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Tua Tagovailoa, Saquon Barkley Split Madden 20 Games in Verizon Clash

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 27, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama looks on during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Tua Tagovailoa and Saquon Barkley matched up for the first time in their professional careers Tuesday, albeit on the virtual gridiron rather than the real one. 

The No. 5 overall pick of the Miami Dolphins and the star running back for the New York Giants teamed up with comedian Rob Riggle to play Madden for this week's edition of #PayItForwardLive, Verizon's campaign to support small and local businesses. 

Playing from their homes, Tagovailoa and Barkely went head-to-head in two games with Riggle calling the action live. 

Verizon @Verizon

Tonight on #PayItForwardLIVE, @Saquon gave rookie @Tua a sneak peak at life in the @NFL and started a #Madden20 rivalry in the process. Thank you @Saquon, @Tua and host @RobRiggle for joining us to help small businesses! https://t.co/vgSNTsRHHw

The first game ended in a thrilling 13-7 victory for Tagovailoa, which was especially noteworthy considering he was using the Dolphins' roster from 2019. Instead of using himself at quarterback, Tagovailoa was left with Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Alabama product didn't get to use any of Miami's free-agent signings, either, meaning Jordan Howard, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson and Byron Jones were all unavailable. 

Barkley, meanwhile, had no trouble handling the Giants' offense. That was never more evident than in the second game that the two played. 

After Barkley stormed out to a 21-0 lead at halftime, Tagovailoa graciously rage-quit and took the loss and humiliation in stride. 

Verizon's Pay It Forward Live campaign donated $10 for every time its hashtag was tweeted up to $2.5 million on Tuesday. The series will continue to run every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. The next event will take place May 28 with Dave Matthews hosting a live concert from his home. 

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