Saquon Barkley has earned his first official accolade as a pro: NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
The rookie running back for the Giants rushed for 142 yards on 27 carries, both season highs, and added two receptions for 10 yards in Sunday’s 38-35 win over the Bucs. Barkley scored three touchdowns, one on a 6-yard reception and others on runs of 5 and 2 yards.
Barkley is the just the second Giants rookie to win the award, which was instituted in 1984. Jeremy Shockey was selected in Week 17 of the 2002 season.
Barkley’s three touchdowns in a game made him the first Giant to score that many since Odell Beckham Jr. had three touchdown receptions in New Orleans on Nov. 1, 2015. He became the first Giants running back to score three touchdowns from scrimmage since Ahmad Bradshaw scored on three 1-yard runs vs. Buffalo on Oct. 16, 2011.
The Giants selected Barkley with the second overall pick in April, and while there are many who disagreed with the strategy of taking a running back that high in the draft, no one can say the Giants have not gotten what they expected from him. Barkley has 1,268 yards from scrimmage (728 rushing, 540 receiving) and 10 touchdowns (seven rushing, three receiving) in his first 10 career games. He is the sixth player in NFL history to record at least 1,200 scrimmage yards and 10 touchdowns in their first 10 games, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk, Ezekiel Elliott, Adrian Peterson and Billy Sims.
Barkley is a leading candidate for the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year in February.