Carchietta)
Josh Allen (Vincent Carchietta)

Just a season ago, the Giants had the chance to take one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL Draft with their No. 2 overall pick. Josh Allen was among those quarterbacks, coming out of Wyoming. 

However, the Giants went with Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with that pick, and Allen went to the Bills seventh overall. 

On Sunday, Allen will be going up against Big Blue with Buffalo staying in East Rutherford following their come-from-behind win over the Jets in Week 1. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur commented on Allen, and though he wouldn't say whether or not he was an option for the Giants in that 2018 Draft. 

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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When Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters during his Monday conference call that Sterling Shepard was in concussion protocol, many were stunned. 

When the heck did that happen on Sunday? 

Shepard played the entire game, and he wasn't brought up during the post-game press conference when Shurmur had to answer for how the Giants lost 35-17 to the Cowboys. 

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard
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By the numbers, the Giants showed up on offense despite Sunday's 35-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas -- just not everywhere.

Big Blue racked up 470 total yards, 319 of which came through the air and 306 from Eli Manning, who completed 30 of 44 passes (68.2 percent) and threw a one-yard touchdown to tight end Evan Engram with 8:11 left in the first quarter.

But the statistics were deceiving after New York put three scores on the board -- a garbage-time rushing touchdown by running back Wayne Gallman among them on a two-yard run with 2:54 left in the fourth quarter made no difference.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman
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When you look at the 35-17 final between the Cowboys and Giants on Sunday, there isn't much to be happy about from New York's standpoint. 

However, when you check the box score -- or just watch the game closely to begin with -- Giants fans should be happy about Evan Engram's production. 

This season, Engram's third since he was drafted in the first round in 2016, was supposed to be the one where he really breaks out and becomes the matchup nightmare everyone in the Giants' organization knows he can be. And that's exactly what he did in a stellar first game. 

Tags: Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The game was far from over late in the third quarter when the Giants were deep in Cowboys territory. They were moving the ball, on the verge of scoring, facing a third-and-2 from the Cowboys' eight yard line.

It was the perfect time to place the ball in the hands of their best player, who just happens to be one of the most dynamic players in the league. So the Giants lined up, the ball was snapped, and Eli Manning turned and handed the ball to…

Eli Penny?

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's possible that the Giants defense is actually worse than anyone thought.

That's hard to believe, considering how low expectations were, but it was like they were barely there in the Giants' 35-17 opening day loss in Dallas. They got no pass rush at all, and their secondary was a mess of poor coverage and broken plays. The result was a 405-yard, four-touchdown performance by Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, who looked like he was running a 7-on-7 drill all day.

It was embarrassing, really. Also it was not surprising. It was clear the Giants weren't going to be able to generate much of a pass rush this season, and they drew a tough assignment anyway against the Cowboys' powerful offensive line. But the coverage was worse than advertised, particularly starting corner Antonio Hamilton, who was literally shoved around throughout the game. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley
Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Nobody on the outside really likes this Giants team, or thinks it will be any good this season. But on the inside, the feeling is much different.

Everyone in the Giants' building seems to really like what they've done with this team.

"We don't really listen to the talk outside," Giants head coach Pat Shurmur said. "We feel like we are a better team than we were a year ago. … I like the way we have built our team. I like some of the changes we made personnel wise.

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Sep 16, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and quarterback Eli Manning (10) on the field before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Sep 16, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and quarterback Eli Manning (10) on the field before the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

On the heels of the disappointment from their 5-11 result last year, the Giants are retooled as they enter the 2019 season with a reshaped roster and second-year leadership.

While head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Dave Gettleman have insisted that the Giants are still built to win after the team traded star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., are veteran quarterback Eli Manning and second-year running back Saquon Barkley -- among others -- enough on offense while the defense makes up for offseason departures?

In a tightly projected NFC East, the Giants are pegged by Pro Football Focus -- which uses thousands of simulations in accordance with the outlet's proprietary grades and situational information -- for a third-place divisional finish and iffy postseason odds.

