PHILADELPHIA — Saquon Barkley appeared up from his telephone after sitting out Sunday’s 22-16 Giants loss to the Eagles, and he smiled.
“I’m excited for the playoffs,” Barkley stated. “It’s Minnesota, right?”
Yes it’s. Brian Daboll’s No. 6-seeded Giants will open the postseason in subsequent weekend’s NFC Wild Card spherical with a rematch on the No. 3 seed Minnesota Vikings.
The Giants simply misplaced a 27-24 thriller in U.S. Bank Stadium on Christmas Eve. They successfully misplaced the turnover battle 3-0 that evening, however Minnesota nonetheless wanted a 61-yard subject purpose on the buzzer to beat them.
“I think if we played a clean game it would have been a different story there,” stated Nick Gates, who began Sunday’s recreation at heart. “But we nonetheless bought to arrange and prepare for these guys. They’re a superb staff, a playoff staff.
“We just gotta go and score points and not hurt ourselves and shoot ourselves in the foot,” Gates added. “This team’s a good team when we don’t do that. When we play consistently [and commit] no penalties, we’re a hard team to beat.”
Indeed, the Giants (9-7-1) served discover on Sunday whereas enjoying largely backups that they won’t be pushovers within the postseason, starting with their go to to the Vikings (13-4).
Wink Martindale’s hard-nosed protection restricted the Eagles’ first-string offense, led by MVP candidate Jalen Hurts, to only one landing and 5 Jake Elliott subject targets.
They did it whereas both sitting or wholesome scratching defensive sort out Dexter Lawrence, edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, linebacker Jaylon Smith, safeties Julian Love and Xavier McKinney, and corners Fabian Moreau and Darnay Holmes.
DT Leonard Williams (neck), edge Azeez Ojulari (ankle) and CB Adoree Jackson (knee) had been additionally out on account of harm.
“The way we feel about our unit is there ain’t really no starters and backups,” Smith stated. “Everybody on this field, on this defense, can go out and produce. That’s what the mentality has been and we’ve created it. It builds confidence for sure.”
Sixth-year quarterback Davis Webb made the primary begin of his NFL profession, and regardless of a 16-0 halftime deficit, Webb scored his first two NFL touchdowns within the fourth quarter on a 14-yard run and a 25-yard move to Kenny Golladay.
“They’re the number one seed in the NFC,” Webb stated of the Eagles. “We took them four quarters. I wish myself, first, and the offense, second, got off to a better start. But that second half was really fun and that’s something I’ll never forget.”
On offense, Daboll scratched or sat Daniel Jones, Barkley, left sort out Andrew Thomas, large receiver Isaiah Hodgins, tight finish Daniel Bellinger, heart Jon Feliciano and proper guard Mark Glowinski.
Gates and rookie proper sort out Evan Neal had been the one starters to play significant snaps on that facet of the ball.
“You never know when your time is gonna come. But when it’s called, you gotta be ready for it,” stated tight finish Lawrence Cager, who led the staff with eight catches for 69 yards. “That’s why we train like pros and that’s why as a team, the Giants, that’s why we’re where we are going into the playoffs. Because everybody is bought in, everybody works hard every single game, and you can see it on game day.”
Daboll coached a little bit of a wacky recreation, calling a faux subject purpose within the first half that backfired horribly. He additionally tried an onside kick initially of the second half that the Eagles recovered, bailed out by a Dane Belton finish zone interception of Hurts.
Still, the Giants’ backups trailed by fewer factors at halftime on Sunday (16) than the 17-point deficit their starters had confronted at half of their 48-22 Week 14 blowout loss to those similar Eagles at MetLife Stadium.
And if the Giants beat the Vikings and the No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers win their first-round recreation, Daboll’s staff might be coming proper again down I-95 to Lincoln Financial Field in two weeks to face the Birds off a bye.
First, the Giants should face Minnesota within the playoffs for the primary time since their 41-0 beatdown of the Vikes within the 2000 NFC Championship Game.
One of the loudest stadiums within the league, although, wasn’t too loud on Christmas Eve, Gates stated.
“[I was] surprised, actually,” the Giants’ O-lineman stated. “I thought it would be a lot louder. Especially when our offense was out there. But you know, they’re Midwest people. So they’re too nice. Hey, I can say it. I went to Nebraska! I include myself in that one.”
It would be the Giants’ first playoff recreation since 2016. And they’ll be in search of the franchise’s first postseason win since Tom Coughlin’s second Super Bowl run in 2011.
“It’s a dream come true to make the playoffs,” Smith stated. “The Giants, we haven’t been right here in six years. So it’s a blessing. Going up in opposition to a fantastic opponent, we’ve a fantastic week forward of us to arrange the proper manner for battle.
“That’s what the playoffs are about,” he added. “Win or go home.”