EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Daniel Jones has the Giants back in the dance.
Sunday’s 38-10 blowout of the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium, led by four Jones touchdowns, clinched the Giants’ first playoff berth since 2016.
The home crowd chanted “Daniel Jones!” in the fourth quarter and gave their quarterback a standing ovation when coach Brian Daboll put in backup Tyrod Taylor for a Jones curtain call with 7:30 remaining.
Jones finished the game with 19-of-24 passing for 177 yards and two TDs, plus 11 carries for 91 yards and two more TDs.
That performance came after NFL Network had reported Sunday morning that the Giants definitely want Jones and Saquon Barkley back next season.
Daboll then got a Gatorade bath as the clock wound down from edge Jihad Ward and safety Julian Love. The coach then proceeded to pump up the crowd.
The Giants (9-6-1) are locked into the NFC’s six seed, the second of three wild cards. And they will open the postseason on the road against either the Minnesota Vikings or San Francisco 49ers after next weekend’s season finale at the Philadelphia Eagles.
On Sunday, Landon Collins’ 52-yard interception return for a TD in the second quarter buried the Colts in a 24-3 hole even before halftime. Kayvon Thibodeaux knocked Colts starting QB Nick Foles out of the game with a rib injury on a second-quarter sack.
Thibodeaux did snow angels on the turf next to an ailing Foles and formed his hands in a ‘go to sleep’ sign on the sidelines as Foles limped off and the Colts wilted.
Daboll, in his first season at the helm, got the Giants here by starting 6-1 in the team’s first seven games.
They grabbed road wins over the Titans, Packers (in London) and Jaguars in that stretch, in addition to home victories over the Panthers, Bears and Ravens.
No result was bigger than their Week 1 win at Tennessee, when Daboll set an exciting tone for the season by going for two points and the win with 1:06 to play in the fourth quarter on a Jones shovel pass to Barkley.
The Giants have struggled to pick up victories in the second half of their schedule, going just 3-5-1 in their last nine games. They’re also only 1-3-1 in the NFC East.
But a postseason berth is refreshing for owners John Mara and Steve Tisch given the organization’s 22-59 record (.272 win %) in the past five seasons.
Daboll is the Giants’ fourth head coach in the last six years — including Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and Joe Judge. McAdoo led the team to its last playoff berth in 2016.
Receivers Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins both caught touchdown passes from Jones on Sunday, and Barkley set a new career high for rushing in a single season with 1,312 yards with Sunday’s 12 totes for 58 yards.
Most importantly, though, the Giants are back in the dance for just the second time in the last 11 years. And for now, while this year is still supposed to be year one of a long-term rebuild, they deserve to celebrate that.