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The Giants have a major problem as they prepare for Sunday’s showdown at Washington: RB Saquon Barkley has hit a wall.

Through the first nine games, he averaged 103.4 rushing yards per game, per Statmuse. In the past four, his average has plummeted to 38.

During the four-game stretch, Barkley averaged 2.9 yards per carry, a significant dip from his 4.7 yards per carry in the first nine games. He averages 4.3 yards per carry for the season, 31st in the NFL.

Before New York’s Week 14 blowout loss to Philadelphia, Barkley was listed on the team’s injury report with a neck problem. Barkley’s workload was impacted by the score, but backups Matt Breida and Gary Brightwell received significant playing time. 

Besides the neck issues, a shoulder injury has bothered Barkley most of the season. The injuries may explain Barkley’s lack of explosiveness. In the past four games, he has only two runs of longer than 10 yards. 

Besides explosive plays, Barkley’s yards after contact have declined. In 2018 and 2019, Barkley’s first two — and healthiest — NFL seasons, he averaged 2.8 yards after contact per rush. 

This season, however, Barkley is averaging 1.9 YAC per attempt, a troubling number that illustrates Barkley’s inability to break tackles.

Through 13 games, Barkley has broken seven tackles. Playing the same number of games in 2019, he broke 16 tackles. In his 2018 Rookie of the Year campaign, he broke 30. 

Although the underlying numbers suggest a potential problem, Barkley seemed unconcerned following Thursday’s practice.

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