Saquon Barkley isn’t just a running back, he’s a fan of running backs. So of course he enjoyed watching the Titans’ Derrick Henry ramble for a 99-yard touchdown last week against the Jaguars.
“It might be one of the most impressive runs in NFL history,” Barkley said on Wednesday.
It was certainly the longest Barkley has ever seen. The only other 99-yard run was from Tony Dorsett.
But Barkley said it did not usurp his personal favorite: Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run in the 2011 playoffs for the Seahawks.
“My personal opinion? I like Beast Mode’s run still,” Barkley said. “But [Henry’s] is up there.”
The Giants will face Henry on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
“You’ve got to stop him like you do Adrian Peterson or any marquee, downhill, hard-running back,” Pat Shurmur said. “Good run defense, it takes the whole team to fit the runs properly and then when he’s in your area or in your gap, you’ve got to get him on the ground. We’ve got to do a really good job of fitting the runs, and we’ve got to do a good job of tackling, and I think it’s a team thing.”
Shurmur said the 99-yarder was “a terrific run.”
“It was really a game-changing run,” he said. “Jacksonville was on the devil’s doorstop of taking the lead and then one play later, it ended up being a 13-point swing because they missed the extra point, but that was a game-changing moment or couple of plays in that game.”
(Side note: The Jaguars couldn’t broach the devil’s doorstep because two former Giants starting offensive linemen from the beginning of this season, Ereck Flowers and Patrick Omameh, could not get any forward push from the 1-yard line.)
Barkley said what made Henry’s run so impressive was the combination of power and speed.
“I think he was doing that every single week at Alabama,” Barkley said. “He’s a big back. A lot of people don’t realize how fast he is and when you get a guy that big rolling at that speed, he was just throwing guys off of him like it was high school. That was definitely a very impressive run.”
Not that Barkley wants to see it happen again.
“Congratulations to him,” Barkley said. “But hopefully he can [skip] that for this week and not bust out any 99-yard runs against us.”