By Mike Basile@MikeyFresh04
The Giants lost the season opener for the 10th time in 11 years and the 5th season in a row. We have seen new coaches, players, and front office staff but the results have been the same. This is the 3rd season for QB Daniel Jones and the 2nd with Head Coach Joe Judge. Everyone knows there is a lot “on the line” for those two, especially Jones. It is his 2nd year in Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett’s system and the majority of Giant fans are already hoping for a new play-caller. Jones is also linked to 4th year GM Dave Gettleman, whose fate will rely heavily on how the former 6th overall pick develops.
Has Jones Learned?
If DJ wants to stop hearing about the fumbles, he has to stop putting the ball on the ground. For the supporters who think he is a franchise QB and the detractors who feel he’s a bust, there is at least one common theme everyone agrees on thing – you cannot get 2 sentences out without mentioning the FUMBLES.
It has been a problem since his rookie year and in the very first carry of the season as a 3rd-year starter, he gives the ball away. This was a pivotal moment in the game, the 1st drive of the 2nd half as the Giants were marching with some success to get back in the game. Another fumble was the ultimate gut punch. They NEEDED points in response to the Broncos 8 minute TD drive to open the 3rd quarter.
The last time the offense touched the ball they had a 7-3 lead with about 2 minutes to go in the first half. Now with a chance to cut into a 17-7 deficit and the defense gassed, Jones literally and figuratively dropped the ball. The other trait Jones has not improved with at all is the tendency of staring down his receivers. The great QBs can manipulate a defense with their eyes, but even the good QBs can at least freeze the safeties for a split second with their head. Jones locks on to one side of the field and far too often seems to predetermine where he is going with the ball.
Look how predictable he was on the 4th quarter red-zone pass to Barkley on the right side. There were 2 defenders there and the 3rd defender followed Jones the whole way from the snap of the ball, and the play never had a chance. You’d like to see him be able to look/turn his head one way then throw somewhere else once in a while, but at this point when will it happen?
If He’s the Guy…Let It Fly:
Craig “Maestro” makes a great point (https://www.nygiantsrush.com/craig-j-santucci/java-with-jones-take-off-the-training-wheels/) Jason Garrett and Joe Judge need to understand that Jones strength is his deep ball accuracy. Enough with the hooks, curls, and in routes. The offensive line actually passed blocked well, and receivers Kenny Golladay (4 catches, 64 yards) and Sterling Shepard (7 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD) made some plays. Golladay’s catch radius is absurd and he showed that he can make tough contested catches. Shepard is a top-tier route runner that wins a lot of one on one battles.
On the first drive, Jones hit Darius Slayton with a 42-yard strike down the right sideline. In the 2nd quarter on the TD to Shep, DJ he had plenty of time to slide left in the pocket, let the play develop, and deliver a perfect pass. Then in the 2nd half, you could see him becoming more comfortable with Golladay. Those 2 have not spent much time together so the fact that they showed a little bit of chemistry already is a great sign.
If Daniel Jones is going to fail, let him go down swinging. Stretch the ball down the field so at the end of the year it’s time to move on, at least we gave him the best chance. They need to play to DJ’s strengths and best utilize the team’s skill players on the outside. Jones ended the game 22 of 37 for 267 yards, 1 TD no picks, and a 90.7 rating. He added 6 carries for 27 yards and a rushing touchdown. Some of his yards were accumulated once the game had already been decided though.
Daniel Jones needs to learn quickly because this offense has a quick turnaround now. They go to Washington Thursday to face Chase Young and that vaunted defensive line. If DJ continues making these mistakes it will be hard to avoid another loss.