Giants’ Brian Daboll calls playoff experience ahead of Vikings rematch at Super Wild Card Weekend “overrated”.

After a complete regime change, not many expected the New York Giants to make the playoffs in their freshman year under first-time head coach Brian Daboll and first-time general manager Joe Schoen, and yet here they are sixth in the NFC preparing for a rematch Wild card round with the third-ranked Minnesota Vikings of the NFC. The Giants have not played a postseason game since the 2016 season, when they headed to Miami after a New Year’s Day trip, where they played the infamous “boat picture.” That picture and that season feel like ancient history now, but Daboll hasn’t worried about his team’s lack of postseason presence since before the upcoming Minnesota game.

“I really think what you make of it is that the experience is probably overrated, to be honest,” Daboll said said Monday. “It’s about how you prepare, how you train and ultimately how you play the game and train the game, no matter what day it is.”

“I’ve been in so many different situations. The first year I was a part of a Super Bowl, the quarterback there in New England had no playoff experience. Some of the guys had them. Some don’t. We had some experience in Buffalo; we have lost.

Yes, Daboll was an assistant defensive tackle with the 2001 New England Patriots, and the quarterback Daboll was talking about was none other than Tom Brady, who replaced an injured Drew Bledsoe and led the Patriots to the first of their six Super Bowl titles. The Giants head coach served as the Patriots’ assistant coach for five of their six Super Bowl wins, from 2000-2006 and 2013-2016, in two different positions on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff.

As offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, he watched his team make it to the AFC championship game in the 2020 season after a heartbreaking loss in overtime in the 2019 AFC wild card round. A year after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, the Bills lost to them again in the divisional round, a game best known for its quarterback Josh Allen-led offense failing to catch the ball in overtime got after losing a coin toss.

“We have several coaches who have coached in a Super Bowl who were part of a Super Bowl who have participated in runs,” Giants running back Saquon Barkley said said, via the New York Post. “We will definitely need their experience and coaching skills to help us get where we want to be.”

New York has a few players up and down who sampled the postseason: Cornerback Adoree ‘Jackson was part of a run to the 2019 AFC Championship Game with the Tennessee Titans. Center Jon Feliciano and receiver Isaiah Hodgins were on the bills during their previous playoff trips with Daboll. Wide receiver Richie James reached the Super Bowl in the 2019 season with the San Francisco 49ers, and safety Landon Collins is the only player on the current roster who was last with the Giants in 2016 when they made it. Five other Giants have also played playoff football in the NFL.

“I’ve been with a lot of different teams that have different levels of experience – some a lot, some a little, some not a lot,” said Daboll. “I really think what counts is taking your chances when they come and playing a good game of football and coaching a good game of football. But I really think it’s an overrated thing.”

Part of Daboll’s confidence ahead of the matchup with the Vikings likely stems from the fact that the NFC North Champion needed a 61-yard field goal in Week 16 to defeat his North team 27-24. Another reason could be how historically whimsical that 2022 were Vikings. They’re 13-4 but have a minus three point difference this season, meaning they’ve been surpassed by three points overall against all of their opponents. This makes this year’s Vikings the first team in NFL history with 12 or more wins and a negative goal margin. Minnesota has won an NFL-record 11 one-score games this season, playing 17 (Week 2 with the Philadelphia Eagles), 37 (Week 11 vs. Dallas Cowboys), 11 (Week 15 with Detroit Lions) and lost 24 (Week 17 at the Green Bay Packers).

At 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Daboll will see if his Giants can capitalize on this final postseason opportunity against familiar opponents.

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