I get it, Giants fans.
Another loss to open the season for the team that has been dead last at winning games the past 3 seasons. And our #6 overall pick from last year made a horrific mistake that one could argue was the primary reason for losing the game.
There are certainly reasons to be upset the day after this loss to the Steelers, however after re-watching every snap I was highly encouraged by what Daniel Jones showed Monday night despite his game-altering mistake.
Here are three reasons why.
1) DJ Continues to Perform With Little Help
I took a look back at every single one of DJ’s 13 NFL starts. In only 3 of his starts has the team overall surpassed 100 yards rushing. Last year’s game against the Eagles barely even made the cut and only did so because DJ chipped in 26 yards. In many of those games the team wasn’t even close to 100 yards and in several they barely sniffed 50 yards. This Steelers game was reminiscent of the Jets game last year where Barkley totaled 1-yard rushing. In this game, Jones had 22 rushing yards, Barkley 6 yards, and Lewis 1 yard. That’s a ridiculous stat line and it’s embarrassing that it’s happened multiple times over the games Jones has started.
So far, the overwhelming majority of games DJ has started he’s had to essentially be the team’s entire offense while the opposing defenses can more or less tee off knowing he’s dropping back to pass because the run threat is non-existent.
Despite this, Jones puts up solid numbers week in week out while often running for his life behind an average at best offensive line. The numbers and the game tape tell a story of a rookie QB who was asked to carry the team to victory behind poor OL play, poor rushing attacks, and an awful defense that always had him playing from behind.
Unfortunately, game one of 2020 was more of the same for the most part, although the defense played better than I expected. Even so, in this one, the Giants had a legitimate chance to win this game and if they did it would have been because of Jones. Now just imagine if the supporting cast gives him some more help.
There is a great feature the New York Giants had this week where Coach Judge broke down an offensive play, defensive play, and special teams play.
You just might enjoy how our #4 overall pick this year looked on the offensive play.
2) He Consistently Throws to Move the Sticks
3rd and 14 from our own 3-yard line. When in the recent past has this been anything then either a short pass or a run for minimal gain? Jones throws right for 17 yards to Slayton. This was one of my favorite Jones throws of the night. I bet the Steelers didn’t see this coming either. Jones plays with an aggressiveness that as a fan I absolutely love.
Far too often in the Eli Manning years was this a drive that would have been essentially given up on. Granted most plays of this type from a teams own endzone aren’t going much of anywhere, but I love how Jones goes for it.
I saw this a lot last year as well. It was at times a sign of being too aggressive as several throws were nearly picked off, but it’s especially refreshing to me that a.) Jones is confident, willing, and able to make these throws for 1st downs on 3rd and long and b.) It appears the coaching staff trusts him to do so.
Let me re-emphasize that I re-watched every snap of this game paying particular attention to Jones. He was extremely accurate. I counted six throws where Jones was intending to hit a receiver (not throw it away) and it didn’t at least hit the receiver in the hands. This includes the two interceptions.
It’s also notable that the majority of these misses were when the game was pretty much over. Jones throws short, long, left, right, middle, slants, go routes, hooks, etc. He can make every NFL throw with accuracy.
For comparison’s sake, I implore you to watch the Redskins game where a certain QB everyone thought should have been the Giants pick played.
Yes, the Redskins won, but believe me, they do not have their QB of the future if they intend on being legitimate contenders in a QB-driven league.
Featured Image: Scott Thompson/SNY