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - When news broke of Ezekiel Elliott's six-year, $90 million contract extension (with $50 million in guaranteed money) on Thursday, Saquon Barkley was happy for his fellow NFL running back. Just not for the reasons everyone thinks.

He said he didn't give a second of thought to what it might mean for him when his own four-year, $31.1 million contract is over (presumably after the team exercises its fifth-year option in 2022). And remarkably, not a single friend or family member has brought that up to him either - at least not yet.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Few players in Giants history had rocketed to superstardom as fast as Odell Beckham Jr. did. In what seemed like an instant, he became a household name and got caught up in the instant access and lack of privacy in the social media age.

There were times the Giants felt like it was too much for Beckham. 

They have no such worries about Saquon Barkley, their newest superstar.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Saquon Barkley 1 on 1 00:02:44
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley chats with SNY Insider Ralph Vacchiano about being a captain and his expectations for 2019.

Saquon Barkley was recenly named one of the Giants' captains for the 2019 season. And while he said it's awesome to gain the respect of his teammates, it doesn't change his responsibility heading into the season.

"That shows you how they feel about me -- especially being a young guy," Barkley told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano on Thursday. "It doesn't put any more pressure on me, I'm not gonna change. Like I said, I don't need a 'C' on my chest to be a leader on this team. Even though I have a 'C' on my chest, I'm not gonna try to go outside of myself."

After being drafted by the Giants at No. 2 overall last season as the team passed on taking a quarterback, there were many who believed Big Blue had made a mistake. Barkley then wen't on to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

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Nov 22, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs the ball against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Nov 22, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs the ball against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has agreed to a six-year, $90 million extension that includes roughly half the money being guaranteed, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Elliott, 24, had been holding out all offseason, with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones growing skeptical last week that a deal would be reached quickly.

"I'm operating as though right now he's going to miss regular-season games," Jones said on Thursday, according to the Cowboys' official website. "My entire expectation for what we're putting together as a team right now would anticipate with him holding out and not having any training camp that he's going to miss games. I just accept that."

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Danny Abriano
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Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) makes a catch during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Sterling Shepard is ready to finally get back on the field and catch some passes. Without his thumb splint. 

The fourth-year receiver hasn't seen any preseason action, and has been limited at practice due to his fractured right thumb. He was still seen with a yellow, non-contact jersey on at training camp, but would haul in any pass coming his way with his left hand.

That won't be the case on Sunday, though, as Shepard will be in the blue and white ready to take on the Cowboys in Week 1.  

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Scott Thompson
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Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.

The one thing that is certain about the Giants is that they are a team in transition -- or at least they will be soon. There's a new quarterback and a new era on the horizon.

How this season goes will determine how soon that future will come.

So yes, the Eli Manning-Daniel Jones dynamic and when/if the inevitable switch is made will be the dominant story of the Giants' 2019 season. There's no way to avoid that. But that isn't the only storyline to watch...

Tags: Eli Manning, Lorenzo Carter, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If there was one thing the Giants wanted to make clear after their first regular-season practice on Monday, it's that, "We're a better team than we were a year ago," as Pat Shurmur said. No Odell Beckham, no Landon Collins? It's no problem to them.

Yes, they were 5-11 last season so that bar isn't particularly high. And yes, there is an element of, "What else are they supposed to say?"

But the Giants really do seem to believe in addition by subtraction, that by removing a handful of big-name stars they've been able to build a better team -- no matter what the outside world thinks.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Manning, Kevin Zeitler, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Mike Remmers, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Oshane Ximines, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

A recent survey conducted by Sports Business Daily pegged Giants running back Saquon Barkley as one of the NFL's most marketable players. 

According to SBD, Barkley is the fifth-most marketable player in the league. He trails Baker Mayfield, former Giant Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady, who leads the list, respectively. 

The outlet came to their conclusions based on a survey distributed to sports business execs, marketing analysts and media members. Brady and Mahomes were above and beyond the rest, though. 

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 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

On Tuesday night, Giants RB Saquon Barkley was surrounded by former running backs that many believe he'll be joining in the Hall of Fame one day.

