Until Saquon Barkley burst for runs of 78 and 52 yards Sunday, no Giants player managed two runs of 50 or more yards in the same game in nearly 12 years, since Tiki Barber did it Dec. 30, 2006. Barkley, like Barber, did it by punishing the same franchise on the same green grass.
“It reminded me of some of those great games I had against the Washington Redskins and the big plays that just seem to open up down there at FedEx Field,’’ Barber told The Post on Tuesday.
Barber piled up a career-high and single-game Giants record 234 rushing yards in what was the final game of his NFL career. Barkley played only three quarters of a 40-16 rout and amassed 170 yards. Barber knows many of his team records will fall with Barkley wearing a Giants helmet.
“It took me three years to figure it out, maybe four,’’ Barber said. “He got it in three weeks. Saquon, he’s developing the vision. Early on in the season, the pace of the game, you could see him kind of lost trying to find holes and trying to find running room.
“Like 13 weeks later he’s developed this patience, which allows him to find the cutback lanes. Like on the 78-yard touchdown, he was really slow to the line of scrimmage and when he saw the offensive line wash out the defensive line, he cuts back and he’s gone, untouched. And he’s so damn fast. He is so exciting to watch.’’
Barkley, at 21 years old, is no match, though, for Barber, 43, when it comes to wearing thigh-high, five-inch red boots in public. Barber did so Tuesday morning on “Good Morning America,’’ announcing he will star in a six-week run in “Kinky Boots’’ at the Al Hirschfeld Theater on Broadway starting Jan. 21.
Barber will continue to co-host his “Tiki & Tierney’’ show on CBS Sports Radio during his limited run on Broadway. As he paraded on the set wearing the boots, Barber’s former Giants teammate and “GMA’’ co-host, Michael Strahan, could not hide his astonishment.
“I’m playing a character called Don, who’s actually the antagonist,’’ Barber said. “It’s mostly acting, it is a musical, there are a couple songs that I sing and dance at the end. It’s a fun show.’’
Fun show. Sounds like Saquon Barkley’s rookie year, minus the boots.