The Giants.com crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.
The Giants' best game of the year was the NFC Wild Card win over the Vikings
John Schmeelk: Fact - The better win against the better team was against the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 16, but the Giants were aided by a couple of Ravens turnovers and self-inflicted wounds (illegal formation penalty and a bad snap) late in the game. The playoff game against the Vikings, however, was simply a matter of them outplaying a team that won 13 games in the regular season. They had their best offensive performance of the season, and Daniel Jones may have had the best game of his career. The defense made two crucial stops at the end of the game with a great defensive scheme and sharp execution. It was also a high-pressure situation in a raucous environment that the players handled quite well. It was a complete win and the team's best game of the year.
Lance Medow: Fact - This game was by far one of the Giants' most, if not the most, efficient offensive performances of the season as they didn't punt until the third quarter and produced four touchdowns and a field goal in seven possessions with a realistic chance to score. They also showcased a balanced attack with the run and pass and relied on Daniel Jones' full skillset (he finished as the team's leading rusher). Although the defense surrendered three touchdowns, Wink Martindale's unit still made critical stops on the Vikings' final drive to secure the win. Strong execution in situational football was on full display, something you like to see, especially in the postseason.
Matt Citak: Fiction – Seeing the Giants' win in the postseason for the first time since Super Bowl XLVI was certainly the most exciting win of the year. However, if we're talking the Giants' best, all-around game of the season, that honor clearly goes to the win over the Colts on New Year's Day. Needing a win in order to clinch a playoff spot, the Giants excelled on both sides of the ball. The offense put up nearly 400 yards of total offense and 31 points, as Daniel Jones threw for two touchdowns and added two more on the ground. Meanwhile, the defense held the Colts to just 252 yards of offense and added Landon Collins' 52-yard interception return for a TD. This was easily the team's best game of the year and perhaps their most dominant outing from the past few seasons.
The defensive play of the year was Kayvon Thibodeaux's touchdown on Sunday Night Football in Washington.
John Schmeelk: Fact - If you want to find the most impressive play, there are a dozen ridiculous plays by Dexter Lawrence throughout the year where he sends an opposing center careening into the backfield before hitting the quarterback, but that's not the statement. The play of the year includes importance of the game, difficulty of the play, and impact on the game. It is hard to find one more important than Thibodeaux's sack against Washington. If the Giants don't win the game, it's likely they do not make the playoffs. The play accounted for a third of the team's points in the game, and one of their two touchdowns. On the play, Thibodeaux beat offensive tackle Charles Leno one-on-one, got the strip-sack, and kept his balance to recover the ball and score. It checks all the boxes.
Lance Medow: Fiction - Kayvon Thibodeaux's strip-sack and recovery for a touchdown in Week 15 deserves heavy consideration and turned out to be a critical play given the Giants won by one score. But when you take into consideration the magnitude and timing of a play, can anything top the group effort of stopping Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk at the goal line in Week 7? New York was leading by six with five seconds to go when Trevor Lawrence connected with Kirk for 16 yards at the 1-yard line. Fabian Moreau, Xavier McKinney, Julian Love and Co. managed to keep him out of the end zone on pure effort. If they don't make that play, who knows how things end and who knows how it impacts their postseason hopes. This play also included several players as opposed to one, so it serves as a bit of a microcosm for the entire season with respect to multiple defensive players stepping up in key movements.
Matt Citak: Fact – As referenced above, the Giants scored multiple defensive touchdowns this season, while they also came up with some huge defensive plays in clutch situations. Julian Love's interception of Lamar Jackson, along with Kayvon Thibodeaux's strip-sack of Jackson a few minutes later, were significant plays that led to an important win for the Giants. But the honor of biggest play of the year on the defensive side of ball goes to Thibodeaux for his scoop-and-score. The Week 15 matchup against the Commanders on Sunday Night Football was probably the most important game of the season, with the winner putting themselves in a great spot to make the postseason. Thibodeaux's strip-sack and fumble recovery for a score gave the Giants the lead and more importantly changed the momentum of the game. The Giants never looked back after this play and went on to win the key matchup, which eventually led to their postseason berth.
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