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New York Giants news, 12/28: Players react to playoff berth

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For many Giants, this will be their first trip to the playoffs

NFL: Detroit Lions at New York Giants
Rashad Jennings
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

How happy are New York Giants players to be in the playoffs? Here is a smattering of the reaction from the locker room on Tuesday.

Justin Pugh ...

“It is my fourth year and we haven’t made the playoffs yet. This is huge. I was getting goosebumps when the Saints took that kneel down and I knew that we were going. It is something that is very special to me, very special to this fan base and obviously since being here, I wanted to get back for them and this organization and to go with a group of guys that I love so much and this group in here has been so close and it has been fun.”

Rashad Jennings ...

Jennings, in his seventh season, has yet to play in a playoff game.

“I’m excited. You play the game to make that stepping stone. To get to the seventeenth game. That’s something for the first time in my career, I’m part of a team that is able to do that. We earned that. It’s exciting. The Redskins, it’s going to be a tough game. It’s on the road, as I said earlier. You get an opportunity to get that playoff atmosphere because it’s going to be a big game.”

Victor Cruz ...

“It was a good feeling. It was funny because I was out at dinner and people were running up to me in the restaurant before I could even check the score and letting me know that we were in. It's a good feeling. Obviously we're back in the playoffs, we're excited about the opportunity to play another game in the postseason and we’ve got to take care of one first in Washington and then we'll address the playoffs.”

Sterling Shepard ...

“I was just talking to the guys that have been here. They were just telling me that it is a blessing. A lot of guys don’t get this chance. For me, being in here for my first year and being able to get in the playoffs, it’s a blessing.”

By the numbers

  • Odell Beckham Jr. will enter Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins with 1,323 receiving yards. That is 30 behind league-leader T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts and 10 ahead of Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Beckham needs four receptions to reach 100 for the first time in his three-year career.
  • The Giants became the 16th consecutive team to lose when throwing 60 or more passes when Eli Manning threw 63 passes in last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.. The last team to put the ball in the air so often and win was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who beat the Bears in overtime, 27-24, on Sept. 21, 2008. Brian Griese threw 67 passes in that game.
  • The Giants’ longest run this season is 25 yards, by Shane Vereen against Washington on Sept. 25. The last season in which the Giants did not have a run longer than 25 yards was 1982 – but that was a strike-shortened nine-game season. It’s never happened in a 16-game season.
  • If the Giants defeat Washington, Ben McAdoo will tie Dan Reeves (1993) for the most victories by a Giants head coach in his first season with the team.