Sometimes you need a spark to set something ablaze. After the Giants collapsed against the Cowboys on opening night the fan base was looking for a spark. And yet, through the 1st half of play and down 20-0 against the Arizona Cardinals, the Giants could not get out of their own way.
Jones started off the game as if he had no confidence. He wasn’t looking downfield and it felt like he was expecting to get sacked. Right guard, Mark Glowinski had been benched and replaced by Marcus McKethan. The playcalling felt dysfunctional for the second week in a row and the Giant’s offense sputtered. Through six quarters of the 2023 season, the Giants had been outscored 60-0.
While we may never know how Coach Daboll addressed his team or what was said…a spark was lit. On the 1st play of the 3rd quarter, Daniel Jones uncorked a 58-yard pass to rookie speedster Jalin Hyatt. It was Hyatt’s 1st catch as a pro and the 1st explosive deep ball completion of the year for Jones. Hyatt clearly made up for his drop against the Cowboys. The aggressive play caught the Cardinal’s defensive backs sleeping at the wheel, as Hyatt just blew past the corner and the safety took a terrible angle to catch up.
On 2 & 7 from the 14-yard line, Jones pulled out his best “Vanilla Vick” impression, play-faked to Barkley, boot-legged to left, and outran five Cardinals to the endzone for the Giant’s 1st score of the year.
Parris Campbell still looks a bit shaky, but Jones, Hyatt, Slayton, Hodgins, and Waller finally woke up.
With 6:54 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Jones ripped a 31-yard strike to Jalin Hyatt for his second catch of the day. Jones had great ball placement and great protection from the OLine as Hyatt went up and over Clark for the catch.
Darius Slayton continues to be the most consistent mid-field receiver working in space and running crisp routes with Yards After the Catch (YAC). Waller is developing a nice inside game with Jones and on Sunday led the team with four 1st down catches. I’d like to see Hodgins get more touches on the outside, but he continues to be sure-handed and a red-zone threat.
Whether Coach Daboll has a good poker face or not, he addressed the media and quickly squashed any notion that he was calling plays. Jones spread the ball around to six different receivers, threading the needle a few times to Hodgins, Slayton, and Waller over the middle. For most of the 2nd half, the Cardinal’s Defense looked confused and out of sync.
3rd Down & Time of Possession:
Jones and the offense cleaned up their 3rd down conversions going 7 for 12 (58%). They matched the Cardinals in time of possession (29-30 minutes) and yet, most of that time came in 2nd half. Just think if they played a full game of football.
Jones Box Score
- Attempts: 26 of 37
- Touch Downs: 3 (passing & rushing)
- Yards: 321 Yards
- Interceptions: 1
- Passing Yards: 351 yards
- Rushing Yards: 59 yards
- Rating: 103.5
Jones was a different QB in the 2nd half. He continues to throw a great deep ball and consistently makes linebackers and defensive backs look bad when he takes off with the ball. Like any QB in the league, Jones needs blocking and will thrive if he has more than 1.9 seconds.