Tiki Barber was, not so arguably, the greatest running back in New York Giants’ history. His criticism of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning on his way out the door in 2006 left a sour taste in the mouths of fans, but Barber carried the Giants’ offense during Eli’s formative years. It doesn’t help his cause that Manning and the Giants won Super Bowl XLII the season after he left town, but there’s no denying Tiki’s contribution.
Barber shouldered the load against the Washington Redskins in Big Blue’s 34-28 victory to cap the Giants' 2006 season with a win. He rushed for a career-high 234 yards and three TDs to push the 8-8 Giants into the playoffs.
Though they’d go on to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild card round the following week, Barber finished that year with 1,662 rushing yards, the most ever by a running back (Barry Sanders included, amazingly) in his final season.
Ten years later, the Giants will again conclude the regular-season against the Redskins in Maryland. This time, they’ve already clinched a playoff-berth and Eli Manning is the only active player who remains from that 2006 team.
Barber alienated many in the organization between his transition from active player to the world of media, but he was a special on the field. After implementing Coughlin’s high-and-tight style of carrying the football to cut down fumbles, Tiki ran for 5,040 yards over his final three years and, along with LaDanian Tomlinson and Shaun Alexander, was one of the top three backs in the NFL. He finished his career as the Giants’ all-time leading rusher with 10,449 yards, and 14th all-time in the league with 17,359 yards from scrimmage.