Minnesota — Daniel Jones made history in the first playoff game of his career. His running back described him as “elite” as a result.
Jones made NFL history as the first quarterback to have at least 70 running yards in a postseason game along with at least 300 passing yards and two throwing touchdowns. He led the New York Giants on a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter to help his team defeat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24. He was unquestionably outstanding in his postseason debut.
Running back Saquon Barkley was persuaded by it that Jones is already a top player in the NFL.
Barkley said, “I know we have an elite quarterback. He has demonstrated that numerous times.
The second half of the season, Jones has been the Giants’ top performer. And now, in a season when his future was on the line, it has continued into the playoffs. Against the Vikings, Jones, a free agent at the conclusion of the season, completed 24-of-35 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns. As New York won its first playoff game since their Super Bowl win in the 2011 campaign, he added 78 yards running on 17 runs.
At that moment, the argument over whether Eli Manning was a “elite” player had practically been decided. He was headed for his second MVP award in Super Bowls.
Even at the beginning of this season, when the Giants rejected the fifth-year option on Jones’ rookie contract, there were doubts about Jones. He would have to demonstrate to the new leadership his ability to support the franchise.
Jones, 25, accomplished that. He has accomplished almost everything, including being healthy for the whole season, eliminating a turnover issue, playing effectively in crucial situations, and now adding victory in the playoffs to his résumé.
“It is significant. Very important, “Regarding the triumph, in which he once again didn’t give the ball over, Jones commented We are pleased to have contributed to this important victory.
In the last five games, Jones has committed only one turnover. In that time, he has been responsible for nine touchdowns.
The sixth-seeded Giants, who will play the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round, seem to nearly rely on their quarterback to consistently provide this kind of overwhelming performance.
Coach Brian Daboll casually said, “Played excellent,” after his first postseason victory as a head coach. “Played well,” but just well?
Yes, winning football, said Daboll.
Speaking about downplaying the performance. Everyone else who was watching Jones appeared to recognise that he was better than excellent. even the players on his own side.
The brilliance Jones displayed for the whole country to witness was clear from the response of his teammates, who surrounded him in the locker room afterward.
The Giants scored touchdowns on each of their drives in the first quarter, and Jones completed 5-of-5 passes for 100 yards and added two runs for 22 yards.
Left tackle Andrew Thomas praised his quarterback’s performance in Minnesota as “amazing.” “made each play that we wanted him to. did not mishandle the ball. He fumbled and made plays when there was no room downfield. To us, he was fantastic.”
Jones said, “I believe there were certainly some anxieties going into it.” “We were happy. Going into it, there was a lot of expecting. It felt the same after we settled down and got to playing. Execution and doing our duties play after play were all that mattered. We did it successfully, in my opinion, as a team.”
It was tough to determine whether Jones was tense at first. He was dodging defenders while hurling darts. Throughout the afternoon, nothing altered that. The Vikings had no solutions.
After the game, Daboll said that employing Jones as a runner was part of the strategy. In the first encounter, when Jones only had four carries, the Giants didn’t do it much. The 17 tries was a career best. This season, his previous best was 12 points.
Jones joined Steve Young and Lamar Jackson as the only quarterbacks to pass for 300 yards and sprint for at least 75 in a postseason game. Seven of Jones’ rushes resulted in first downs.
“We felt it would be a little fresh element for this game,” Daboll said, “something we didn’t do at all last time.” People have seen us do them, but we also have a broad range of them.
These flaws play a significant role in elevating Jones to a new level. He has been dubbed outstanding by his colleagues.