Barkley was the only active player up on stage with LaDainian Tomlinson, Barry Sanders, and Terrell Davis during the NFL's gala to kick off their 100th season. And after their Q&A on stage, Barkley surely got to chop it up with these legends to see what kind of advice he could get to use on the field in his second season. 

But Tomlinson has some off the field advice for the Penn State product instead. 

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Giants running back Saquon Barkley is one of the hardest players to bring down in the NFL.

That statement was previously just based on the eye test. Now the NFL's Next Gen Stats has definitive proof of that. 

Labeling an analytic statistic called "yards gained after close-in," Barkley was determined to be the NFL's second-toughest running back to bring down. 

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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) greets fans before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)  (Adam Hunger/AP)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) greets fans before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) (Adam Hunger/AP)

With the uncertainty surrounding the Giants offense heading into 2019, and the quarterback position more specifically, Saquon Barkley figures to build on his rookie season. 

That, plus his monster first season in the NFL which saw him lead the league with 2,028 all-purpose yards, are causing oddsmakers to set the bar high for Barkley in 2019. 

BetOnline released a series of individual prop bets ahead of the upcoming season. Barkley is featured several times by the bettors. 

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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

When Tom Brady gives you advice or a hype speech, you listen. 

And that's exactly what Giants RB Saquon Barkley did at the Met Gala this year when he and Brady met for the very first time. Speaking at the NFL's gala on Tuesday to begin their 100th season, Barkley flashed back to that moment with Brady that changed his entire mood from party mode to game mode. 

"It's great to do it for one season, but can you do it for five? Can you do it for 10?" Barkley recalled Brady saying to him, according to NJ Advance Media's Ryan Dunleavy. "I'm standing there at the Met Gala ready to run through a brick wall."

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) during warm up before NFL game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Giants RB Saquon Barkley catapulted himself into the conversation as the NFL's best running back after just one season in the blue and white. 

That's why Hall of Famer Barry Sanders knows that there will be a target on Barkley's back this season. 

Opposing teams had seen what Barkley accomplished during his days at Penn State, but after 1,307 yards rushing and 2,028 total yards from scrimmage, they now have a full year of film to see how they can eliminate that type of production. Add that in the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. to draw attention away from Barkley, and the running back has a tough task ahead of him in his sophomore season.

Tags: Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and quarterback Daniel Jones (8) look on during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) and quarterback Daniel Jones (8) look on during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Amidst all of the Baker Mayfield - Daniel Jones drama, it looks like Saquon Barkley is here to help clear up Mayfield's comments from the GQ Magazine interview.

"Baker reached out to me," Barkley said. "Through a mutual friend he got Daniel's number and sent Daniel a text and basically, just in case he didn't have the right number, or switched his number, he had said, 'Can you make sure Daniel gets this?' That was really it." 

Barkley was selected by the Giants with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, one pick after the Browns took Mayfield. So it makes sense for Mayfield to reach out to Barkley and get reassurance that Jones received his message.

Tags: Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley
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Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Aug 16, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws the ball during the first half against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The third preseason game used to be the big test for the starters. But that's just not the way it is anymore. Even Pat Shurmur, who believes the preseason still has value, doesn't expect to play his starters very long in Cincinnati tonight.

He said he expects things to go much like they did the first two games. That means no Saquon Barkley. No Sterling Shepard. Eli Manning will get a series, maybe two, and the starting offensive line will get that, plus maybe another series with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Then Jones will go until halftime.

In the second half … well, make sure to have your roster handy. You'll need it.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Aug 15, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell (26) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

Jets RB Le'Veon Bell won't play until Week 1 of the regular season against the Bills, but he said on Wednesday that he doesn't think there will be any negative impact to not playing during the preseason -- even after sitting out all of 2018.

"I don't think me getting four plays in the preseason is gonna help me in Week 1 for the game," Bell said. "It's gonna be me just getting ready for playing and practice. When the game comes, then I'll be ready."

