The Giants’ skill position upgrades have been purposeful and necessary.
Do the offensive upgrades give QB Daniel Jones what he needs to take the Giants to the playoffs in 2021?
GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge have been in total unison regarding the upgrades the team needs to compete in the NFL. While Judge wasn’t part of the Giants’ decision to draft QB Daniel Jones, he has been gushing with his praise of the QB.
After one year in Coach Judge’s and Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett’s system, Jones has the familiarity with the schemes, and some new skill position players, to take a further leap forward with this offense.
The Giants used the last two drafts to get the talent around Jones to compete.
- Offensive Line? Check…Still need to gel as a unit.
- Running Backs? Check…Saquon returns. Devontae Booker and Gary Brightwell hold the position down until SaQuon is ready to go.
- Wide Receivers? Check…Biggest upgrades with Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney added to Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton.
- Tight Ends? Check…Kyle Rudolph brings a steady veteran presence and excellent hands to add a red zone threat.
The media and a sizeable portion of the fan base have been less than optimistic with the #6 pick of Daniel Jones in the 2019 draft. Yet, Jones has performed well in his first two seasons, completing 62% of his passes. Compare that to Phil Simms (52%) and Eil Manning (55%) in their first two years, and Jones is doing very well. In 2019, under Pat Shurmur’s much more wide-open offense, Jones had 24 TDs against 12 interceptions. Jones did fumble the ball a whopping 18 times. When you are being sacked an average of 42 times a season, you will fumble the ball.
So in 2020, Garrett and Judge made it the primary focus for Jones to reduce his turnovers. Despite being sacked 45 times, Jones reduced his fumble count to just 11. The biggest drop in statistics was in TD passes, down to just 11 in 2020. The Giants struggled in the red zone in 2020. Look for that to improve significantly with the additions of Golladay and Rudolph.
Let’s not forget that Daniel is also a threat with his legs. The Giants haven’t had a dual-threat QB since Fran Tarkenton back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This makes the QB Read-Option a key part of the Giants’ playbook. Jones can run and run fast. With the new deep threats the team has at WR, this could open the field more for Jones to pull the ball down and get big yards.
Jones’ arm has never been a question mark. He can gun it down the field as well as thread the needle on over-the-middle passes. His new weapons have sure hands. This should lead to fewer drops. And when Saquon returns, the passes to the flats could lead to big gainers as well.
The Giants’ offense should be much more competitive and potent in 2021. Daniel Jones needs to manage the game, keep turnovers down, and make the big plays that will be available to him.
Let’s also hope that Jason Garrett opens up the playbook more this year, and the offensive line gives Jones the time to make the plays as scripted.
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