Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading

Jones and Giants look for another upset against top-seeded Eagles

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has answered his doubters but faces a tough challenge against the Philadelphia Eagles in Saturday's divisional round of the NFL playoffs.. ©AFP

Miami (AFP) - If the New York Giants are to upset the NFC's top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles in Saturday's divisional round of the NFL playoffs they will need quarterback Daniel Jones to confound the doubters once again.

Last week, in the 31-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Jones impressed even those longstanding critics who still have questions about his ability.

Throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 78 yards, Jones played with confidence and authority as the Brian Daboll-coached team advanced from the wildcard round in some style.

The Giants lost both their regular season games to divisional rivals Philadelphia and although Jones was rested for the final regular season game, he was sacked four times in the 48-22 Week 14 home loss to the Eagles.

But his ability to run with the ball -- he had seven rushing first downs against Minnesota -- and his inventiveness when scrambling, have the Eagles well aware of what they will have to try to contain.

"He played extremely well," Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon told the team's official website. 

"Their offense was clicking on all cylinders.He made a lot of plays, a lot of throws.He used his legs at the right times to extend drives and get some first's one of the major reasons they're playing us on Saturday," he added.

Having a quarterback who can run with the ball and present a dual-threat, is something the Eagles know all about though.

Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts ran for 760 yards in the regular season, the fourth most in the league among quarterbacks.Jones was ranked fifth among QBs with 708 yards.Hurts also had 13 rushing touchdowns.

Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams says Hurts's ability requires a change in approach.

"I think once he becomes a runner, just treat him like a running back.I think that's a big thing about Jalen Hurts.He's a strong runner.He doesn't run like a quarterback once he's in space, and I don't think you should approach him as a quarterback once he is starting to run," he said.

"I think you need to treat him like a running back, take the right angles, put your body on him and tackle him strong," added Williams.

While Jones' form can give the Big Blue confidence it would be a significant surprise if the Eagles, who had a 14-3 regular season record were to fall to the 9-7 Giants.

But then again Giants are a franchise who have made a habit of upsetting the odds against top seeds.

In six games against top seeds since the playoff restructuring in 1990, the Giants are a perfect 6-0, the longest such streak since the NFL began seeding playoff teams in 1975.

The Giants beat the number one seed in both conferences in each of its last three Super Bowl-winning seasons.

Chiefs heavy favorites

The AFC's top seed, the Kansas City Chiefs, are even more heavily favored in their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The 14-3 Chiefs are looking for a fifth straight appearance in the AFC Championship game and ultimately a third Super Bowl in four years.

Patrick Mahomes was the top ranked quarterback in the regular season, throwing for 5,250 yards but the Jaguars showed last week they are not a team to throw in the towel.

Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw four interceptions in the first half and the Jaguars trailed 27-0 before Jacksonville fought back for a remarkable 31-30 victory.

If there is a statistical curiosity that might give the Jaguars some hope of pulling off an upset -- Lawrence has never lost in 37 games on a Saturday spanning high school, college and the NFL.

Sunday's games see the Buffalo Bills host the Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys at the San Francisco 49ers.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.