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Saquon Barkley on paltry rushing stats: 'I have to do better for the team'

9/15/2020 6:56:44 AM
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Saquon Barkley ran for just 6 yards on 15 carries, making him the sixth player since the NFL merger in 1970 to rush for fewer than 10 yards on 15 or more carries. Not that it was all his fault. According to ESPN Stats, Barkley was hit at or behind the line of scrimmage on 11 of those carries, and eight of them resulted in a loss of yardage.

For a player of Barkley’s caliber and potential, though, it was as distressing and disappointing a performance as anyone could have imagined, Tom Rock of Newsday reports.

"I have to do better," Barkley said. "I have to do better for the team. We have to find a way to get the running game going."

The Steelers made it clear all week that they were not going to allow Barkley to beat them.

"We had a commitment and we weren't going to be bashful about that commitment," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "We thought that guy was a catalyst for whatever that they were going to do offensively. We put our secondary in harm’s way some in an effort to do so. It's a team game. They embraced that challenge. We needed to stack the line of scrimmage … We did what we thought was necessary to minimize his impact on the game."

Barkley seemed more upset by the loss than by his meager rushing totals.

"I’m not really too concerned about the stats," he said.

"Look, we’re going to stay aggressive with the run game," coach Joe Judge said. "Saquon is a key part of our team, he’s going to be a difference-maker in how successful this team is going to be, so we’re going to stay with him. We have a lot of confidence in him. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our offensive line . . . We’re going to keep leaning on these guys."

And Barkley said he will keep running.

"I believe the running game is going to be a key part of our success," he said, "and I still believe in it."

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