By Mike Basile, @MikeyFresh04
The Giants are now 0-2 to start a season for the 5th time in a row. The Washington Football Team finally beat Daniel Jones, who was 4-0 against them as a starter coming into this one. Unfortunately for the GMen they only play Washington twice a year. Against the other 30 NFL Franchises, Big Blue is 6-23 in the last 2 seasons. They are now 6-23 against any team that actually has a real name. That’s right, the only squad Big Blue has been able to take care of is an organization that uses the name “The Football Team”.
Now, the Giants can’t even beat the nameless division opponent. Before bashing everyone, I’ll let Craig handle the disastrous defensive efforts here:
Daniel Jones was absolutely brilliant.
Last week I outlined DJ’s turnover issues / Jones held onto the ball on 36 pass plays and 9 rushing attempts. He was sacked 4 times, so realistically there were 13 opportunities to cough up the ball. Trust me, we all watched every one of those RPO’s and held our breath. Jones took great strides and didn’t give Washington the ball at any point. FINALLY
No Crimes, it was all about Danny’s Dimes:
This was his best start since that epic debut against Tampa 2 years ago. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 249 yards and a TD, and added 9 carries for 95 yards and a TD on the ground. Jones should have been 26-32 for 350 yards & 2TDs without the drops from wideouts Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton.
Golladay was seen yelling on the sideline but Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) points out how Joe Judge and the players downplayed it later on. Slayton was doing his best Evan Engram impression by dropping a wide open, season altering, game clinching touchdown pass late in the 4th quarter. I don’t know what’s going on with rookie Kadarius Toney but it’s time he starts eating into Slayton’s snaps.
Jones did get help however from the guys up front. You can chalk up the 4 sacks allowed to good coverage. Andrew Thomas and Nate Solder held up against the dominant Chase Young. Nice Gates went down early but they didn’t miss a beat with Ben Bredeson at LG. Billy Price made Jones work with a few wild shotgun snaps, but the center played well in his first start for Big Blue. This unit has taken heavy criticism but for the 2nd game in a row they gave Jomes a clean pocket. Let’s be honest, the pass protection allowed Jones to show us why he was the 6th overall selection, and why the organization has unwavering belief in him. Especially when the opponent has a who’s who of first round draft picks along the defensive line.
Jones got Golladay involved early, with a bullet over the middle of the field for 16 yards on the opening drive. A few plays later he converted a 3rd and 10 when he connected with the reliable Shepard for 13 yards. Jones capped off the drive with a 6 yard run to the endzone right up the middle. At that moment I said Jason Garrett just had his best offensive series as offensive coordinator. While Jones showed his arm strength by zipping the ball in tight windows all over the field, he also kept the defense off balance with his athleticism in the run game. Then Jones truly shined in the 2nd half. The 33 yard dime to Darius Slayton up the left sideline gave him everyone some juice. After that play Daniel Jones was Danny Dimes the rest of the way. He just had a different look about him – his confidence was sky high because he knew he was getting great protection. He was letting it rip down the field.
One thing I brought up last week was his failure to progress to his 2nd and 3rd options, and he actually did that in this game. In the 4th quarter he looked off the defenders on a comeback route to Golladay that even impressed Troy Aikman. Jones was cool, calm, and clutch as he lead big blue to what should’ve been a 40 point night. Of course they only scored 29 thanks to: Officiating (a horrendous holding call on CJ Board that took away DJ’s 2nd rushing TD) and the drop by Slayton.As deflating a feeling as it is, the bright spot is Danny Dimes. If this version of Jones is what we are getting moving forward, there will be fewer and fewer Giants fans that worry about their QB. Let’s see if he can continue this level of play when the Atlanta Falcons come to town.