“No, I wasn’t just waiting to pop a long run. When you get that mindset, they’re not going to come,” Barkley said after the game. “I was trying to take what they give me. I was trying to focus on taking little runs, taking little runs, and when the opportunity comes, make them pay, and I didn’t make them pay at all today. I’ve got to give credit to all those boys over there and the (Lions) d-coordinator (Aaron Glenn). They did a really good job today.”
And it wasn’t just the worst showing of Barkley’s season, but his least productive game since early last season. His longest run against Detroit’s defense went for only 4 yards. Next Gen Stats had the star Giants running back with an ugly minus 2.67 rush yards under his expected amount per attempt. In this one, the Lions stuffed Barkley short on a third-and-4, third-and-6 and third-and-1. New York’s offense had to go another direction, trying to fight out of tough third-down situations and obvious passing downs.
And Giants head coach Brian Daboll also took note. He said the Lions won in the trenches, made their tackles in space and “bottled up the run game pretty good.”