By Mike Basile, @MikeyFresh04
The Giants offense is getting healthy but is still extremely boring. Big Blue’s 23-16 victory over the Vegas Raiders was won because of the strong effort from the defense for a 3rd straight week. Patrick Graham’s unit actually matches touchdowns with Jason Garrett’s offense in this one. I’m bringing back “Digits, Crimes, & Dimes” to break down the Giants signal-caller.
Daniel Jones completed 15 passes for a season-low 20 attempts. This was in large part due to a strong performance from Devontae Booker who ran for 99 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Even Eli Penny contributed to the ground attack with 5 carries for 35 yards. DJ added 17 yards on 4 rushes to go along with his season-low 110 pass yards. He threw a touchdown and no INTs for a 104 rating, and he also has 1 turnover from a lost fumble.
Jones has improved his “feel” a lot this season so the backside hit/fumble was a disappointment. He has avoided turnovers, for the most part, this season, and that’s a huge improvement. If he wants to keep moving in the right direction he has to be more consistent with his pocket awareness. His legs are an asset and when he’s playing well. Jones made a few nice plays scrambling, however, he can’t hold the ball that long. It won’t end well.
He completed 75% of his passes and finally worked the tight ends. On the first drive he put the ball between the 80 on Kyle Rudolph’s jersey twice and hit Evan Engram for a 30 yard score. The TD pass to Engram was beautiful, as Jones showed off his accuracy and his big arm. While that was his best throw of the game, the most important 2 plays he made were 3rd down conversions in the 3rd quarter to Golladay and Toney.
When the Raiders offense had the ball for what seemed like two years (End of 1st half, start of 2nd half), the Giants were facing 3rd down and couldn’t afford to go 3 and out. Derek Carr had some momentum so turning the ball over on downs was not an option. Jones stepped up and delivered a strike over the middle to Kenny Golladay. Two plays later, he connected with Toney on an out route allowing Toney to turn upfield and pick up the crucial first down. Big steps for Jones seeing the entire field.
Overall, Jones made the plays he needed to in order to win the game. His pocket awareness was average and that must improve. The bigger concern is if Jones can influence Garrett to get Toney more involved. I understand the run game was working but you can’t waste the talent you have on the team. Also, why does this team have productive first drives and then fall asleep after that? Where are the downfield throws?
The Giants offense under Jason Garrett is ranked 31 of 32 teams in the red zone for the 2nd straight season and that needs to change if they want to have a chance after their bye week on Monday night in Tampa. I think the offense is going to need DJ to let it fly against Tom Brady.