Vikings vs. Giants rating, takeaways: Brian Daboll, Daniel Jones guide New York to upset win over Minnesota

The New York Giants are transferring onto the divisional spherical of the playoffs after pulling off a 31-24 upset win in opposition to the Minnesota Vikings on the street. They will tackle their NFC East division rival Philadelphia Eagles, the NFC’s No. 1 seed, subsequent week.

New York’s victory was a testomony to the teaching job Brian Daboll, Mike Kafka, and Wink Martindale have executed with this workforce all through the whole season. The teaching workers put its gamers able to succeed, and the gamers responded by taking part in one among their finest all-around video games of the season.

In explicit, it was one of many easiest video games of quarterback Daniel Jones’ profession. Jones accomplished 24 of 35 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns, whereas including 78 yards on 17 carries. In so doing, he turned the primary quarterback in NFL playoff historical past to throw for at the very least 300 yards and two touchdowns and in addition run for at the very least 70 yards. The 379 complete yards had been the second-most in a sport in Giants playoff historical past, and the 78 speeding yards had been a Giants playoff report for a quarterback.

Jones repeatedly connected with the likes of Isaiah Hodgins (8 catches, 105 yards, TD) and Darius Slayton (4-88) for large performs, and calmly labored his checkdowns to Saquon Barkley (5-56 receiving, 9-53 speeding) and Richie James (4-31) as effectively. He took three sacks on his 44 dropbacks, however was extraordinarily efficient as a scrambler to make up for it. He additionally had a speeding landing taken off the board within the second quarter by an illegal-motion penalty, so his sport might have been even higher.

On the opposite aspect of the ball, Martindale performed in opposition to sort. The Giants blitzed extra typically than any workforce within the NFL this season, sending at the very least one additional rusher after the quarterback on 44% of opponent dropbacks, in accordance to TruMedia. That’s a charge far larger than the 26% league common. In this sport, Martindale despatched a blitz on solely 9 of Kirk Cousins’ 40 dropbacks, a 22.5% charge. He stored additional defenders in protection to restrict the variety of downfield performs the Vikings had out there to them, and certainly solely 4 of Cousins’ 39 move makes an attempt traveled at the very least 20 yards within the air. Justin Jefferson ended the sport with simply 47 receiving yards on 9 targets, after he averaged 10.8 targets and 106.4 receiving yards per sport through the common season.

Because New York sat again in protection for a lot of the sport, it struggled to get a lot strain on Cousins, who was not sacked in any respect. And but, on a vital fourth-quarter drive, the Vikings elected to name back-to-back screens to Dalvin Cook (6 catches, 10 yards) and TJ Hockenson (10-129), which mixed to lose 1 yard. That arrange a third-and-long on which Cousins ​​threw incomplete to Cook, and the Giants had been in a position to run a bunch of day without work the clock on their ensuing possession.

Minnesota did get yet one more likelihood with the ball late within the sport, however even after benefiting from a particularly questionable roughing-the-passer name in opposition to Giants defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, the Vikings stalled out close to midfield. Defensive again Cordale Flott compelled an incompletion on a troublesome move to KJ Osborn over the center on third-and-8, after which Cousins ​​checked down effectively in need of the sticks to Hockenson on fourth down as Xavier McKinney introduced him to the turf to finish Minnesota’s likelihood of victory.

Why the Giants received

Daniel Jones performed the most effective video games of his profession, Wink Martindale threw a curveball together with his defensive sport plan, and the Giants executed in late-down conditions. Jones has now began 54 profession regular-season and playoff video games, and this sport ranked as his fourth-best by TruMedia’s model of anticipated factors added (EPA) per dropback. He repeatedly took off downfield, attaining a primary down with 4 of his six scrambles. New York’s offense was additionally electrical on third and fourth downs, changing 7 of 13 within the formation state of affairs and each of its alternatives within the latter. Meanwhile, probably the most blitz-happy defensive coordinator in all of soccer was content material to sit again and play protection for a lot of the sport, the higher to reduce the prospect of a giant play to Vikings famous person Justin Jefferson. It labored: Jefferson completed with simply 7 receptions for 47 yards.

Why the Vikings misplaced

They completely couldn’t cope with the risk Jones introduced as a runner. During the common season, the Vikings allowed opposing quarterbacks to scramble on 18% of pressured dropbacks, the fourth-highest charge within the NFL. They allowed Jones to scramble six instances for 59 yards on his 11 pressured dropbacks. Jones gained 78 yards on his 17 carries total, changing on each of his fourth-down sneaks. The Vikings additionally dedicated essential errors at inopportune moments, such because the one described within the part under…

Turning level

These two groups went forwards and backwards for just about the whole sport, so it is tough to discern when issues turned by some means. But an inflection level actually got here early within the fourth quarter, when the Giants held a 24-21 lead and the Vikings confronted third-and-9 on the New York 24-yard line.

Cousins ​​discovered Hockenson over the center effectively in need of the road to achieve, however he stored his toes transferring and acquired some help from an offensive lineman, and he ended up coming inside mere inches of attaining a primary down. In reality, at first, the officers noticed the ball a half-yard farther up the sector than the place it ought to have been, and awarded the Vikings a brand new set of downs. But in an expedited evaluate, that ruling was overturned and it arrange fourth down with lower than 1 yard to go.

Minnesota got here out in a jumbo formation, which meant none of Jefferson, KJ Osborn, or Adam Thielen had been on the sector. The Vikings additionally had Dalvin Cook on the sideline, with Alexander Mattison in because the operating again. They tried to get to the road shortly and run a QB sneak earlier than the Giants defensive position was prepared for it, however left sort out Christian Darrisaw began too shortly and was whistled for a false begin. Minnesota settled for a game-tying area purpose as a substitute of getting a chance to take the lead with a landing. The Giants drove down the sector for the eventual game-winning rating on their subsequent possession.

Highlight play

Jones was the one doing a lot of the heavy lifting all through the afternoon, however it was Barkley who received the Giants on the board with the primary rating of the sport. Saquon had a giant run referred to as again on his first contact of the day, so he made his second contact depend by going 28 yards to the home, completely untouched, on this superbly designed and splendidly blocked pitch play.

What’s subsequent

The Vikings are going residence. They could have the No. 24 total decide within the 2023 NFL Draft. If this sport (and season) is any indication, they desperately want to goal some assistance on protection, and will particularly use some new our bodies within the secondary.

The Giants, in the meantime, advance to the divisional spherical, the place they will play a street sport in opposition to the No. 1 seed within the NFC: the Philadelphia Eagles. New York misplaced each video games in opposition to its division rival this season, getting outscored 70-38 throughout the 2 contests. With the Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers on Saturday, the Giants are assured to be on the street for each subsequent playoff sport they play.

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