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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

Giants defeat Vikings to advance to divisional round of NFC playoffs vs. Eagles

It was a banner year for the NFC East in 2022. Three of the division’s four teams made the playoffs, while the fourth finished at .500 and was in good position for a playoff berth until Week 17.

The NFC East’s good fortune continued Sunday when the New York Giants went to Minnesota and took down the Vikings, 31-24, to advance to the NFC divisional round next week.

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New York’s opponent next week: The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was terrific, completing 24 of 35 passes for 301 yards with two touchdowns. Jones’ legs proved to be the difference-maker, though, leading New York with 78 yards rushing on 17 attempts.

The game went back and forth, with both offenses moving the ball with ease, until the Giants defense stood strong at the end, forcing a field goal, a punt and a turnover on downs on Minnesota’s final three possessions to preserve the victory. It was New York’s first playoff win in 11 years, which was their last Super Bowl.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was excellent. His only mistake came on Minnesota’s final offensive play where facing a fourth-and-8, passed the ball to tight end T.J. Hockenson several yards short of the first down.

Cousins completed 31 of 39 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown.

After the game, Cousins called it the toughest loss of his 11-year NFL career.

“It hurts,” Cousins said, per Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “It hurts. I’m probably missing one, but this is probably the toughest loss I’ve had in my career.”

It ends an outstanding season for the Vikings, who went 13-4 and won the NFC North.

The Giants and Eagles will meet for the third time this season next week. Philadelphia won both matchups [48-22 in Week 14 & 22-16 in Week 18]. While Philadelphia is the No. 1 seed for a reason, the Giants will be a tough matchup next week. It’s always difficult to defeat a team three times in one season.

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