[EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s Video Game Week at SB Nation. We couldn’t think of a better way to contribute than to look at runs by Saquon Barkley that looked like they belonged in a video game. — Ed]
Anyone familiar with Saquon Barkley’s career at Penn State knew the type of athlete the New York Giants were getting when they drafted him.
During his time as a Nittany Lion, Barkley consistently broke off awe-inspiring runs. Thankfully for Giants fans, that game-breaking ability immediately translated to the NFL. His rare blend of speed, power, elusiveness and vision makes him feel like a proverbial cheat code at times.
It’s time to take a look at five Saquon Barkley plays that seem like they’re ripped right out of a Madden stream.
Bonus — High school highlights
Who wants to see a young 2️⃣6️⃣go off !?— New York Giants (@Giants) June 13, 2020
You do. pic.twitter.com/eOpg0Eg5rg
Bakley was ripping off video-game like runs even as a teenage, high-school standout. Now, on to his best with the Giants.
No. 5 — Something out of nothing
With no timeouts left and 17 seconds remaining in the half, the Giants were content to concede on third-and-23, which is why they opted for a draw for Barkley. But then Barkley made about six Bears miss and picked up enough yardage for an eventual field goal try.
No. 4 — Shake and bake
A running back as big as Barkley should not be able to have this level of finesse as a runner. The 6-foot, 233-pound back sends a Dolphins defender flying without even touching him. This is an ankle-breaker that would make Allen Iverson blush.
No. 3 — Barkley the bully
Barkley uses the full video-game controller on this play. He hits the “O” button to perform a spin move and then uses the “X” button to whip out a devastating stiff arm. If you pulled off this play against your friend in Madden, then you have every right to watch the replay a minimum of five times.
No. 2 — Open-field magic
This may be the best single-play encapsulation of Barkley’s skill set. He showcases his ability as a receiver, elusiveness as a runner, power in escaping arm tackles and vision as a ball-carrier.
No. 1 — Barkley leaps over defender
This is probably Barkley’s signature play thus far. Although he didn’t exactly stick the landing, jumping over another human being will always be an astounding display of athleticism.