Thus far into Saquon Barkley’s career, he has yet to play meaningful football this late into the season, let alone have a clinching scenario to punch his ticket to the postseason.
On Sunday, the New York Giants will have an opportunity to do just that.
With a win over the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium, the Giants would clinch a playoff spot in the first year under Brian Daboll and the new regime — an impressive feat for a Giants team with low expectations entering the season.
Barkley wants no part of backing into the playoffs.
“You don’t want to leave it to chance. The way you do that is by doing what you got to do this week. That’s really it. You just got to treat it like another week,” Barkley told reporters this week. “One game at a time, it’s the most important game because it’s the next game on the schedule and try to do the little things, take care of the football, and go out there and try to win the football game.”
Barkley sees the playoffs as something he has been envisioning for a long time.
“It would mean a lot. It’s stuff you dream about as a kid, playing playoff football in the National Football League. That’s something that you dream about when you get drafted to the New York Giants,” he said. “Obviously, the first four years that didn’t happen and now there’s a chance, a possibility.
“It’s a beautiful thing when you look at it. All the ups and downs, whether it’s in my personal career or whether it’s the organization- what we’ve been through the last couple of years. It will be special, and we have a chance to do it. At the end of the day, we just got to take care of what we can take care of and that’s on Sunday.”
Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, Barkley has been a catalyst for the Giants’ success this season. In fact, Barkley’s campaign during the first half of the season had him as a front-runner for the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
A playoff berth this season would also be the first one for the franchise since 2016, and a step forward that proves the Giants are headed in the right direction.