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Brian Daboll proving to Giants the good that comes with adults running the show

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Giants Brian Daboll
New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll reacts after an NFL wild card football game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, in Minneapolis. The Giants won 31-24.
AP Photo/Abbie Parr

Simply saying that the New York Giants upset the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Super Wild Card Round is an understatement. 

In fact, it’s one of the headlining portions of a season that has culminated in the ultimate culture change of one of the proudest and most traditional NFL franchises that had otherwise fallen so far from grace. 

And it all stems from the hiring of head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. 

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The Giants had been stuck in the mud for more than half a decade under the inept Dave Gettleman, whose final act as general manager culminated with a 4-13 2021-22 campaign with former head coach Joe Judge floundering for answers that were beyond the reach of a first-time head coach of his caliber. From 2017-2021, the Giants went 22-59 as one of the worst franchises in the NFL during that stretch. 

But then arrived the adults. 

Gettleman retired, Judge was fired, and the Mara and Tisch families finally made their first good decision in years by bringing on Schoen and then Daboll from the Buffalo Bills before adding Mike Kafka as offensive coordinator and Wink Martindale as defensive coordinator to help turn the franchise around. 

When it came to player personnel, though, they didn’t do much. In fact, they made just two multi-year free-agent signings during the offseason. But Daboll introduced a hard-nosed, blue-collar mentality that is the calling card of the best teams in the franchise’s history and simply let the returning cast run with the show. 

It couldn’t have gone much better.

Daniel Jones proved that he was the Giants’ franchise quarterback of the future despite having an underwhelming group of receivers made up of cast-offs and never-will-be’s. 

Saquon Barkley proved that he is still one of the most explosive playmaking talents in the NFL after being hampered by injuries for the better part of the previous three seasons. 

The defense that couldn’t stop a leaky window with 18 pounds of caulk last season shed its reputation as a timid, sieve-like group and exhibited an aggressive brand of blitz-heavy football that has done just enough to support Jones’ offense.

They fear no one. 

They fear nothing — and that includes a hostile environment in Minnesota against the No. 3 seed Vikings that had beaten them once before during the regular season.

Jones was poised. Barkley was explosive. Daboll and Martindale were aggressive. The Giants were unflappable. 

That’s what good coaching does for a football team. That’s what happens when adults are running the show.

Now the reward is a trip to the NFC Divisional Round in Philadelphia against an Eagles team that has already beaten them twice before this season. 

Don’t expect the Giants to be timid. 

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For more on the Giants, visit AMNY.com

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