Bell said that his teammates will be aggressive with him in practice and go after the ball in order to help him get ready for game situations, adding that he just wants to "go out there and show everyone I'm the same player."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Danny Abriano
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Chicago Bears didn't play a single starter against the Giants on Friday night and Mitch Trubisky and Khalil Mack probably won't play this preseason at all. It's the same in L.A., with Jared Goff and Todd Gurley. Saquon Barkley probably won't play this summer either, and Le'Veon Bell has already been ruled out.

A decade ago - less, even - such a mass sit-out would have been unthinkable in the preseason. Players played in increasing amounts in at least the first three games. Coaches felt they had to, in order to get ready for the regular season.

So what happened?

Tags: Avery Williamson, Eli Manning, Le'Veon Bell, Neville Hewitt, Saquon Barkley, Ralph Vacchiano
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Giants CEO hopes Eli hangs on 00:01:00
New York Giants President and CEO John Mara was asked about his QBS and said, "I hope Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field."

After Daniel Jones impressed many with his perfect touchdown drive in his first NFL series last Thursday, the hype surrounding the No. 6 overall pick reached an all-time high. The critics and naysayers took a backseat to those jumping on the bandwagon of Jones being Eli Manning's successor.

Now fans really want to see what Jones can do in a real game after seeing a glimpse of what he can do. But, for Giants co-owner John Mara, that day hopefully won't come this season. 

He wants to see Eli Manning on the field at all times. And Jones on the bench.

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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Saquon understands Giants' plan 00:00:48
It's always a delicate balance between playing or not in the preseason for star players. Shurmur and Saquon discuss the running back's plan.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley did not appear in the team's preseason opener last week, a 31-22 victory over the Jets. 

As far as the rest of the preseason goes, head coach Pat Shurmur is playing his cards close to the vest.

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Evaluating Jones' performance 00:00:45
Daniel Jones had a good showing in his first preseason game. Pat Shurmur was content with the rookie QB.

The spotlight was set on Daniel Jones as he stepped on the MetLife Stadium turf for the first time in his Giants uniform. Everyone wanted to see how the No. 6 overall pick, one that was criticized by the lots, would react to the big stage in his inaugural snaps in the NFL.

He was perfect -- literally. 

Thanks to a weather delay, Jones only lasted one drive for the Giants, but he didn't disappoint. He was a perfect 5-for-5 for 67 yards, and it was capped off by an absolute strike to Bennie Fowler in the right side of the end zone for his first career touchdown. 

Tags: Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, Scott Thompson
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How will Jones perform vs. Jets? 00:00:44
New York Giants QB Daniel Jones will make his debut against the Jets in their 1st preseason game. The Thread hopes he comes out slinging.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Some may call it arrogance, but Dave Gettleman definitely has had a quiet confidence about the Giants team he's built for this season. His critics say he did more to tear things down. He believes he's built the foundation back up.

There's a long way to go before anyone knows who's right, but the Giants will take the first steps over the next four weeks in the preseason, which opens for them against the Jets on Thursday night. Here's a look at what Gettleman and everyone else will be watching for, as they search for signs of just how good (or not) this Giants team can be:

1. How ready is QB Daniel Jones?

The plan is for the Giants to ride Eli Manning this season, far enough that Jones never has to see the field. But plans can change, and quarterback controversies have a funny way of just happening. Whether one does, depends a lot on the ability of Jones.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
May 3, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Dave Gettleman is well aware of how many fans and players feel about him. The Giants GM has made a string of curious decisions since taking over the job at the end of the 2017 season that has opened him up as a punching bag for fans and media alike. 

"People make fun of me," Gettleman told Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated. "If it makes them happy, let them have it. I don't care. I just know I'm blessed. I've got the Lord and my family and I've got football."

Gettleman explained some of those decisions, or at least the philosophy behind his decision-making, in a lengthy SI profile of the Giants GM. Here are some of the topics he addressed:

 

Tags: Eli Manning, Landon Collins, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers answers questions from media during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers answers questions from media during mini camp at Quest Diagnostic Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Getting traded after just two seasons with a team can be very difficult for some players, but it seems Giants safety Jabrill Peppers has fully embraced the new opportunity. The New Jersey native was acquired by the Giants in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the Cleveland Browns back in March. 

