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NFC playoffs, Giants vs. Vikings: Daboll — playoff experience ‘overrated’
In Daboll’s vast playoff experience, the lesson he has learned about experience in those winner-take-all games is that it’s “overrated.”
“I’ve been in so many different situations. The first year that I was part of a Super Bowl the quarterback didn’t have any playoff experience there at New England. Some of the guys did, some didn’t. We had some experience at Buffalo. We lost,” Daboll said on Monday as the Giants turned their attention to Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings.
“I think really what you make out of it is the experience probably is overrated. It’s how you prepare, how you practice and ultimately how you play the game and coach the game. I’ve been around a lot of different teams that had varying levels of experience — some a lot, some a little. I think really what matters is taking advantage of your opportunities when they come and playing a good football game and coaching a good football game.”
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Other Giant observations
Daboll also scored big with his decision to start Webb ahead of backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Nothing against Taylor, of course. Daboll during the season elevated Webb twice off the practice squad to make him active but not play in two games. Why? The elevation gave Webb a hefty boost in pay for those weeks with a direct deposit for the equivalent of a game check rather than the much lower practice-squad earnings. That resonates with players.
“I think you can absolutely learn things just like you do in the regular season, but how it goes for that particular game doesn’t have much bearing at all,” Daboll said. “You’ve got to play well. You’ve got to coach well. It’s a one-game season. That’s where it’s at.”
Baldy Breakdown on Martindale’s chances to be a head coach
Listening to @BaldyNFL now stumping for #Giants DC Wink Martindale. He's like Bruce Arians, but for defense. Took a 4-win team with a rebuilding roster and now they’re top 5 in 3rd down and red zone defense and are a playoff defense. One name to watch. https://t.co/domeGqjv99— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2023
Giants at Vikings: Can Wink Martindale show some restraint? When in doubt, Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will send pressure. Putting Cousins under pressure and forcing him to speed up his internal clock has been a fruitful plan for defensive coordinators across the league, but the Giants’ strength is their defensive line. And going up against a banged-up Vikings offensive line, which could be without two key starters in Brian O’Neill and Garrett Bradbury, creates an even bigger advantage in the trenches. Instead of sending more bodies after the quarterback, Martindale would be wise to allocate the extra numbers to coverage to mitigate the personnel disadvantage New York will have in the passing game.
Daboll and Co. squeeze every last ounce of ability from everyone on the 53-man roster. But it’s not like that roster is barren of top-tier talent. Saquon Barkley will probably be named to one of the All-Pro teams. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence deserves a nod there too. Rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux is a three-down wrecking ball on the outside and Leonard Williams is no slouch up front.
With Lawrence included, the Giants have the potential to dominate up front. Leonard Williams (neck/shoulder) and Azeez Ojulari (ankle) did not practice all week, resting their individual ailments, while Kayvon Thibodeaux received a breather Sunday with zero snaps against the Eagles. If the Giants' top pass rushers are on the field together, not to mention veteran Jihad Ward mixing in, they have the goods to give Kirk Cousins fits.
Giants’ Saquon Barkley thinks team was exposed to playoff atmosphere during 1st game vs. Vikings | NJ.com
“We talked about it last week,” Barkley said. “I envisioned the playoffs kind of being like that. It was fun and this is going to be fun. It’s a tough opponent and it’s a one-week season now. Win and advance, lose and you go home. It’s that simple.”
“I was talking to some of the (Vikings) players after the game and I said, ‘We’ll see you guys again,’” the running back said. “It was a great matchup, a great game. Obviously they came out with the win, but we’re excited. You’re excited because this is something you dream about as a kid and not many people on this team have had an opportunity to play in the playoffs.”
“If he keeps improving and growing with Daboll…and they finally get him some stud who’s gonna go snatch a 50/50 ball in the middle of the field and take it 45 yards to the house, and get a real playmaker at wide receiver,” Tiki said. “Daniel Jones can be a top 10 quarterback and maybe even knock on the door of [top] five.”
23. NEW YORK GIANTS: WR JORDAN ADDISON, USC. The Giants flat-out need a receiver who can get open. That’s the former Biletnikoff Award winner’s game. He racked up 2,468 yards and 25 scores over the past two seasons because of that. Addison is a player a team can start building a receiving corps around.
This week’s opponent
The Vikings are an incredible 11-0 in one-score games, including the last-second win over the Giants. New York is no stranger to nail-biters, with an 8-3-1 record in one-score games. Based on the teams’ track records this season and their matchup two weeks ago, odds are they’ll engage in another tight game next Sunday in Minnesota.
The health of the Vikings offensive line a major storyline this week
Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell just met with the media. A note on center Garrett Bradbury: O'Connell said he'll likely be limited in the early part of this week, and then they'll evaluate. Said he does not want to put Bradbury in a poor position. Also has confidence in Chris Reed.— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) January 9, 2023
This will be the fourth time that the Vikings and Giants have met in the playoffs, but the first time it will be taking place in Minneapolis. The Vikings lost to the Giants in the Wild Card round in 1994 by a score of 17-10 and in the NFC Championship Game in 2000, the infamous “41-donut” game.
This will be just the second playoff game played at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the first one in five years. The only other playoff game in the Vikings’ beautiful home took place in the Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints back in January of 2018, a game that ended with the “Minneapolis Miracle” sending the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.
Around the league
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