The wait is over for New York Giants fans, as their team is heading to the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season after a dominant 38-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
In front of a sold-out MetLife Stadium crowd, the Giants knew destiny was in their own hands and clearly understood the assignment, scoring over 30 points for the first time since Week 5 of the 2020 season.
A lot of that has to do with the play of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. Not only did he throw for two touchdowns, but he also scored two rushing touchdowns in the second half to lead the Giants in one of his best career games.
Because they were up 38-10 in the fourth quarter, head coach Brian Daboll pulled Jones and other starters out of the game, and the crowd erupted with a chant for Jones. He finished with 177 yards and two passing touchdowns on 19 of 24, while leading New York in rushing with 91 yards and two scores on 11 carries.
The Giants were methodical as always on offense, which included an 11-play, 71-yard drive that ate 6:48 minutes of clock for their first touchdown of the game. Jones scrambled out to his right and found Richie James for six yards to cap off the drive and take the lead, 7-3.
From there, it was all New York. After a short drive by the Colts, the Giants went right back on the attack, and Isaiah Hodgins secured the six-yard touchdown pass from Jones to go up 14-3.
Colts quarterback Nick Foles, getting his second start in two weeks, didn’t finish the game under center after a Kayvon Thibodeaux sack led to a rib injury. He was in immediate pain after Thibodeaux took him down, and he was eventually carted off the field.
Foles finished the game 8 of 13 for 81 yards with no touchdowns and one interception by Landon Collins, who took it 52 yards to the house for a pick-six in the second quarter to make it 21-3.
Sam Ehlinger would replace Foles and find Michael Pittman Jr. for a touchdown in the third quarter. But that’s all he could produce on the scoreboard, tallying 60 yards on 9 of 14 passing.
Looking more into the stat sheet, Saquon Barkley had a pedestrian game compared to his Pro Bowl-level production, totaling 58 yards on 12 carries. James led the Giants receiving with 76 yards and his touchdown catches on seven receptions. Hodgins and tight end Daniel Bellinger both had 42 yards receiving as well.
While their playoff ticket is punched, the Giants still have a Week 18 bout against the Philadelphia Eagles on the road next week to complete the regular season. It will be interesting to see how Daboll plays his guys, as well as the Eagles, with both teams wanting to be as healthy as possible heading into the postseason.
As for the Colts, who move to 4-11-1 on the season, they will have one last game against the Houston Texans at home next Sunday.