During an interview with Steve Serby of the New York Post, Peppers opened up about his career, family, and thoughts on some current and former teammates.

Peppers, who the Browns selected with pick 25 in the 2017 NFL Draft, was highly touted coming out of Michigan. He was a threat on both sides of the ball, making defensive plays and working well in the return game. He expressed his pride for making it to the NFL, while also holding himself accountable for his play thus far in his career.

Tags: Jabril Peppers, Landon Collins, Saquon Barkley
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Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) celebrates after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
		 (Brett Davis)
Oct 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Giants linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) celebrates after a sack against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports (Brett Davis)

The start to Giants training camp has been largely focused on the offense. Between the Eli Manning-Daniel Jones saga, the human highlight reel that is Saquon Barkley, and the multitude of injuries to the team's receiving corps, there are enough storylines there to keep the spotlight on that side of the ball.

However, the team's biggest training camp star plays defense. Second-year linebacker Lorenzo Carter entered the season with massive expectations on a team desperate for a pass rush, and his play has caught the eye of his peers and his coaches.

On the first day of camp, Carter blew up consecutive plays, first tackling Golden Tate behind the line of scrimmage on a reverse play, and then crashing the hole hard on a blitz before intercepting a screen pass intended for Barkley. Carter returned the interception for a touchdown, and although his teammates were quick to praise him, Carter was his typical humble self when asked about his big play.

Tags: Eli Manning, Jason Pierre-Paul, Lorenzo Carter, Saquon Barkley
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Giants GM reacts to Odell 00:00:31
Giants GM Dave Gettleman doesn't want to talk about Odell Beckham Jr anymore, but has his own ideas of what the "brand" of the team is.

On Day 2 of Giants' training camp, GM Dave Gettleman addressed the media on the state of the team as they prepare for the 2019 season. 

Here are the takeaways:

Any QB change is Pat Shurmur's decision

Tags: Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) walks off the field after a 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 11, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) walks off the field after a 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Odell Beckham Jr. recently claimed in a GQ article that he was keeping the Giants' brand alive and insinuated he was the reason fans were tuning into Giants games.

That has not totally resonated with others, including for Giant Tiki Barber. 

Barber, who was asked about Beckham by TMZ Sports, said that in regards to last year it was running back Saquon Barkley who was drawing fans in to watch the Giants. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Dec 2, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 2, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As Saquon Barkley heads into his second pro season with the Giants, the sky seems to be the limit for what he can accomplish.

As a rookie, Barkley took the NFL by storm, rushing for 1,307 yards, adding another 721 as a receiver, and totaling 15 touchdowns.

But could bigger and better things be in store for Year Two?

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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 (Dale Zanine)
(Dale Zanine)

For Saquon BarkleyKobe Bryant is his G.O.A.T. 

That's how he addressed his UNINTERRUPTED video, where he read aloud a letter he wrote to Bryant. He wanted to thank Bryant for embodying his signature "Mamba Mentality" -- a phrase that he writes on his cleats before every game. 

Well, Bryant acknowleged him via Twitter, and told the young running back that it's "your turn."

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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Sep 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 9, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars with offensive tackle Nate Solder (76) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The touchdown was the first of his NFL career. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are some who decided the Giants' 2019 season would be a disaster the moment they decided to bring Eli Manning back for one more year. Others became convinced they were tanking the moment they made quarterback Daniel Jones the sixth overall pick in the draft.

The truth, though, is nobody knows what the Giants really are and what will happen in 2019 until the games start for real -- and that's still about three months away.

But it's never too early to make some crazy guesses. So here are five bold predictions for what to expect from the Giants this year.

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Football fans look forward to the release of each year's installment of the Madden NFL franchise, but Giants fans may want to play with a different team in this year's game.

The Madden NFL 20 player and team ratings were released on Monday, and the Giants have the lowest team rating in the NFC at 77. That's the second-lowest rating only in front of the Dolphins (74). Their NFC East rivals in the Eagles and Cowboys are rated much higher at 89 and 88 respectively.

