Giants fans put a run on the supply of blood pressure medications in area pharmacies. Is it safe yet to open my eyes?! I can only speak for myself, but it feels like I aged a few years from that game. But it was worth every second of it!!!! THE FREAKING NY GIANTS ARE HEADED TO THE DIVISIONAL ROUND!!
So let’s review Sunday morning’s blog post and see how we did in the game preview:
▪️variance in football
▪️Giants will win
▪️Run the B gap when Hunter goes wide on the speed rush to help out Evan Neal
▪️Dexter Lawrence all day long vs Bradbury to wear him down for the 4th Quarter
▪️worried about Hockenson
▪️not worried about the Giants Offense
So how did that look? Let’s review. (1) The variance in this game was nuts. Who was that **** ****** ref who called Stud Dexter Freaking Lawrence for ************** unnecessary roughness when he completely and cleanly tackled Cousins before and while he was throwing the ball??????!!!!!!! The potential implications of that call could have been huge. *15 yards *Fresh set of downs *Nervous breakdowns across the greater NY metropolitan area. (4) Note how Dexter Lawrence at the end of the game was taking Bradbury to school, pushing him into Cousins nearly every snap. In my opinion, it was Sexy Dexy who was the big difference maker on those last two Defensive possessions when the Giants needed it most. He wore down Bradbury and there was no answer. Frankly the Vikings needed to double Lawrence, they didn’t, and it cost them. (2) The Giants won. More on that later. (3) In the first half, it was all B gap. Hunter sells out on Neal wide. Jones has the B gap between Right Guard and Right Tackle. He either steps up and finds the open Receiver or he tucks the ball down and runs. He did both to perfection. The runs destroyed the Vikings until the second half when (they adjusted and moved) a LBer moved in to close the B gap and Hunter stopped going wide, which helped Neal on pass rush too and gave Jones more time. (5) Hockenson was again a menace. 10 receptions for 129 yards. Martindale picked his poison and said I gotta control that nightmare Jefferson (22 yards in the final 53 minutes) so I bend and don’t break. I wasn’t particularly pleased that Thibodeaux was held on one of those TD scores, which changes that to a FG from a TD. (6) “This NY Giants Offense is much better (than the previous matchup).” That might be the understatement of the year.
Let’s talk about the Giants Offense. They were spectacular. Daniel Jones was spectacular. Isaiah Hodgins was spectacular. Frankly every receiver was outstanding. Even Slayton, with that one drop, played well. Barkley and Breida were so clutch. The coaches used Barkley well and Barkley delivered huge catches, huge YAC, huge runs, huge TDs. Bellinger isn’t a rookie anymore (besides that huge penalty that cost the Gmen 4 points).
Daniel Jones looked like an elite QB today. If that’s the future then let’s go. If he gets better protection and better WRs it’s going to be incredible. He needs that, if only to stop running and putting himself in harm’s way. Was there any pass Jones didn’t make?! There was a key defensive batted (deflected) ball on 2nd & 7 and that (great play) is the only thing that stopped him. I don’t know how to offer any stronger superlatives for Jones. It was a completely masterful performance. Every pass, every run, every throwaway. Of course the coaches have catalyzed this transformation but Jones is the one who must do it all on the field, and boy did he do it all on the field. I haven’t seen that kind of QB play since Eli Manning in 2011, which coincidentally or not, was the last time the Gmen won a playoff game.
The Giants defense was run over at times today…. Ok, for a chunk of the game. But McKinney Thibodeaux and Lawrence made some great plays. I was pissed at Holmes for not finishing a gang tackle which created 4th and inches instead of 4th and 2. But on the next series he dropped Cook on a flare for a 4 yard loss. Nothing gets me more excited than watching Thibodeaux chase down a ball carrier after a reception in the flat. Love that effort.
And then there’s Lawrence. The big man has been elite all season, dollar for dollar the best player at his position on the entire Giants roster. He was a disruptive force again routinely. Lawrence’s season on the interior DL is without question the best I’ve witnessed in all my many decades as a Giants fan. And I don’t think it’s close. He saved the Giants. We might still be watching in OT if not for him.
Special shout out to a guy who wasn’t on the roster until November, and two months later he racks up 8 catches, 105 yds, and 1 TD. Isaiah Hodgins, take a bow. You are filling big shoes as an X WR, and you did it with an ankle injury. Not only is Hodgins making big grabs, he’s sure-handed, knows where the sticks are, gets separation, and gets his toes in bounds. He’s money. He’s going to get paid nice money. We already talked about what a great job Schoen and Daboll did to snag him off waivers. Now it’s time for Hodgins to get the kudos for killing it. It’s NFL prime time and Hodgins just keeps playing bigger and bigger.
The Giants are the only road team which came out of Sat/Sun Wild card with a win. The coaching was great. I have 2 friends who I watched the game with who are witnesses to my rants about passing on 1st down in this game. The passing game set up the run game. This is why the team is different now than it was through the first 14 games.
Cajones to go for it on 4th down on your 45 yd line. I wanted that. Olsen wanted it. Daboll wanted it. Jones got the sneak. The drive failed on Slayton’s drop 3 plays later but the Giants pinned them at the 12 yard line. Plus the Viking had to burn all 3 timeouts after the 4th down conversion, which effectively is like another possession. We’re seeing it more and more- the sneak, rb handoff, or the reception that needs the hard yard… AND THEN A PLAYER COMES FROM BEHIND AND PUSHES HIM FURTHER. Vannett and then Barkley pushed Jones an extra yard on that 4th & 1 to leave no doubt of a stupid (variance!) ref spot.
Next is Philly. Be careful what you wish for, Philly fans, you just might get your doormat Giants matchup next week that you wanted. If you are paying attention, the Giants aren’t the team you walloped a month ago.
Let’s enjoy this win. Onto the Linc.