The New York Giants may be in the throes of a bit of a slump after going 1-3 in their last four games, but when the calendar flips to December they’ll still be playing meaningful football.
It’s a big change in East Rutherford and something that hasn’t happened that often in the last ten years. And it all begins on Sunday with a must-win game against NFC East rivals the Washington Commanders.
“We are very excited. We’re fired up, ready to go. It’s a division game – a meaningful game in December. This is where you want to be, these are the games you want to play. We’re all hooked and can’t wait to get out of this,” quarterback Daniel Jones told reporters. “It’s a big game for us, like I said, a division game, a meaningful December game. We’re fired up, we’re ready to go. Without a doubt it is a big game.”
If the Giants fall to the Commanders in Week 13, their playoff chances drop to just 29 percent. If they win, those odds increase to 73 percent.
“It’s exciting. I think that’s where you want to be, those are the games you want to play in and to be a part of that is exciting, but it’s still got a week to go around that Taking care of business and focusing on what’s in there right now,” Jones said. “It’s the only way you’re going to be in the position you want to be by the end of the season. That’s what we’re focusing on, our focus this week about business and playing as best we can.”
For Jones, this will be his first significant December game since joining the NFL as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. But he’s not alone. This also applies to many other Giants.
“It’s very exciting. That’s what we live for in the NFL. The best time, the best football. December, it’s time to just do your best,” said linebacker Azeez Ojulari.
“I always say that the December games are the most important. Two league opponents with record wins, you couldn’t ask for better. We are looking forward to it. Washington will be prepared so I’m looking forward to that,” said left tackle Andrew Thomas.
The team’s rookies are obviously in a different situation. For them, winning football is all they know and head coach Brian Daboll has taken it upon himself to explain just how unique that situation really is – particularly in East Rutherford.
“It feels really good. It feels good to be part of this team and to have the opportunity. Coach Dabes says a lot of teams don’t have the opportunity, so it feels good to have the opportunity. Of course we have to capitalize on that,” said tight end Daniel Bellinger.