The Giants' gem on their roster is RB Saquon Barkley, who led the Giants with a 91 overall (and was ranked the fifth-best running back in the game). Other than that, the ratings weren't too kind to the Giants.

Tags: Aldrick Rosas, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Kyle Lauletta, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
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Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) dances before a game against New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) dances before a game against New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Giants may have only gotten to the playoffs just once with Odell Beckham Jr. on the team, but Browns tight end David Njoku believes the former Big Blue receiver may be the missing piece to take the Browns to the next level. 

"Once we realized we had him locked in, we're excited," Njoku said at a football camp he runs in Cedar Grove, NJ, per NJ.com. "We have a great team. It's up to us to take advantage of this opportunity."

Njoku, who was a rookie during the winless 0-16 season in 2017, began seeing a shift in the Browns culture last season with Baker Mayfield at quarterback and other new offensive weapons, such as Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb to help lead the team to a 7-8-1 season. 

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL is starting to get creative in its continued pursuit for an 18-game schedule. 

According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, one idea being proposed among owners is to limit players to a maximum of 16 regular season games. That would mean, by rule, the Giants and Jets would have to pick at least two games for players like Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold to sit out. 

The NFLPA has pushed back against an 18-game schedule, largely because the toll an extra two games would place on the players' bodies would be too much to handle on top of an already grueling 16-game schedule. Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie voiced these concerns back in June. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
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Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Dec 24, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ; General overall view of MetLife Stadium during an NFL football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the New YorK Jets. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

The NFL is starting to get creative in its continued pursuit for an 18-game schedule. 

According to Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, one idea being proposed among owners is to limit players to a maximum of 16 regular season games. That would mean, by rule, the Giants and Jets would have to pick at least two games for players like Saquon Barkley and Sam Darnold to sit out. 

The NFLPA has pushed back against an 18-game schedule, largely because the toll an extra two games would place on the players' bodies would be too much to handle on top of an already grueling 16-game schedule. Giants long snapper and NFLPA vice president Zak DeOssie voiced these concerns back in June. 

Tags: Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Zak DeOssie
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning looks to pass against Dallas Cowboys defensive end Dorance Armstrong during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

The Giants made some big changes heading into the 2019 season -- the obvious being the departure of stars like Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, and Olivier Vernon. But despite those losses, the Giants are confident that their change will be for the better starting this year. 

Will it be enough to fight for an NFC East division title?

Many know how tough the NFC East can be, with no team winning the division in back-to-back seasons since the Eagles won four straight from 2001-2004. The Cowboys were the winners last season at 10-6, but can they repeat? 

Let's see where the Giants sit on the list heading into training camp in a couple weeks...

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Lorenzo Carter, Nate Solder, Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Scott Thompson
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Both of New York's football teams have potential MVP candidates in their backfield, according to Bovada. Only one of the two have a player under center that was given odds, though.

Odds Shark released Bovada's latest odds for the NFL's 2019 MVP Award and both Jets' running back Le'Veon Bell and Giants' running back Saquon Barkley were listed by the odds makers. Both landed with +5000 odds to take home the top-individual silverware next season.

The only rusher with higher odds to land the honor was Alvin Kamara from the New Orleans Saints.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley
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Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) points to his family on the sideline during warmups before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Dec 30, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) points to his family on the sideline during warmups before a game against the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

Saquon Barkley can add another accolade to his already-illustrious young NFL career.

At Wednesday's ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, the Giants running back took home the award for Best Breakthrough Athlete, edging out Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, and female tennis player Naomi Osaka

Tags: Saquon Barkley
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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Eli Manning during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Giants GM Dave Gettleman believes his culture overhaul of the Giants' locker room will result in more wins. Coach Pat Shurmur believes Eli Manning has just enough left in his right arm to make his team a contender. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher believes he can piece together enough of a pass rush to help the Giants make a run, too.

They are, if nothing else, dreamers. They believe in the potential of their team. But are they realistic or are they delusional about the roster they've created?

Here's a way-too-early look at how the Giants' 2019 season just might go…

Tags: Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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