New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley enjoyed a smashing regular season, rushing for 1,312 yards and 10 touchdowns, helping Big Blue make the postseason for the first time since 2016.
After overcoming injuries that derailed his past two seasons, Barkley seeks more than regular-season accolades. He wants to be a legacy-builder heading into Saturday's showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"You've got to do it in both -- regular season and postseason -- throughout your whole career," Barkley said Wednesday. "There's going to be ups, there's going to be downs, but you've got to try to be a consistent player.
"You want to create a legacy. You look at all the Giants greats -- they did it in the postseason."
In Barkley's first career postseason action in the wild-card win over the Minnesota Vikings, he generated 109 scrimmage yards and two rushing TDs. That day, Barkley became the first starting RB in the Super Bowl era to have 100-plus scrimmage yards and two rushing TDs on fewer than 15 touches in a single playoff game. However, his nine carries (for 53 rush yards) were tied for his fewest in 2022. The other time he had only nine carries was Week 14, when Big Blue was blown out by Philly.
In his last three meetings against the Eagles, Barkley has averaged 33.3 rushing yards, 2.7 yards per carry and 43.0 scrimmage yards with zero scores.
Building a playoff legacy and moving Big Blue to an NFC Championship Game has Barkley driven to put those struggles versus the Eagles in the rearview.
"Yeah, that's extra motivation, but when you're looking back and actually playing in my first playoff game, there's nothing that even comes to mind," Barkley said. "You're just so locked in, so focused because every play, every quarter is so crucial. The situation becomes so critical because it's one game. If you don't take care of one game, you go home. That's really what pushes you -- your competitive nature just goes to a whole another level.
"Your intensity just rises because of the nature of the game."
The Giants need the playmaking Barkley to shine to pull the upset in Philly, where they haven't won a playoff game since 1981 and have lost nine consecutive regular season games.