Daniel Jones, Giants players excited to play meaningful games in December

Oct 23, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) celebrates with teammate running back Saquon Barkley (26) after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field.
Oct 23, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) celebrates with teammate running back Saquon Barkley (26) after scoring a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field. / Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In his first season as head coach, Brian Daboll has the Giants on the precipice of something his two immediate predecessors failed to do: make the playoffs.

As New York enters December and the final six weeks of the season at 7-4, and in the thick of playoff contention, the players can feel the excitement level and intensity starting to ratchet up.

“It’s exciting,” quarterback Daniel Jones said Tuesday. “I think this is where you wanna be, these are the games you wanna play in. And to be part of it is exciting.

"But it still comes down to one week at a time. Taking care of business and focusing on what’s immediately in front of you," he added. "And that’s the only way you’re gonna be in the position you wanna be in at the end of the season. That’s what we’re focused on taking care of business this week and playing as well as we can."

While the Giants' seven wins represent their most in a single season since 2016, New York is coming off back-to-back defeats and will play the second game in a crucial stretch of four-straight divisional games Sunday against the Washington Commanders.

"They always say the games in December matter most," tackle Andrew Thomas said. "Two divisional opponents with a winning record, you can't ask for any better. So, we're excited for it.” 

And despite those recent losses, safety Julian Love said “the energy has been great” around the team’s facility as New York hits the business end of the season with important games coming.

“Yeah, we’ve lost some games [recently], but everything is in front of us still, which is exciting to say. I haven't had the chance to say that this late in the season," he said. “And so we're playing some meaningful football right now, and, especially down this stretch, we gotta put our best foot forward.”

Love mentioned the boost the Giants will receive by getting several players back from injury, such as tight end Daniel Bellinger who is hoping to return to the field soon after sustaining an eye injury.

“It feels good to be a part of this team and to have the opportunity,” Bellinger said Tuesday. “[Daboll] talks about like a lot of teams don’t have the opportunity, so it feels good to have the opportunity. Of course, we’ve got to capitalize on it."

The first step is the Commanders on Sunday.

“The last two haven’t gone great, but our visions are set forward. We’re going forward and looking forward to this opportunity,” Jones said. “It’s a big game for us, like we said, a divisional game, a meaningful December game. We’re fired up, we’re ready to go.”