Saquon Barkley Becomes 3rd Rookie in NFL History to Gain 2,000 Scrimmage Yards

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2018

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley (26) runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec., 30, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

By compiling 142 yards from scrimmage in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley surpassed 2,000 yards for the season.

Barkley is just the third rookie running back in NFL history to hit that benchmark, joining Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James, per SNF on NBC. Barkley broke free for a 68-yard run late in the third quarter to get to 2,000.

Barkley finished with 109 rushing yards and one touchdown and caught four passes for 33 yards. His four receptions brought him to 91 for the year, which is a rookie record. According to NFL Research, Reggie Bush (88 receptions in 2006) held the old mark.

Coming out of the 2018 NFL draft, many questioned why the Giants selected Barkley with the No. 2 pick over one of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or Josh Rosen. Though New York will head into the 2019 draft still in need of a successor to Eli Manning, Barkley has more than justified the team's decision.

One season into his NFL career, he's already a Pro Bowler and a strong contender for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Barkley's numbers are even more impressive when factoring in the general inconsistency of the Giants offense. They entered Week 17 ranked 14th in offensive efficiency, and Manning ranked 23rd in defense-adjusted yards above replacement, per Football Outsiders.

The quarterback position remains a long-term question mark, but Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. provide New York with the foundation to build one of the NFL's most potent offenses in another year or two.

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