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2023 Playoffs

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Experts & analysts weigh in on surging Giants 

DEXTER-LAWRENCE

The Giants put together one of their strongest overall performances of the season in their 31-24 Wild Card win over the Minnesota Vikings.

The offense registered 31 points and 431 total yards, while the defense held Minnesota to just 61 yards on the ground and Justin Jefferson to only 47 receiving yards.

The Giants' performance in Minnesota has garnered the praise of experts from across the NFL landscape.

Here is what the experts are saying following the franchise's first postseason win in over a decade.

In his weekly "Football Morning in America" column, Peter King threw a lot of accolades in the Giants' direction, starting at the top.

King named Brian Daboll his Coach of the Year

"Brian Daboll is coach of the year, and I'll be happy to meet you at sundown tonight to duel if you've got a problem with that." -- King

King named Nick Gates his Comeback Player of the Year, with Saquon Barkley finishing second

"In week two last year, Gates suffered a grotesque left leg injury, with multiple fractures to his tibia and fibula. He had seven surgeries but recovered to start the last seven games of the season for the playoff Giants." -- King

King selected Daniel Jones as one of his Offensive Players of the Week

"What a difference three weeks makes. The Giants didn't use Jones' legs in their Week 16 loss at Minnesota; Jones ran just four times for 34 yards. On Sunday, Jones scrambled for four first downs and rushed 17 times for a game-high 78 yards. But in his first playoff game, Jones outpassed Kirk Cousins as well, 302 yards to 273, and led scoring drives of 75, 81, 85, 75 and 75 yards as the Giants rolled up 431 total yards. For all the guff Jones has gotten in his four seasons in New Jersey, all he does is go to work, betray no emotions and lead the NFC's most surprising team to the final eight of the 2022 season." -- King

King also chose Dexter Lawrence as one of his Defensive Players of the Week

"Led the Giants with a season-high eight pressures of Kirk Cousins. Lawrence, who'd always been a good player since being a first-round pick of the Giants in 2019, has exploded onto the star scene this year in Wink Martindale's defense, and watching the Vikings fail to consistently block him Sunday had to give the Eagles pause in advance of the Giants-Philadelphia divisional game Saturday night." -- King

Daniel Jones and Andrew Thomas land on PFF's list of notable performances of the week

"Jones is enjoying the most productive season of his career thanks to the new Giants regime leaning into his ability as a runner. Over the regular season, he racked up 702 yards on 65 rushing attempts despite forcing just 12 missed tackles. In Sunday's win over the Minnesota Vikings, he carried the ball 17 times on his way to a 78-yard day. He was also very efficient as a passer, going 24-of-35 for 301 yards, crucially with no turnover-worthy plays." -- Gordon McGuinness

"The Giants' star left tackle earned PFF's Breakout Player of the Year Award this past week, impressing in a season where he allowed just 21 pressures over 16 games. His stinginess in pass protection was once again on display here, as he allowed zero sacks, hits or hurries from 44 pass-blocking snaps." -- McGuinness

Additionally, Saquon Barkley, Dexter Lawrence and Andrew Thomas were named to PFF's Team of the Week.

"Getting to the playoffs would have been enough to make Brian Daboll's first season a smashing success, but the rookie head coach wasn't done there. He schemed up a creative offense that proved to be difficult for Minnesota to stop, converting 7 of 13 third downs and averaging 6.3 yards per offensive play. The Giants proved they weren't just happy to be there, but wanted to win, and win they did, taking down the third-seeded Vikings in their home by finishing with a seven-minute advantage in time of possession, compiling scoring drives that ranged from four plays to 20, and avoiding crushing mistakes." -- Shook

Next Gen stat of the game: Dexter Lawrence's eight QB pressures are the most by a defensive tackle in the Next Gen Stats era, which dates back to 2016.

"Daniel Jones played one of the best games of his career, Wink Martindale threw a curveball with his defensive game plan, and the Giants executed in late-down situations. Jones has now started 54 career regular-season and playoff games, and this game ranked as his fourth-best by TruMedia's version of expected points added (EPA) per dropback. He repeatedly took off downfield, achieving a first down with four of his six scrambles. New York's offense was also electric on third and fourth downs, converting 7 of 13 in the formation situation and both of its opportunities in the latter. Meanwhile, the most blitz-happy defensive coordinator in all of football was content to sit back and play coverage for much of the game, the better to minimize the chance of a big play to Vikings superstar Justin Jefferson. It worked: Jefferson finished with just 7 receptions for 47 yards." -- Dubin & Benjamin

View photos from the Giants' 31-24 Wild Card victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

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