For the first time since 2016, the New York Giants were in the playoffs, and for the first time since 2011, the New York Giants got a playoff win as they defeated the Vikings 31-24 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
With the win, the Giants advance to a divisional round game at Philadelphia next Saturday night.
New York lost to the Vikings on Christmas Eve in Minnesota when kicker Greg Joseph hit a 61-yard field goal at the buzzer, but this game was a different story because of the play of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.
In his playoff debut, Jones was outstanding. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, he ran for 78 yards(team record for a quarterback in the postseason) on 17 carries. He is the fifth quarterback in the Super Bowl era with 200-plus pass yards, two-plus touchdown passes and 70-plus rushing yards in a playoff game.
After the win, Saquon Barkley, who ran for 53 yards and two touchdowns, including a 28-yard scamper in the first quarter and the game-winning two-yard touchdown run in the fourth, was impressed by Jones.
“I would say I’m impressed,” Barkley said about Jones. “I’m not shocked. He’s been doing it all year. He’s really a special player. You know what a way to start it off. I’m happy for him and proud of him, and we’re going to need him and keep leaning on him.”
Giants head coach Brian Daboll was proud of Jones.
“Daniel, I’ve said it all year; he’s been good for us,” Daboll said. “Continues to be good for us. He played a good game. I think there was a lot of other people that played good games to help him play a good game, and he’ll be the first to admit it. But as a leader on our football team, I’m proud of him.”
Barkley believes the Giants have an elite quarterback.
“I know we have an elite quarterback,” Barkley said. “I think he’s shown that most of the time. But we’ve also got amazing players around, too, so we”ve got his back no matter what.”
The fourth-year quarterback is happy with the win but knows more work needs to be done.
“I think it’s a big win for us,” he said. “Obviously, a big playoff game. I thought we played well in all three phases and did enough to win the game. We’ll enjoy it tonight, but we have a lot of work to do moving forward.”
The Giants were swept by the Eagles this season, including a 48-22 beatdown at MetLife Stadium; Jones is excited to get another crack at Philadelphia.
“We’re excited,” he said. “They’re a good team. A divisional opponent. We’ll prepare this week like we do any week and be as prepared as we can going in.”
The Giants continue to play with house money. No one expected them to win a playoff game when the season started. However, many believed the Vikings were a beatable team in this spot, and New York took advantage of it.
Back to Jones, he was exceptional against Minnesota, but Philly will be a bigger test, and we will see if Jones and the Giants can pass it.
-This was the Giants’ first victory this season against a team in the NFC playoff field; they had been 0-6 vs. Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Minnesota.
-The Giants totaled 431 offense yards, a figure they exceeded just twice in the regular season – 445 against the Vikings here on Dec. 24 and 436 yards at Jacksonville on Oct. 23.
-The Giants’ 31 points are their second-highest total of the season and the second time they exceeded 30 points