New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has never been to the playoffs in his previous four seasons in East Rutherford, but now that he’s about to embark on that journey Sunday in Minnesota, he’s leaning on his mentor to to give you a little advice on how to handle the pressure. moment.
Eli Manning took Jones under his wing in 2019 when he was Duke’s sixth overall pick, and he finally made the transition when he hung up his shoes for good after 16 years with the Giants, racking up two Super Bowl wins along the way. .
But Manning is still a big part of the organization, and Jones knows he’s just a phone call away if necessary. He took Manning on it recently.
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«It was keeping the same process, keeping the same approach,» Jones told ESPN of Manning’s advice. «For the most part, it’s the same game. Your intensity goes up a bit, but nothing changes in terms of your decision-making and how you approach the game. It’s the same game. Trust what got you there.»
The last time the Giants were in a playoff game was in 2016; you may remember a specific image on a boat before that beating in Green Bay. It’s been downhill ever since, as the Giants couldn’t find a quick rebuild.
However, under general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll, the Giants have reinvigorated their organization, creating a winning culture that produced a 9-7-1 record and the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoffs. .
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A lot of credit has to go to Jones who, in his fifth year in the NFL, has thrived under the system of Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka.
Jones has curbed his turnover habit, turning the ball over just eight times in 16 starts this season. He has posted career-highs in QBR (60.7), passing yards (3,205), rushing yards (708) and rushing touchdowns (7), while throwing for 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.
A healthy Saquon Barkley and an aggressive defense led by Wink Martindale have brought the Giants out of obscurity and into a team not to be taken lightly on game day.
The Vikings understand that, as they needed a 61-yard franchise long pass from kicker Greg Joseph on Christmas Eve to defeat the Giants with the game tied at 24 apiece.
Jones also understands what it’s like to play in Minnesota this weekend: It’s an experience he’s been looking forward to for quite some time.
The whole team has.
«These games are the most meaningful games you can play. And great opportunities,» Jones said. «But it’s about the team. It’s about what we do as a group and how we’re remembered collectively rather than how an individual is remembered. I think we have a group of guys with that mentality.»
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The Giants will enter the game with all 53 players on their roster healthy, including top cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who has missed the past seven games with a sprained MCL suffered while returning a punt.
The Vikings are the favorites in this one after clinching the No. 3 spot in the conference following their win in the NFC North. Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson and the rest of Minnesota’s high-octane offense have shown their ability to take the reins late in games, tying an NFL record with eight fourth-quarter comebacks for wins.
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That game will kick off Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.