Giants drop chance to clinch playoff spot in loss to Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With the New York Giants putting together their first sustained drive at Minnesota, tight end Daniel Bellinger hauled in a 16-yard pass from quarterback Daniel Jones and tried to pick up extra yardage.

Vikings rookie linebacker Brian Asamoah came from behind and chopped the ball out of Bellinger’s hands and deftly scooped up the fumble at the Minnesota 24. The Vikings went the other way for a field goal.

The ball continued slipping out of the hands of Giants players in a 27-24 loss to the Vikings, who won on Greg Joseph’s 61-yard field goal as time expired on Saturday. With Seattle and Detroit losing, New York missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot.

“I just think that we need to make plays when they need to be made,” Bellinger said. “Personally for me, just need to keep it locked up, and just step up when it needs to be made.”

Several receivers were unable to haul in passes from Jones, who finished 30 of 42 for 334 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Richie James had a pair of drops, including one on third-and-5 midway through the fourth quarter that left Graham Gano to follow with a 55-yard field goal, his third make of the game.

“I love Graham and it’s basically an automatic three, but we’ve got to find a way to try to get six in those situations,” said Saquon Barkley, who had 14 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown that put the Giants in position to tie the game with a 2-point conversion with 2:01 left. “We put ourselves in position to win the game and we just made too many mistakes, and it caught up to us.”

Jones also fumbled on a sack in the first quarter, but it was recovered for New York by Evan Neal. After taking a 13-10 lead in the third, the Giants also had a potentially big defensive play as Cor’Dale Flott appeared to intercept Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

A replay review showed Flott didn’t maintain control of the ball as he hit the turf.

Another interception in the second quarter was overturned on a pass interference penalty. New York also gave up a blocked punt and had seven penalties for 63 yards.

“We didn’t play a clean game,” safety Julian Love said. “That’s what games down the stretch come down to. Two turnovers, blocked punt, penalties, not capitalizing on the interception; all of that culminated in to losing this game.”

Isaiah Hodgins, who had eight catches for 89 yards, lamented the offensive mistakes and said he apologized to defensive players after the game.

“I said after the game, ‘I think we killed ourselves,’” Hodgins said. “I tried to go to some defensive players and just tell them that it was a great effort on their part. That was on us, and apologize for that. It’s just some turnovers, penalties just killing ourselves kind of when we got down there, some third downs that we could have executed and turned some field goals into touchdowns. So, we just got to clean some of that stuff up.”

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