In a game where the defense got off to a rocky start, the Giants offense answered the challenge and led the team to its first playoff win since winning Super Bowl XLVI with a final of 31-24. It was a near flawless performance by Daniel Jones going 24-35 for 301 yards, 2 touchdowns, a quarterback rating of 114.1 and 78 rushing yards. Who would have figured the Giants offense would score over 30 points and carry the defense?
The Giants offense seemed to be able to move the ball at will, punting just twice and committing no turnovers. The Giants scoring drives were all at least 75 yards in length. But with the exception of the field goal drive of 20 plays and the final 12-play scoring drive, it was big chunk yardage plays that helped the Giants get down the field. When the Vikings closed the gap, the offense responded with a score of their own. Daniel Jones connected with six different receivers, led by WR Isaiah Hodgins’ 8 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.
After giving up a first drive touchdown to the Vikings, Wink Martindale’s attack defense played a surprisingly passive game. The Giants blitzed just 23 percent of the Vikings pass plays, instead relying on a tenacious front four to get pressure on Viking QB Kirk Cousins. The Giants generated plenty of pressure, but failed to get a sack. But Wink’s scheme worked as the extra secondary did an excellent job containing the best wide receiver in the game, Justin Jefferson to just 7 catches for 47 yards. Hats off to Giants CB Adoree Jackson for stepping up in his return after 7 weeks with a knee injury. Jackson was the primary CB on Jefferson. One concern is the loss of Edge Azeez Ojulari early in the game with a quad injury. Hopefully, he’ll make it back for the next game.
The team fielded all players for the first time this season. It certainly seems like the team continues to improve as each week goes by. The players are demonstrating loads of confidence on the field. The coaching staff is also performing at an elite level with solid game plans and excellent in-game adjustments.
The Giants continue to call on the “road warrior” mojo of previous Giants playoff teams, in particular, the Super Bowl XLII playoff team. The Giants will visit the Eagles on Saturday for a third contest this season. They will need another efficient and high scoring effort to match the Eagles. The GMen’s second and third string players stayed with the Eagles in Week 18, but came up just short. That game gave this team a boost of confidence in the same manner that the 2007 team gained against the undefeated (at that time) Patriots.
Time for another week to go 1-0.