For the first time since 2016, the New York Giants are heading back to the playoffs. Late in the second quarter, one player from 2016 was able to recapture some of that magic. Veteran Landon Collins read Nick Foles and broke on a short pass, taking it 52 yards down the sideline to break the game open 21-6.
LANDON COLLINS WITH THE PICK 6!!!!!!!— New York Giants (@Giants) January 1, 2023
: CBS pic.twitter.com/kgnRqFNzc4
Collins was a three-time pro bowler as a member of the Giants and after some negative feelings towards the previous regime, finally had the chance to make an impact at the place he always wanted to be.
“This is a great opportunity. Glad to be back like I said before. Just a blessing just to be back in the locker room with these guys, having fun and playing ball.” Collins stated, “That’s the biggest thing. Making (sure) we have the opportunity and now we have the opportunity to continue to clinch the playoffs, we clinched the playoffs and now do our thing.”
Collins has waited for his opportunity to again make an impact play for the team he left in 2019. After signing with the Giants practice squad on October 6th, Collins was elevated for both the Jaguars and Seahawks matchups before having to wait for his moment again. After five weeks without being elevated, Collins again had his opportunity against the team he signed with after he departed in free agency and solidified his spot on the active roster after that.
On this young Giants defense, many of whom are without playoff experience, the veteran leadership can provide key insight into what to expect.
“The sense of urgency is through the roof.” Collins stated on what the postseason feels like, “Every little detail, every little fine thing that we need to be perfect on, we have to be perfect on.”
The experience Collins brings was key when it came to making one of the biggest plays of the game against the Colts. Making his first start of the season, Collins took a pass intended for Paris Campbell back to the house to send MetLife stadium into a frenzy. The veteran’s study of the game made all the difference on that play.
“Formation wise, like I said I’m a big formation kind of guy.” Collins stated, “I watched this play almost six times throughout the week and I saw it number one (wide receiver Parris Campbell) breaking out and I had the flat, I just broke my underneath it and took it to the house.”
You could see the entire defense celebrating the moment with Landon Collins after the play. That togetherness is something that has been a big part of the culture that this staff has tried to build all season long.
“The togetherness, how steadfast this team is, how family oriented this team is, and how everybody stays accountable, and we keep each other accountable.” Collins said, “Everybody stays on other each just about any old thing because that’s how this thing goes.”
The highlight of that family mentality was rookie linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux hunting down the ball after Collins let it go in the end zone to celebrate with the fans.
“You’ve got to go get the ball because that’s a part of his history.” Thibodeaux stated, “That’s part of his story now. I just had to make sure that he got that.”