The New York Giants are playoff winners for the first time since their Super Bowl victory capped off the 2011 campaign.
New York defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in Sunday's NFC Wild Card Game at U.S. Bank Stadium behind a brilliant showing from the backfield combination of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
Its reward is a daunting divisional-round showdown with the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles, but it looked like a team capable of challenging the conference's top seed during its win over the Vikings.
Jones in particular stood out at 24-of-35 for 301 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions to go with 78 yards on the ground. He drew plenty of praise on social media for his clutch performance in a hostile environment:
What a start in <a href="https://twitter.com/Daniel_Jones10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Daniel_Jones10</a>'s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NFLPlayoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NFLPlayoffs</a> debut.<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYGvsMIN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYGvsMIN</a> on FOX<br>📱: Stream on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/AJ2krfYypW">https://t.co/AJ2krfYypW</a> <a href="https://t.co/lR4pmAn0we">pic.twitter.com/lR4pmAn0we</a>
New York couldn't have scripted a better game, especially on offense.
It scored two touchdowns and a field goal on its first three drives with Jones torching Minnesota's overmatched defense with his legs, Barkley finding running room and the end zone, and Isaiah Hodgins hauling in a touchdown catch.
The Giants continued to methodically march down the field, stay ahead of the sticks and control the clock in a perfectly designed attack by head coach Brian Daboll. It continued in the second half with Barkley using his speed to create mismatches as a receiver before Daniel Bellinger caught a touchdown.
Despite New York's offensive efforts, the Vikings still came back to tie it in the fourth quarter and put the pressure back on Jones and the visitors. All the signal-caller did was lead a 12-play, 75-yard drive that included a physical quarterback sneak on fourth down and Barkley powering his way into the end zone for the game's final score.
The Giants survived a costly Darius Slayton drop when they were attempting to put the game away thanks to a final defensive stop and can now turn their attention to the Eagles thanks to an impressive overall showing.