The New York Giants could clinch their first postseason berth since 2016 with a win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and they understand the urgency of the situation.
"Yeah, you don't want to leave it to chance," running back Saquon Barkley said Thursday, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan. "The way you do that is by doing what you've got to do this week. That is really it."
Entering this season, the Giants were pegged as one of the teams projected to finish near the bottom of the league. New York has shocked the masses with an impressive 2022 campaign under first-year head coach Brian Daboll, as the team enters Week 17 with a record of 8-6-1.
However, the Giants have struggled down the stretch, going 1-4-1 over their last six games. They're coming off a heartbreaking 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings last week on a last-second field goal.
Per Raanan, New York is a 5.5-point favorite against the Colts, who have been eliminated from playoff contention with a 4-10-1 record. Much of the Giants roster has never experienced the postseason, including Barkley.
"Obviously, the first four years it didn't happen. Now there is a chance; it's a possibility," Barkley said. "It's a beautiful thing when looking at all the ups and downs, whether it's in my personal career or as an organization what we've been through the last couple years. It will be special. We have a chance to do it."
If the Giants fail to punch their ticket to the postseason this week, they will face the daunting task of defeating the NFL-leading Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) in the regular-season finale. New York would obviously prefer to secure its spot in the playoffs by taking down Indianapolis.
"I think everybody knows what [is at stake]," Daboll said. "But what we can control is, again, the same stuff we try to control each week—making sure we're prepared, ready to go, and go out there and put our best foot forward."