The Giants hadn’t won a playoff game since Super Bowl XLVI, but that all changed on Sunday as New York topped the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in the wild card round of the playoffs. It was a battle worth the billing as Brian Daboll, Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley extended the cinderella season that New York has had this year.
The win sets up a date with NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles next weekend in the divisional round.
It was the Giants that broke the 24-24 tie with just under eight minutes to play in the game when they marched 75 yards down the field and ended with Barkley running two yards for what would be the game-winning touchdown. New York’s defense came up with the biggest stops of the night on the Vikings’ last-ditch effort to tie the game.
It was a Giants defender that broke up a pass intended for K.J. Osborn and Xavier McKinney stopped T.J. Hockenson short of a first down to seal the win.
The Giants hadn’t won a playoff game in 11 years when they defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. The win was also the second time since 2001 that the Giants had beaten the Vikings in the playoffs.
The last time the two had met was back on Jan 14, 2001, when the Giants defeated the Vikings 41-0 at Giants stadium.
Jones was key in the victory as he completed 16 of his 20 pass attempts for 218 yards and ran for another 71 yards on 10 carries. Barkley ran for 48 yards and had the score that ended up winning the game.
Darius Slayton had three catches for 74 yards and Isaiah Hodgins made five catches for 73 yards.
The Vikings were first on the board, taking advantage of the Giants’ defense’s weakest sequence of the day. Minnesota went 75 yards on 12 plays that culminated with Kirk Cousins scampering a yard for the opening touchdown and the Vikings’ only/first lead of the game.
The Giants answered back on their next drive with Barkley and Jones leading the way with a pair of long rushes. It was Barkley who found an open lane and burst 28 yards for a touchdown to tie the game with 5:11 left in the first quarter.
After New York forced Minnesota to go three and out on their next possession, the Giants’ offense capitalized on the strong defensive stand with another quick sequence that resulted in another score. Jones found Slayton for a 47-yard completion to start the drive and three plays later he hit Hodgins with a 14-yard pass for the touchdown to put the Giants up 14-7 with just over a minute left in the first.
The Giants added another three points after eating up the majority of the second quarter with a 20-play drive that ended in a 25-yard field goal by Graham Gano.
The Vikings cut the Giants’ lead to three when they scored with 45 seconds left on the clock in the first half. K.J. Osborn caught a nine-yard touchdown reception from Cousins to make it a 17-14 game.
New York was able to extend their lead on the first drive of the second half as Jones took six plays to go 75 yards which ended with Jones finding Daniel Bellinger in the end zone for a nine-yard TD reception. But the lead quickly dwindled again as the Vikings punched back to pull within three yet again.