The Giants Show They Belong Among Playoff-caliber Opponents
You know what the law is. You already know what the rule is. Close only matters in horseshoes; in football, it doesn’t. Teams that skip January get moral wins. There is no lesson that winning can teach better than losing.
Okay, OK. There is nothing wrong. All things are equal. But we have seen a case where that wasn’t true. We have seen an outlier. We saw what happened at the end of the Giants’ 2007 season, when a terrible loss set the stage for the team’s greatest moment.
Look, the Vikings are not the Patriots of 2007, who won 38-35 against the Giants on a Sunday night at the old Giants Stadium in Week 16 to end their perfect regular season. And no, the 2022 Giants are not the 2007 Giants.
We thought the 2007 Giants had a winning history, and they proved us right in Super Bowl XLII. But the truth is that those 2007 Giants found out what they were really capable of that Week 16 night. This is what the 2022 Giants should learn from their 27-24 loss to the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday.
The game wasn’t decided until the last play, when the Vikings’ Greg Joseph kicked a field goal from 61 yards out. We might make fun of the Vikings for being the unluckiest 12-3 team ever, but they are currently 11-0 in close games with a season-high five-point lead.
Still, they are almost certain to be the No. 2 seed in the NFC, and they know how to win when it really matters. And the Giants kept up with them step for step. Even though they had two terrible turnovers, a blocked punt, and a reversed interception that completely changed the game, the Giants were still in the game.
The Vikings have a good chance of making the playoffs. And here’s what we should know: so are the Giants, even though they didn’t win a playoff spot on Saturday when the Seahawks lost to the Chiefs and the Lions lost to the Panthers.
Head coach Brian Daboll said, and he’ll say it again, that losing never makes you feel good. The pros are on his team. He won’t take them all out for pizza and hot-fudge sundaes just because they played a close game. But anyone who watched this game could only come to the same conclusion.
The Giants might not be as good as the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys, which are the only teams that have a good chance of making it to the Super Bowl on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona.
But they are definitely in the next group, which is made up of teams that can win a game and then scare a top seed on the road. And compared to the bad neighbourhoods where the Giants have flopped and sat in the past, that’s a pretty nice area. On Christmas Eve, many people had this happen to them.
It should have been made stronger in the locker room of the Giants. “We have to start over,” said receiver Isaiah Hodgins, who has been one of the Giants’ many pleasant surprises this season by becoming a regular target for quarterback Daniel Jones.
“We have a good team, worked hard as a team, and still lost. We should have done better, but that’s just how life is. Let’s move on to the next one. The next one is next Sunday, on New Year’s Day, at home against Indianapolis.
It should be a great way for the Giants to ring in 2023. In this game, nothing is certain, but it looks like a party is coming up. Daboll said, “Let’s prepare for the Colts.” “We have to fix what needs fixing and get ready for the Colts.”
They will be ready. The way Daboll and his staff act doesn’t indicate anything different. They were definitely ready on Saturday, when they beat the Vikings 10-0 and then beat them again 13-10, making the 66,468 people inside U.S. Bank whisper. The Giants don’t worry about the trip. They are not scared of loud buildings or strong opponents.
“We’ll get back together, figure out what we can do better, and look ahead to next week,” said quarterback Daniel Jones. As soon as they are officially in, they will be a bear in the playoffs. We thought that was what was going on. We can now see it.
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