With the game about to be over, the Giants took the field and Quarterback Daniel Jones stayed in the game even though they were up big. They ran a couple of plays, and then something special happened. For one of the first times in his career, Giants fans at Metlife Stadium were chanting his name and he was taken out of the game, to give the fans a chance to chant some more. For all of the turbulence and indecision that Jones has had during his tenure with New York in seasons past, that moment was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication he put in to get better this season.
To get to a moment like that, the Giants had to take care of business against the Colts on Sunday to clinch a playoff spot and they did just that. They defeated the Colts 38-10 in a game that was never really close. The offense and defense were in control the entire game, making big plays that set up the blowout. Jones had a big day, throwing two touchdowns and even running for two touchdowns. Safety Landon Collins even got to have a big moment, as he returned an interception into the endzone for a touchdown. It was a dream day for the Giants and here are three takeaways from Sunday’s win.
1. Daniel Jones Continues To Play Great Football
If you were to tell a Giants fan right after last season Daniel Jones would have 15 touchdowns and only five interceptions after Week 17 en route to clinching a playoff berth, they’d have thought you had been crazy. That, however, is reality as Jones had himself another excellent game on Sunday against the Colts. He threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for two touchdowns, giving him seven on the season. After the game, Jones credited Daboll for a lot of the success he’s had this season and for developing him.
“He’s meant a lot. I’ve learned a lot from him. A lot of football. I’ve grown a lot as a player. I appreciate his support and giving me the chance to go out there and play. He’s helped me a lot, he’s helped all of us a lot. Definitely grateful for him,” said Jones during Sunday’s postgame press conference.
Jones was creating plays with his feet, something he’s done all season and it’s been a big benefactor to his success. He’s an incredible athlete and Daboll has found a way to unlock that. Jones is also doing this with very little wide receiver help. The group has been playing well but when you look at the rest of the league, the talent isn’t elite. Isaiah Hodgins has particularly been playing good football lately, getting his fourth touchdown of the season on Sunday. It’s not certain whether Jones will rest up for the playoffs and not play next week against the Eagles in a game that doesn’t affect the Giants’ postseason position. If it is his last game of the regular season, it’s been a great year for number eight.
2. Dexter Lawrence Is A Problem For Defenses
Before this season, Giants General Manager Joe Schoen used the fifth-year option on Defensive Tackle Dexter Lawrence. He had been a nice piece for the Giants and was really good against the run. After Week 17, it looks like that was a very good decision. Lawrence is having the best year of his career, racking up 7.5 sacks on the season. He had a sack on Sunday against the Colts that perfectly encapsulated his season. He went against fellow Pro Bowler Quentin Nelson and absolutely manhandled him.
.@Giants @llawrencesexy is having as good a season as any DT in the NFL. His immense power was on display Sunday and no one has a better sack dance! A true all-pro player. His power has been unleashed #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/PA4ggiA9JJ — Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) January 2, 2023
Despite Nelson not having his best season, he’s still one of the best guards in the NFL, and Lawrence took care of him like he was nothing. Lawrence’s pass rush improvements have been amazing to see over the course of the season. Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale has pushed him to play to his bests and it’s showing on the football field. Whoever the Giants play in the playoffs, they will have to figure out how to stop him because so far this season, that task has been a really tough challenge.
3. Brian Daboll Should Be The Coach Of The Year
With everything that was laid out in front of him before the season, Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll had a mighty challenge to tackle when it came to getting this football team over the hump. The roster hadn’t really changed all that much from a year ago when the team went 4-13. It’s a young group with veterans scattered throughout and nobody had any bright expectations for his first season as head coach. Daboll didn’t care about all that though and has led this team on a journey that has put them in the playoffs.
Daboll coaches to put everyone in a spot that maximizes their potential. He wants to get the best out of all his plays and he’s certainly done that this season. Once the Giants had clinched the playoff berth on Sunday, Daboll was dowsed in Gatorade by his players and gave a mighty fist bump to the crowd. It was like all the pressure and expectations were lifted off his shoulders at that moment and he was able to celebrate for a short moment. Now he must get ready for some tough fights ahead as the road will only get harder in the postseason.
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