EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The tradition of showering your coach with Gatorade is back. Fans counted down the final seconds and fireworks lit up the sky at the end of the game at MetLife Stadium. Tears flooded the players’ dressing room.
Yes, the New York Giants are back in the postseason.
Daniel Jones threw two touchdown passes and ran down two more for the Giants, who beat the Indianapolis Colts 38-10 on Sunday and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
“It’s beautiful and I’ll be honest,” said running back Saquon Barkley, who helped start the team to 6-2. “No one, men and women in the facility, gave us chances.”
At the start of the season, the Giants were among the teams least likely to make the playoffs.
The club had five consecutive losing seasons, including a four-win season in 2021 that led to the firing of coach Joe Judge and general manager Dave Gettleman.
Buffalo assistant Joe Schoen was hired as general manager and tapped Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to be head coach, a role he would serve for the first time.
After assuming the direction of a young team, Daboll instilled in them concentration in each week and to believe in themselves.
It all paid off, as the Giants (9-6-1) overcame injuries and a poor 2-4-1 record in November and early December to become the third team from the NFC East to advance to the postseason with Philadelphia and Dallas.
Daboll was doused with Gatorade after the game, a Giants team tradition that dates back to Bill Parcells in the 1980s.
“It’s sticky,” said Daboll, who usually keeps a low profile. He stressed that the team will have two days off thanks to Jones after discussing some aspects in detail.
The players said that their dressing room was full of joy.