Brian Daboll singled out Kenny Golladay for special praise after the New York Giants beat the Minnesota Vikings 31-24 in the Wild Card Playoffs on Sunday, January 15. Golladay didn’t see much action at U.S. Bank Stadium, but he did make one telling contribution in the fourth quarter that caught his coach’s eye.
Daboll made sure to reference the play when speaking to reporters, including SNY’s Connor Hughes: “Kenny Golladay, you see that block?”
The block in question went viral after Golladay deleted Vikings’ defensive back Duke Shelley to help free running back Saquon Barkley on a screen pass on 2nd-and-10. Golladay’s pancake block let Barkley move the chains on what turned out to be the game-winning drive:
It was a rare pleasing moment for Golladay, who has been a flop through two seasons since signing a contract worth $72 million in 2021. There have been timely signs of life recently though, including Golladay catching his first touchdown pass as a Giant in Week 18, against upcoming playoff opponents the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants will be heavy underdogs in the Divisional Round, having lost twice to the Eagles in the regular season, so this is the perfect time for Golladay to finally show why the Giants invested so heavily in his Pro-Bowl talents.
Kenny Golladay Earning More Work vs. Eagles
Euphoria from making the playoffs is encouraging every member of the Giants’ roster to pull their weight. Golladay is no exception, and his recent, highlight-worthy contributions ought to earn him some more work against the Eagles next week.
Daboll already has ample reason to involve Golladay, after the way the latter beat Philly’s best cornerback, Darius Slay Jr., in the end zone in Week 18:
The score couldn’t help the Giants avoid a 22-16 defeat, albeit in a game during which Daboll rested many of his starters. What the touchdown did offer was a reminder of the tough hands and vertical speed that made Golladay a star with the Detroit Lions.
He led the NFL in touchdown catches in 2019, the same year Golladay earned his lone Pro Bowl nod. At 6’4″ and 214 pounds, the third-round pick from 2017 established himself as a size and speed mismatch against most covering defenders.
Unfortunately, the Giants have seen precious little of those talents since they handed Golladay a bumper deal in free agency. That ought to change now the 29-year-old has been sat idle while watching unheralded trio Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodges and Richie James become the go-to targets for in-form quarterback Daniel Jones in Big Blue’s passing game.
Golladay has started the process of redeeming himself in Daboll’s eyes. The process can continue if the veteran wideout gets to bring his physical gifts to bear against 6’0″ Slay and former Giants corner 6’1″ James Bradberry.
Daboll’s offense will need every advantage possible at Lincoln Financial Field, despite the unit’s points bonanza in Minnesota. The Eagles are a tougher proposition than the Vikings and outscored the G-Men 70-38 in two previous meetings this season.
Numbers like those are why Chase Stuart of Football Perspective is convinced reality will hit hard for the Giants and their Cinderella season in Philadelphia:
That’s reasonable analysis on the surface, but the Giants have made a habit of upsetting the form guide this season. They’ve done it by trusting unheralded and forgotten players to produce in key moments.
Giving Golladay a few more snaps and the chances to build on the signs of life he’s shown recently, is a great way to continue the trend.