Giants coach Brian Daboll has said that playoff experience is overrated. That hasn’t stopped his inexperienced playoff quarterback from getting any information he can about what to expect.
The quarterback of the team’s first playoff game since 2016 has contacted the quarterback who last led the Giants to the playoffs, in 2016.
Eli Manning, who still works for the Giants, happily offered Daniel Jones advice.
“It was keep your process the same, keep your approach the same,” Jones told reporters on Frida, via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. “Largely, it’s the same game. Your intensity is up a little bit, but nothing changes as far as your decision-making and how you approach the game. It’s the same game. Trust what has gotten you there.”
For Jones, it could also be an opportunity to use a skillset that could help take him to the next level.
Against the Vikings on Christmas Eve, Jones ran four times for 34 yards. On Friday’s PFT Live, Peter King suggested that Jones would have more rushing attempts than that in Sunday’s postseason rematch.
Six times in 2022, Jones had 10 or more runs. Against the Colts on New Year’s Day, he generated 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Against the Jaguars in Week Seven, Jones had 107 rushing yards on 11 carries.
With the Minnesota defense firmly in the bend-but-don’t-break category, a game plan featuring deliberate quarterback draws and not just scrambles could put the Vikings in a spot where they’re so concerned about Jones running that the receivers get just a little more separation, and the rest of the offense opens up.
Some teams with running quarterbacks (like the Bills and Josh Allen) will deliberately limit rushing attempts in the regular season, in the hopes of striking a balance between moving the ball effectively and keeping the quarterback healthy. Then, when the single-elimination round arrives, it’s time to let the quarterback do his thing on the ground.
Daboll most recently was the offensive coordinator in Buffalo. So he knows all about unleashing a quarterback as a runner when the time comes to chase a championship.
While that may not be enough to get the Giants past the Eagles or 49ers in the divisional round, it could be enough to propel New York to its first postseason win since Eli helped the franchise win Super Bowl XLVI, eleven years ago.