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Giants playoff push began long before the season started

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Giants
New York Giants’ Daniel Jones (8) dives past Indianapolis Colts’ Rodney Thomas II (25) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.
AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

There may have been some snickers when Dexter Lawrence told reporters way back in August that for the 2022 New York Giants that playoffs “is a realistic goal.” There was conviction in his voice when he responded to the question and now a little more than five months since, that comment seems prophetic. 

Regardless of what happened on the field on Sunday in Philadelphia, the Giants could hold their heads up high heading into their first-round playoff matchup. They defied the odds this season and broke a playoff drought that just about all football experts expected to continue for at least this year.

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At the time when Lawrence made that statement, the Giants had not had much success on the field in his time with Big Blue and New York’s struggles extended beyond that. The Giants had been 14-35 since Lawrence was drafted in 2019, 22-59 dating back to 2017 and since 2012 they had made the playoffs just once. 

But the belief was there for Lawrence, which prompted him to respond that way back in training camp. He had said during that press conference that playoffs were everybody’s goal and that if everyone had the same goal they would all have the same work ethic to get there. 

For many of the players that started with Brian Daboll’s arrival in East Rutherford and the job he has done since the spring.

“I think what you do is you try to build the best team you can,” Daboll said on Friday about the approach he has had since he was hired. “I think building a team is more important than just collecting talent. I think Joe (Schoen) has done a really good job with his staff of bringing people in that fit the criteria that we look for. And certainly, being around the guys and the chemistry, I think that’s really important.”

That chemistry has certainly played out on the field during the season as the Giants have had to call upon their depth to get them through different stretches of the year. The Giants’ receiving corps was hit hard by injuries and forced a number of players to step up. 

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“I think there’s hidden points in team chemistry. There’s hidden points in camaraderie,” Daboll said. “So, we had great attendance in the offseason, and that led into training camp. And the experiences that you share with one another, I think those are important, definitely. But bringing in the right kind of guys that do the right thing that are consistent, that work on improving, that play well together, I think that starts back in April and May. And you just try to improve it as the season goes on.”

Now the Giants will be playing beyond Week 18.

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