Players like wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins and running back Saquon Barkey stepped up to combine for 214 total yards and three TDs, and Jones was the shout of countless position groups after the 31-24 win, but the former quarterback who was denied a fifth-year option. season is definitely deserving of MVP honors.
Jones found success early and often through the air and on the ground. During the second half, he joined five other Super Bowl-era quarterbacks with 200-plus passing yards, two-plus passing TDs and 70-plus rushing yards in a playoff game. according to NFL research. At the final whistle, he surpassed four of his peers to become the first QB in postseason history to eclipse 300 passing yards to go along with those accolades.
“I just felt it when the game unfolded and took advantage of those opportunities,” Jones said of his success in the run game. “I thought the guys up front did a really good job with the transition rate and opening up some lanes. Much respect to them.”
The Giants needed every bit of Jones’ 379 yards. After the Vikings scored on the opening drive, New York put up 17 unanswered. The team led 17-7 at halftime and 24-14 after its first possession of the third quarter, but the tenacious Vikings kept answering and at one point the game was knotted at 24-24 minutes into the fourth quarter. .
That’s when Jones answered again with a game-winning, 67-yard touchdown run, only the Giants’ fifth-longest drive of the game. Two plays before Barkley would eventually kick it for New York, Jones converted on fourth-and-1 from the 7-yard line. He would do the same with another QB sneak at halffield on the following drive to move the chains and force Minnesota to waste all of its timeouts with just under three minutes remaining.
“We were going after it,” Daboll said of the first-down play on fourth down that came with the game still tied. “We were going to win the game. We were sure Daniel was moving the stack. And I could live with it.”
Jones gave the Giants the confidence they needed to make those bold calls and the play they needed to upset the Vikings in their first playoff appearance since 2016, when Eli Manning was still in town.
“We’re excited,” Jones told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero of Big Blue’s long-awaited postseason win. “You know, we’ll keep going, we’ve got a lot ahead of us, it’s been fun so far.”
If the Giants continue to advance, they will have to go through the No. 1 seed Eagles next weekend. The Giants’ newest playoff-winning quarterback will need a decent run to do so.