There’s a lot to discuss when it comes to the Saquon Barkley signing, some good and some bad.

You can talk about mileage, the cap hit, and injury history for the negatives. On the positive side, Barkley is a 2x Pro Bowler who can run, catch passes out of the backfield, and carry the load as the de facto RB1 that the Eagles haven’t gone after in almost ten years. DeMarco Murray was the last running back the Eagles really truly paid, and Howie Roseman wasn’t in charge of player-personnel decision making back then. If we’re looking at Howie’s track record, Shady McCoy is the last guy who got this kind of commitment.

But the obvious is right in front of our face, and it’s something that people are glossing over. The New York Giants’ offensive line stunk in 2023. They were total butt. Pro Football Focus ranked the unit 30th out of 32 NFL teams in their season-ending notes, saying this:

For comparison, the Eagles’ line finished #1 overall. Jordan Mailata, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson were among the five highest-graded players at each of their positions, and while PFF can be fickle in the way they do things, the eye test and some surface-level statistics complement the ranking. For starters, New York’s line gave up 85 sacks last year, which was worst in the NFL by a large margin. The Commanders and Panthers were tied for second, with 65 conceded sacks. Sure, the Giants had some stiffs back there, guys like Daniel Jones and Tommy DeVito, but 85 sacks over 17 games is five per game. That’s a wild number.

Furthermore, ESPN put together some win rate lists, which reveals the following:

  • The Giants collectively had a 67% run block win rate, which was 31st.
  • Their pass block win rate was 53%, 24th in the NFL.
  • The Eagles were #1 in run block win rate and #7 in pass block win rate.
  • Landon Dickerson finished #1 in run block win rate for interior linemen, with an 81% number.
  • At 82% and 80%, Johnson and Mailata finished #1 and #2 in run block win rate among tackles.

Advanced analytics, sure, but again, use your eyes. This offensive line turned Miles Sanders and D’Andre Swift into Pro Bowl players. If those guys are running for 1,000+ behind Jeff Stoutland’s guys, then what’s Saquon going to do? He went for 962 yards in 14 games last season and 1,312 in 16 the prior year. If he stays healthy and the Eagles’ O line doesn’t fall off a cliff in the post-Kelce era, then we’re talking monster numbers for Saquon Barkley.

It just falls on the coaching staff to use Saquon correctly and feature him in the offense. If we get into a Mike Groh “there is only one football” situation, then it’s dicey. But the way this offense looks on paper, you and I could probably come up with a suitable game plan to get everyone involved.