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Daniel Jones: ‘It’s about handling business this week’

Jones focused on trying to beat Indianapolis

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants come home after a two-game road trip to start 2023 with a game against the Indianapolis Colts on New Year’s Day.

But these aren’t the Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck — or even Philip Rivers — Colts. These Colts have a solid defense, but seem utterly lost on the offensive side of the ball. The Colts will also be coming to New York on a short week.

Last week it was the Giants who were the team with the rest deficit, playing two road games with a Sunday night to Saturday interval. This week, however, they’re coming off of an eight-day week, while the Colts are traveling after playing on Monday night.

Not only does that give the Giants an extra couple days to rest up in advance of the game, it gives them an extra chance to watch their upcoming opponent — albeit on the TV angle, which tends to hide aspects of what happens on the field.

“I think you watch it a little differently and try to see a little bit of what they’re doing, how the game goes out, get a feel for the momentum of the game,” said Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. “You can’t see everything on the TV copy, so you want to go in the next morning and look at exactly what happened. You watch it a little differently.”

Jones, humorously, got a jump on the rest aspect of this week’s dynamic.

“I watched the first half then I went to sleep. But came in and watched it the next morning.”

I can’t say as I blame him. Night games are rough when you need to be awake and functional the next morning. So what did Jones see on tape when he got in on Tuesday morning?

“They’re [the Colts] a good group on defense,” he said. “They’re consistent, they do what they’re supposed to do, they’re in the right spots. Don’t blow assignments much or give you a lot of that. I think they try to prevent the big plays and they do a good job with that. They’ve got a lot of good players, a lot of talented players, some veterans in some key spots. We’ll have to be ready. We’ve got a good game plan and we’ll need to be prepared on Sunday.”

The Colts’ defense does indeed have some talented players — guys like DeForest Buckner, Yannick Ngakoue, Stephon Gilmore, Kwity Paye, Zaire Franklin, and Bobby Okereke. And Jones knows that the Giants’ offense will have their work cut out for them. That said, he’s also confident in the players who’ll take the field with him.

“A quarterback’s job is to distribute the ball where it’s supposed to go and give guys a chance to make plays,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers on our team, people who have stepped up throughout the year and done that for us. I think when a quarterback is doing his job, he’s able to put guys in a position to make plays.”

He added that he has “a ton of confidence” in the Giants receivers.

“I certainly believe they deserve a lot of credit. I think each one of them has played really well this year, made a lot of key plays for us in big-time moments against good DBs time and time again, winning and making plays,” Jones said. “I think they deserve a lot of credit and I think all those guys have played really well.”

While coach Brian Daboll refuses to comment on the significance of this week’s game, it isn’t lost on the players. But, at least according to Jones, the Giants are only focused their opponent and not the game’s playoff implications.

“Our goal is always to go 1-0 that week and to win the game,” Jones said. “The implications of it and how that plays out down the road, I don’t think we’re worried about that or thinking about that too much. We’re focused on winning this game, playing as well as we can on Sunday and that’s what we’re focused on.”