Good morning, New York Giants fans!
From Big Blue View
I think the debate is over. Daniel Jones on Sunday put an emphatic end to the “can Jones be a quarterback who can win you big games?” and “should the Giants bring Jones back as their quarterback next season?”
Jones did that with a historic ‘put the team on his back and carry it to victory’ performance on Sunday in a 31-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round of the NFC playoffs. Jones completed 24 of 35 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. He ran 17 times for 78 yards. He is the first player in postseason history to surpass 300 yards passing, throw multiple touchdowns and run for more than 70 yards in a game.
What Jones really did was make it crystal clear that he is the Giants’ answer at quarterback. The Franchise Guy. If you’re still arguing otherwise, I will make this simple. You’re wrong. Period.
That part of the debate is over. The only question now is how heavy will the bag be that the Giants are going to have to fill with coin to keep Jones in blue?
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- Admit it - you owe Daniel Jones an apology
- Giants-Vikings ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ review: Yes, Daniel Jones and the Giants are good
- What can we learn from Giants’ PFF grades, snap counts vs. Minnesota?
Other Giant observations
“I know we have an elite quarterback,” Barkley said. “He’s shown that multiple times. We’ve also got amazing players around him too. We have his back.”
SI.com’s Connor Orr:
But the idea of this Giants team remaining alive in the playoffs torpedoes so many of the ideas we hold about the quarterback whisperer and the guru. If the 2022 NFL season did anything for us, it blasted the league into more definitive categories: Those who can make the best out of a situation, and those who cannot.
Daboll and Kafka are among those people who can, and thank goodness for Jones. He’ll likely start the next season with a new contract, a wide receiver listed before the 13th page of our fantasy draft magazine and a body of work we can start to appreciate for what it is.
Jones was always a good quarterback. It took only four years for the NFL to figure that out.
The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz:
Most importantly, Jones had essentially zero mistakes (his 11 incompletions were mostly drops or smart throwaways). The game was New York’s first playoff victory since winning the Super Bowl after the 2011 season, more than a decade ago—which was appropriate since they were wearing the same away uniforms they wore in that playoff run. This is where I should probably disclose that I grew up rooting for the Giants, and I promise you this is the most fun Giants team there has been since that Super Bowl squad. And even if the Giants don’t make it back to the Super Bowl, Jones had earned himself a lot of money entering contract negotiations this offseason, and even more respect in the tri-state area.
QB Daniel Jones to WR Isaiah Hodgins in the Red Zone for a tuddy
The Oregon State product said he learned in Buffalo that regardless of your position on the depth chart, a wideout must approach every snap as if he’s unstoppable.
“You have to have that mindset as a receiver,” he said Sunday. “That’s something I really learned in Buffalo with Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, John Brown, Gabe Davis: When you line up, I’m the best receiver on that field and no one can stop me. You just have to believe in that and have that confidence in yourself, go out there play by play and show that improvement.”
McKinney had suffered a serious injury to his left hand during an ATV excursion in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. McKinney and the Giants knew he was going to miss a significant amount of time, but neither knew exactly how much.
“Obviously they were trying to make me feel better, but the way my hand was, they didn’t really know,” said McKinney, who posted the X-rays on Instagram a couple weeks ago to show the gruesome nature of what had happened to his three middle fingers. “I think they were trying to keep my spirits up. Honestly, I didn’t even know (if his season was over). I was trying to stay positive, but this injury should take months to come back and I was able to return in seven weeks.”
“We had to take him out of the game and Adoree’ did his thing — he tracked him everywhere,” safety Xavier McKinney said. “He’s a big piece to our defense and just having his presence out there helps us a lot. Go take away the best receiver — that’s why he’s here and why he makes big money.”
It is growing increasingly clear that the Giants have a coaching advantage more often than not when they take the field. That advantage revealed itself again in their 31-24 playoff victory over the Vikings inside the very loud and, at the end, quite subdued U.S. Bank Stadium.
There were adjustments galore as the Giants engaged in another close game with the Vikings, a team that beat them 27-24 on Christmas Eve on a 61-yard field goal as time expired.
Brian Daboll’s coaching staff proves in win vs. Vikings: It is Giants’ playoff advantage | The Athletic
As the Giants prepared for Sunday’s playoff game against the Vikings — the postseason debut for many of their top players — defensive coordinator Wink Martindale delivered an empowering message to his unit.
“Wink said, ‘We expect our great players to play great.’ Right after he said that, he said, ‘That’s all of you guys,’” cornerback Adoree’ Jackson said. “That lets you know the belief that he has in us. When somebody else believes in you, even though you believe in yourself, that goes a long way.”
This week’s opponent
Until the Week 18 struggles against the Giants, the Eagles led the NFL in red zone touchdown efficiency, a key part of their offensive success this season. And the two games against New York illustrate how important scoring touchdowns inside the opposing 20-yard line is: In the Week 14 win, the Eagles scored 3 touchdowns on 4 trips inside the 20, including one to open the game and cap a 14-play, 84-yard drive that started things off in the runaway victory. In Week 18, with Hurts not a running threat, the Eagles were 1 for 5 with a giveaway in the red zone and New York hung around in a 22-16 Eagles win. The Giants ranked seventh in the NFL defensively in the red zone, so they do a lot of good things – they're extremely physical and they win up front. The Eagles must be better.
Better Than His Standard Stats: Dallas Goedert, PHI. Second at the position in DYAR despite finishing 12th with 55 catches. But again, he averaged 12.8 yards per reception. Only four tight ends had better averages, and none of them caught more than 37 passes. This is quite a change for the Eagles; Zach Ertz used to catch a ton of short passes and was regular named as the tight end who played worse than his standard stats.
4) Beating a team three times in one year is NOT unusual. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, there have now been 23 occasions of a team meeting for the third time after one team won the first two matchups. In those 23 playoff games, including Sunday, the “sweeping” team is 14-9. And the more recent the sweep scenario has played out, the better the results have been for the team going 3-0. The first such third meeting featuring a regular-season sweep was the 1982 Miami Dolphins beating the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game.
Let’s also consider the second game against the Giants a throwaway, given how vanilla the Birds’ offense was and New York was playing second and third-stringers. This will be the Eagles’ first opportunity to win a third game against a divisional opponent in the playoffs, although they were the victims of the Dallas Cowboys doing it in 2009 and, ironically, to the Giants in 2000.
Around the league
“When you have something good,” Jackson posted on his Instagram story, “you don’t play with it. You don’t take chances losing it. You don’t neglect it. When you have something good, you pour into it. You appreciate it. Because when you take care of something good, that good thing takes care of you too.”
"I'm a guy who feels like if I'm on the field all the time, I can help this team win, and I wasn't," Dobbins said. "It's the playoffs. Why am I not out there? (Thirteen) carries? It's the playoffs."
Stroud projects as a consensus top-five player in the NFL draft, according to ESPN draft analysts. He'll compete with Alabama's Bryce Young and Kentucky's Will Levis to be the top quarterback taken.
Sean Payton: If a team hires me, the Saints will ask for a mid-to-late first-round pick | ProFootballTalk
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