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Giants clinch playoff berth after clobbering Colts

Jan 1, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) carries the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Jones guided the New York Giants to their first playoff berth since 2016, passing for two touchdowns and running for two more in a 38-10 blowout of the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.

Jones’ rushing touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters sent the Giants (9-6-1) well on their way to the victory they needed to clinch the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff field.

New York’s Landon Collins intercepted Colts starting quarterback Nick Foles and ran in his second career pick-6 before Foles injured his ribs on the following drive. Sam Ehlinger finished the game for Indianapolis (4-11-1), which lost its sixth straight contest.

Jones completed 19 of 24 passes for 177 yards and had 11 carries for a team-high 91 rushing yards. Richie James had seven catches for 76 yards and a touchdown for New York.

Parris Campbell caught a 49-yard pass in coverage to bring the Colts into the red zone late in the first quarter, but they had to settle for Chase McLaughlin’s 23-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

The Giants traveled 71 yards in 11 plays on the next drive. Jones went on the run and hit James for a 6-yard touchdown.

Jones’ 13-yard scramble for a first down, followed by a 24-yard catch by tight end Daniel Bellinger, set up New York’s next touchdown. Jones found Isaiah Hodgins for another 6-yarder and the Giants led 14-3 with 4:21 left in the half.

Collins, a former All-Pro in his second stint with the Giants after not being on an Opening Day roster, jumped in front of Foles’ throw to the right and took it 52 yards for a touchdown with 1:45 left.

Kayvon Thibodeaux sacked Foles on third down of the ensuing Indianapolis drive, and Foles left the field under his own power while holding his ribs. It was Foles’ second straight start in place of Matt Ryan, who was inactive Sunday.

Foles finished 8-of-13 for 81 yards. Ehlinger went 9-of-14 for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Graham Gano’s 36-yard field goal beat the halftime horn for a 24-3 Giants lead. Jones ran left for an 18-yard TD sprint to make it 31-3 with 10:40 left in the third.

Ehlinger took the Colts on a 16-play, 68-yard drive resulting in a 6-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman Jr. That ended the offense’s drought of 30 drives without a touchdown dating to the second quarter of Week 15 against Minnesota.

Jones’ 10-yard rushing touchdown on the next drive restored the 28-point lead. Tyrod Taylor and Matt Breida played out the string in place of Jones and Saquon Barkley.

–Field Level Media