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Sportress of Blogitude

Saquon Barkley doubles down on support for Eli Manning

Eli Manning has been tabbed as the primary culprit responsible for the New York Giants’ struggles over the past few seasons, but budding superstar running back Saquon Barkley continues to support his embattled quarterback.

The Giants have been clear in their stated intention of rolling with Manning at quarterback next season, even though there continues to be skepticism that the veteran still has what it takes.

Echoing almost exactly what he said earlier this offseason, Barkley recently doubled-down on his belief Manning is receiving far too much of the blame, at least as it relates to last season’s 5-11 campaign, saying it’s “not [Manning’s] fault” during an appearance on Bleacher Report’s “Take It There With Taylor Rooks.”

“Yeah it bothers me, not gonna lie,” Barkley said of the ongoing criticism levied at Manning. “It’s not his fault. He’s not the reason we went 5–11. We lost seven or eight games by seven points or less, as a team. We love to put the blame on one person, but in football, it takes 11 men.”

The 38-year-old Manning may have lost a step, but he did enjoy a decent 2018 campaign by statistical standards, completing 66 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards with 21 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.

That output has motivated the Giants to stick with Manning in 2019 — if not longer, some reports say — with general manager Dave Gettleman recently touting Manning as “still a quality NFL quarterback” while suggesting any arguments otherwise are based upon a “false narrative.”

Whether the Giants prepare for the inevitable by using their No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to select Manning’s heir apparent, however, remains to be seen.

Either way, despite Manning’s many detractors outside the Giants organization, it seems Barkley is at least one player within the locker room that continues to express faith in the much-maligned quarterback.