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Instant Analysis: Daniel Jones, Giants leave nothing to chance

FINAL-WEEK-17

AT A GLANCE

With a commanding 38-10 victory over the Colts in a win-and-in situation, the franchise clinched a playoff berth in the first season under coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. It will be the Giants' first trip to the postseason since 2016, when they finished 11-5 and secured the fifth seed as a wild card. The 2022 Giants currently hold the sixth spot in the seven-team NFC playoff field and would play on the road at the third seed, which was occupied by the San Francisco 49ers entering Sunday.

UP NEXT

The Giants conclude the regular season with a trip to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles, who held the best record in the NFL but had yet to clinch the NFC East heading into Week 17.

View photos from the Giants' Week 17 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE

*Daniel Jones is playing the most important football of his career, and the quarterback is rising to the occasion. On Sunday, the fourth-year pro completed 19 of 24 passes for 177 yards, two touchdowns and a 125.2 passer rating as he clinched the first playoff berth of his career. He put an exclamation point on the day with two second-half rushing touchdowns as part of a 91-yard performance on the ground, the fourth-highest total of his career.

*With 58 yards on 12 carries, Barkley established a new career high with 1,312 rushing yards in a season. His previous best was 1,307 during his 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign.

*A week after having eight catches for 90 yards (both second-highest totals of his career), wide receiver Richie James caught his fourth touchdown in his last seven games on a six-yard pass from Jones in the second quarter.

*A midseason addition from Buffalo, Isaiah Hodgins has also stepped up in the receiver room. He found the end zone again for the fourth time in five weeks.

*The Giants scored at least 30 points for the first time since Oct. 11, 2020, at Dallas, breaking a drought of 43 games.

*Tight end Chris Myarick had an interesting week. He was waived Wednesday when the Giants signed guard Wyatt Davis, and signed to the practice squad the following day. He was then elevated for Sunday's game.

*On Saturday, the Giants released wide receiver David Sills, who has been on their practice squad or active roster since 2019. This season, he played in nine games with five starts and caught 11 passes for 106 yards.

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE

*When Xavier McKinney returned to practice Thursday, it opened a 21-day window in which the Giants could activate him or keep him on a reserve list for the remainder of the season. They needed just two days. On Saturday, the Giants added the third-year safety to their active roster for the first time in two months. McKinney did more than suit up. The defensive co-captain, wearing a splint on his hand, started opposite Julian Love and recorded seven tackles and a pass breakup.

McKinney had been on the reserve/non-football injury list since Nov. 7, five days after he fractured fingers on his left hand in a bye week "Can-Am" accident in Mexico. He underwent surgery when he returned to New Jersey. McKinney missed seven games since he last played when the Giants visited Seattle on Oct. 30. When he was sidelined two weeks later against Houston, he had started 23 consecutive games, had not missed a snap since Week 3 of the 2021 season and had participated in 1,432 consecutive plays, then the longest active streak by an NFL defender.

*Landon Collins, a three-time Pro Bowler at safety, made his transition to inside linebacker official this week on the depth chart. Next to Jaylon Smith, Collins started for the first time in a Giants uniform since 2018 during his first stint with the team. He relished the change and returned a Nick Foles pass 52 yards for a touchdown to blow the game open for the Giants. Collins is the only member of the active roster who was around for the Giants' last playoff berth in 2016, a year in which he had his first career pick-six in a memorable trip to London.

*Rookie outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux made a tackle for loss on the first play of the game and never took his foot off the gas after that. By the end of the day, the fifth overall pick had five tackles (two for loss), one sack and a batted pass that was a guaranteed pick-six if he could have held onto the football. The sack knocked Foles out of the game with a rib injury. He was replaced by second-year pro Sam Ehlinger.

*Defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence, who made his first Pro Bowl this season, overpowered perennial All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson for a sack in the third quarter, extending his career-high to 7.5. Lawrence had three quarterback hits on the day.

IN-GAME INJURY REPORT

NYG: DL Leonard Williams (burner)

IND: QB Nick Foles (ribs)

INACTIVES

NYG: CB Adoree' Jackson (knee), S Dane Belton, CB Rodarius Williams, LB Jarrad Davis, G Wyatt Davis, G Jack Anderson, TE Lawrence Cager

IND: QB Matt Ryan, WR Ashton Dulin (concussion), CB Kenny Moore (ankle), LB Cameron McGrone, C Wesley French, TE Kylen Granson (ankle), DT Eric Johnson

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