Michael J. Basile @MikeyFresh04
There is no question anymore…Daniel Jones is a franchise QB.
New York Football Giants fans should be thrilled that Big Blue has their guy. Coming into the season one of the biggest objectives was for everyone to see Jones progress and develop into a franchise Quarterback. For those who have criticized Jones heavily this season, they either don’t know football or are not watching the games. I think Sunday’s victory will turn some of the doubters into believers.
Being a Leader
Jones lead the Giants to a 25-3 victory in front of the MetLife crowd against the Carolina Panthers. This is a Panthers team who boasts the 2nd ranked passing defense and 3rd ranked overall defense. Jones completed 23 of 33 passes for 203 yards with a TD and no INTs and he added 28 rushing yards. He even showed his athleticism with a one-handed grab for 16 yards as he took a big hit and still made the catch. The reception that Daniel Jones made was a way more difficult play to make than the 4 drops that his teammates had.
Practice squad call-up WR David Sills, back up running back, Devontae Booker, WR Darius Slayton, and WR Collin Johnson all dropped routine passes in a game where their QB caught a pass despite having his head nearly taken off by a defender. It shouldn’t be a surprise though, as the GMen are a top 3 team in the NFL in terms of dropped passes. They are without their best 4 pass catchers in Kenny Golladay, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Kadarius Toney. If the wideouts just made those easy 4 catches, I calculated that DJ’s stat line would have been 27 of 33 for 250+ yards. And that’s assuming there were no yards after the catch, even though on 2 of those drops there was easily another 20+ yards to be had.
Garrett Blows it Again
In the middle of the first quarter, Jones orchestrated a drive inside the 5-yard line and took advantage of a short field thanks to a 28-yard punt from the Panthers. Jones found Kyle Rudolph twice on out-breaking routes and initially the 2nd of those receptions was called a TD. After review, the ball was placed on the 1-yard line and questionable RedZone playcalling once again…hurt the offense. They turned the ball over on downs at the goal line and had no points to show for the efforts. The offense is last in the NFL in RedZone scoring percentage which is going to have to change if they want a chance to beat a team like the Chiefs next Monday in Kansas City.
Against the Panthers who are poor offensively, you can get away with it, but against high-powered offenses, you need to capitalize on those RedZone attempts. Despite that first trip inside the 20-yard line, they did cash in on their next 2 trips as Michael Stewart touches on in his piece here:
Then later in the game, Jones was in control working the short and intermediate routes. Jason Garrett had a decent game plan to protect the offensive line a bit by taking full advantage of DJ’s athleticism. The QB rollouts and designed QB runs were productive for the offense. From there, Danny was decisive and extremely accurate. When playing with backup receivers his accuracy becomes even more important. When throwing to targets who don’t get a lot of first-team reps, the timing and chemistry tend to be a bit off. Jones learned that last week against the Rams when he threw 3 INTs – on 2 of those, they were out routes to backup receivers who ran the routes a bit different than Toney or Golladay would. Jones learned from his mistakes and was careful with the football in this one. I especially liked his decision-making on those designed rollouts. If the first option was covered, he would either run for positive yards or buy just enough time for someone to pop open at the last second. His ball placement on the move showed up with Evan Engram a few times as the 2 connected 6 times for 44 yards. While Jones did not have a chance to showcase his deep ball talent that I always rave about, he owned the middle of the field and took what the defense gave him.
Jones Has Earned Respect
DJ’s catch was the play of the game. Eli got praised for his toughness, and it’s time Danny Dimes gets credit for his competitive nature. When you can take the hits he does, pop right up, and walk back to the huddle, he deserves mad respect.
What that does for your teammates in those moments cannot be measured by any stat or metric. This is the type of boost that gives the Giants that little extra motivation, that little bit of juice they are going to need. The players, coaches, and everyone in the organization has stood by Jones for 3 years despite the outside noise. Now it’s time that the fanbase sees what everyone inside the facility does: Daniel Jones is the guy.
At the end of the day, Daniel Jones is making plays, showing toughness, and doing it all behind a sub-par group of skill players and a beat-up offensive line that desperately needs LT Andrew Thomas back. Given the circumstances, Jones has impressed. It will be exciting to see him once everyone on offense is healthy