MINNEAPOLIS -In his debut match in a playoff, Daniel Jones made history. The incident prompted his running back to call his player “elite.”
Jones was one of the very few quarterbacks of NFL history to score 300 yards of passing with two touchdown passes and at minimum 70 rushing yards in the playoffs. He was undeniably dominant during his first playoff game as he led his team the New York Giants on a game-winning sequence at the end of the fourth quarter, en the way to a win of 31-24 against Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota Vikings.
It made running back Saquon Barley convinced the team that Jones is already one of the best players in the NFL.
“I know we have an elite quarterback,” Barkley stated. “He’s shown that multiple times.”
Jones was the Giants their best player in throughout the second half of the season. It has now continued into the playoffs, in a year when his future was in danger. Jones who will be an unrestricted free agent at the close year, was 24-of35 in passing and threw 301 yards, with 2 touchdowns in the game against Vikings. He also ran for 78 yards with 17 carries. New York won its first playoff game since the Super Bowl run in the year 2011.
By this moment, the argument over what Eli Manning was “elite” was nearly over. He was headed to becoming the 2nd Super Bowl MVP.
The Giants were unsure about Jones since the beginning of this season, after they opted to not exercise the fifth-year option on his first contract. Jones would need to show his new management that he had the capability of becoming a pillar for the franchise.
Jones 25 has accomplished this. He has checked almost every box: remained healthy throughout the entire season, solved an issue with turnover, played very well at key positions and, most recently, added winning at the postseason to his record.
“It means a lot. Means a lot,” Jones declared of the win and the fact that he didn’t let the ball go. “It’s a big win for us and grateful to be a part of it.”
Jones has only one mistake during the last five games. He has scored nine touchdowns in that time.
Sixth-seeded Giants facing their rivals the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round, seem to believe that they will get this dominant game by their quarterbacks on a regular basis.
“Played good,” coach Brian Daboll said nonchalantly after winning his first playoff game as head coach. “Played good.”
“Yeah, winning football,” Daboll added.
Talk about playing down the performance. Jones was more than adequate and everyone else who watched him seemed be paying attention. Even those on his sideline.
Based on the reactions of his teammates following the incident the incident, as they swarmed his locker The brilliance Jones displayed for the entire world to see was apparent.
Jones was 5-for-5 in passing for 100 yards, along with two runs with 22 yards opening quarter, which is when the Giants scored touchdowns on both of their runs.
“Amazing,” left tackle Andrew Thomas said of his quarterback’s performance in Minnesota. “Made every play we asked him to make. Didn’t turn over the ball. When there was nothing open downfield, he scrambled and made plays. He was great for us.”
Jones was aware of how important the game was for Jones and his teammates. He contacted Manning in the last week to seek suggestions regarding what a game in the playoffs will be like. Manning advised him that the intensity would be increased however it was the responsibility of the Giants their current quarterback to play exactly the same way he has throughout the season.
Jones did exactly this, even if it wasn’t just a regular game.
“I think there were definitely some nerves going into it,” Jones confessed. “We were excited. There was a lot of anticipating going into it. Once we settled in and started playing, it felt the same. It was just about execution and doing our job play after play. I thought as a group we did that well.”
If Jones was nervous in the beginning it was hard to discern. He was throwing darts , and flying past opponents. This didn’t change during the day. The Vikings had no answers.
Daboll later said that his use of Jones as the runner was a an integral part of the strategy. The Giants weren’t able to do that often during the previous game where Jones had just four carries. The 17 attempts was an all-time high for Jones. His previous best was 12 in the same season.
Seven of Jones his rushes resulted in first downs. He was joined by Steve Young and Lamar Jackson as the only quarterbacks who could throw 300 yards and run at least 75 yards in the playoffs.
“For this game we thought that was something we didn’t do at all last game that we thought would be a little new wrinkle,” Daboll added. “I mean, people have seen us do them, but we have a wide variety of them.”
These wrinkles are an important factor in elevating Jones to a whole new level. His teammates have deemed him an elite player.