Giants’ Saquon Barkley getting first taste of real playoff opportunity

Giants’ Saquon Barkley getting first taste of real playoff opportunity

There has by no means been a sport like this for Saquon Barkley. There has by no means been a sport like this for a lot of the gamers who will swimsuit up for the Giants on Sunday.

If there certainly is a face of the franchise, Barkley is it. In some methods, he’s the Giants’ coronary heart and soul, as nicely. He has by no means set foot on a discipline carrying a Giants uniform with an opportunity to lock up a playoff berth. He has not sniffed the postseason. The closest he has come to selecting up the scent was final week, when the Giants battled to the tip with the Vikings earlier than falling to the NFC’s No. 2 seed on a 61-yard discipline aim as time expired.

That sport in Minneapolis gave Barkley a vibe he has by no means earlier than felt.

“Final week was like a playoff sport,’’ Barkley stated. “I’ve by no means been in a single, however I’d assume.

Saquon Barkley stated the Giants’ loss to the Vikings felt like a playoff sport, however their win-an-in alternative towards the Colts is a fair larger sport.N.Y. Put up: Charles Wenzelberg

“Simply the way it got here down. How loud it was. The way it got here right down to a discipline aim. Simply confirmed you, clearly it’s like that each week however particularly in a sport like that. I suppose. I don’t actually know, I’ve by no means been in it.’’

No, Barkley actually doesn’t know.

“It was sooner,’’ he stated. “Guys have been transferring round. That’s what it felt like, I suppose you possibly can say.’’

Pardon Barkley for not expressing himself with excessive readability. That is overseas to him. What comes subsequent ought to expose Barkley to essentially the most frenzied and probably festive environment of his five-year NFL profession. The gang at MetLife Stadium might be able to percolate and occasion, with the Giants (8-6-1) in a win-and-in driver’s seat. In the event that they beat the going-nowhere Colts (4-10-1), the Giants might be within the playoffs for the primary time in six years and simply the second time since 2011.

A take a look at the NFC wild-card image forward of the Giants’ win-and-in sport towards the Colts. NY Put up illustration

“I believe it is going to be a enjoyable environment,’’ Daniel Jones stated. “Our followers have come out all yr. We’ve felt loads of assist, loads of vitality from all of them yr. We definitely count on that on Sunday. We respect the assist thus far and we’re excited to get on the market.’’

Jones has by no means earlier than stepped onto a discipline realizing if he might direct the Giants to a victory, the playoffs could be assured. The closest he has come to this was Week 17 in 2020 — Joe Choose’s first season as the top coach — when the Giants had the chance to maintain themselves alive for the postseason if the beat the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium. Barkley was on injured reserve. Jones was terrific, tossing two landing passes in a 23-19 victory. However the Giants, at 6-10, have been eradicated from the playoffs later that evening when Doug Pederson’s Eagles didn’t precisely put the pedal to the metallic in a loss to Washington.

The final time the Giants handled their followers to a win-and-in celebration was greater than a decade in the past, within the 2011 regular-season finale. Every week earlier, Victor Cruz took it 99 yards to beat the Jets, organising a wild Meadowlands scene on New 12 months’s Day. The Giants trounced the Cowboys, 31-14, to win the NFC East at 9-7. They stored enjoying and stored successful till they received the Tremendous Bowl for the second time in 4 years.

Nobody is equating these Giants to those Giants. This workforce has already trashed the meager expectations thrust upon it even after common supervisor Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll have been introduced in to alter the course of the franchise. The anticipation was to put the groundwork for successful with out a lot expectation for precise successful. A playoff berth? Not lifelike.

However right here they’re. The Giants will get into the NFC match in the event that they win one in every of their final two video games. In the event that they get upset by the Colts, the Giants may have one other shot to make the playoffs in Week 18 in Philadelphia. The Giants need no a part of that state of affairs.

“It’s significant, it’s large and we’ve obtained to benefit from the chance we’ve obtained,’’ exterior linebacker Azeez Ojulari stated. “Why not take this chance and benefit from it?’’

About Muji Sakawari

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