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Saquon Barkley solved his issue and might be unstoppable now

Saquon Barkley realized he needed to speed himself up.

Challenged by coach Pat Shurmur to become more of a grinding running back and accept 3- and 4-yard gains rather than always looking to break out a longer run, Barkley said Monday he has changed his style once he gets the ball in his hands. Considering he is coming off his most productive NFL game, the adjustment is precisely what the Giants need.

Barkley called it his “pacing through the mesh.’’

The mesh is the time and space through the handoff from the quarterback until he hits the line of scrimmage.

“Where you line up in the home position or in the gun, how fast you go through the mesh with your pace, slowing up your pace or faster pace,” Barkley said. “For example, Le’Veon [Bell], everyone knows his style. He has more of a patient type of pace going through the mesh. Other backs are faster.

“This week, Coach challenged me to get dirtier in the runs, I guess you can say, and get those 3- or 4-yard runs. I just figured if I quicken up my pace through the mesh, getting to the line of scrimmage faster than what I’ve normally been doing, it would help things develop a lot quicker.”

Barkley got the ball 27 times and gained a season-high 142 yards, scoring two rushing touchdowns in a 38-35 victory over the Buccaneers. He also added a receiving touchdown.

The Giants committed a blatant mistake on defense late in the game, allowing Mike Evans to get behind the secondary for a 41-yard scoring catch with 2:22 remaining. It looked as if cornerback Janoris Jenkins was expecting help on the route and safety Landon Collins was late coming over.

“We were in a coverage that should make that not be the case, but they got behind us and made a good throw,” Shurmur said.

“At the end of the game, we got to understand we got to still play tight coverage,” Jenkins said. “Even though the coach calls a certain call, we still got to play aggressive on the back end, just playing smart, situational football, and we’ll be OK.”

The Giants will practice early on Thanksgiving. Players will be able to leave the team facility by noon and the coaches by around 1 p.m. “I think it’s really important — this is my favorite of all the holidays,” Shurmur said. “It’s a meal, there’s no gifts, it’s family, you get to practice or play around a meal, which is great. I’m fond of this holiday, and I also like it because it’s a little tweak in the schedule, and by this time of year, I think a little tweak in the schedule is good for the players.”

DL Kerry Wynn is in the concussion protocol.

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