Saquon Barkley slipping ‘a little bit’ on critical run ended up costing Giants

Video saquon barkley dive

The Giants held a 10-7 lead Sunday when Saquon Barkley took a handoff on first down with 1:26 remaining in regulation, moved to his right, made a sharp cut to his left, found room to run up the middle and picked up 6 yards to the Jets’ 20-yard line.

It almost looked as if Barkley gave himself up, appearing to dive headfirst to the turf without being touched.

Was this by design? Why would it be?

“No, he made a cut and he kind of bounced it back, then he was so conscious of the ball, he was squeezing on the ball, he slipped a little bit,’’ coach Brian Daboll said.

With safety Jordan Whitehead closing in on him, Barkley did wrap up the ball and avoid taking the hit.

He was not told to go down in that situation.

A day later, Daboll looked back on the fateful final minutes of regulation and all that went wrong in the 13-10 overtime loss.

He did not come off his postgame belief that sending Graham Gano out for a 35-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining, rather than go for the first down on fourth-and-1 at the Jets’ 17-yard line, was the right move.

Saquon Barkley is tackled during the fourth quarter of the Giants
Saquon Barkley is tackled during the fourth quarter of the Giants’ loss to the Jets on Sunday. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Gano missed the field goal and the Giants unraveled from there.

“We had some chances to — probably about a handful of plays that if we make one of them, probably get a different result,’’ Daboll said. “You look at a lot, obviously, but going for the field goal, I’m secure with what we did there.’’

Daboll said Gano, who has missed three field goals the past two games and is dealing with an injury to his left (plant) leg, is not hurt. “No, he’ll be OK,’’ Daboll said about Gano’s availability this week.

  Andre Braugher

The Jets needed every second they could get after Zach Wilson with 17 seconds remaining in regulation connected with Allen Lazard on a 29-yard completion.

Why was there no Giants defender trying to sit on top of Lazard or slow him down after he completed the catch?

That is a common tactic with smart and savvy defensive players.

It cannot be blatant but the Giants were under no obligation to rush to their feet for the next snap and all-but-escort Lazard back to the line of scrimmage.

As it was, Wilson hurried down the field and was able to spike the ball with one second left, just enough time for Greg Zuerlein’s 35-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

Allowing the long completion was a defensive breakdown.

Allowing Lazard to spring up to his feet was also uninspiring by the Giants.

“Yeah, I mean that’s always kind of a thought process in that moment,’’ linebacker Micah McFadden said. “Obviously, you don’t want to draw a penalty, so it’s kind of like that balance in between trying to fight for the ball a little bit and get a few more seconds off the clock but give credit to them. They got down there, spiked the ball, and made the field goal, so, just kind of is what it is.’’

Punt returner Gunner Olszewski was released but the expectation is he will be re-signed. Olszewski averaged 9.3 yards on six returns against the Jets, stabilizing an area that was in disarray.