Saquon Barkley's 2023 season is proof why the onus for the Houston Texans is the offensive line

The Houston Texans seem to want Saquon Barkley as much as he wants the Texans but the offensive line needs improving.
Nov 13, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs
Nov 13, 2022; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) runs / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans seem to be in on Saquon Barkley, at least if rumors are to be true. Barkley has started following key members on the team, like C.J. Stroud, Nico Collins, and others, all while reports swirl about his time in New York as a member of the Giants coming to an end. The Giants didn't designate the Franchise Tag on Barkley, making him a player that's free and clear to sign with any team he wants.

And it may be the Texans he wants to sign with. Barkley is looking to regain his rookie-year form, where he had 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 15 total touchdowns, something he hasn't really repeated with the Giants since his rookie year. He's had a few good years, breaking 1,000 yards in two other seasons, but he fell short of the 1,000 mark in 2020, 2021, and 2023. Injuries were a big issue in the first two of those years, but the 2021 and 2023 seasons that the Giants had were also marred by bad offensive line play.

Barkley's 2023 was hindered by a lack of a strong offensive line ahead of him, rushing for just 962 yards, in 14 games. He didn't even average 70 rushing yards a game, the second-lowest total of his career (68.7). He also failed to crack the 4.0 yards per carry mark. It wasn't because Barkley lost a step, either, it was simply because the offensive line ahead of him wasn't up to snuff.

PFF has four of their starters graded at 42.1 or worse for the 2023 season. The amount of players who just struggled for the Giants in 2023 was staggering and it's all the reason Barkley needs to leave.

The Texans would be wise to heed the issues that the Giants had and put a serious emphasis on improving the offensive line.