Eli Manning’s Ring of Honor and Retirement Ceremony will take place at halftime of this week’s Giants-Falcons game. Ironically, this could also be Daniel Jones’ opportunity to step out of Eli’s shadow.

“A legend of this game. A legend of this franchise.” Those are the words of Daniel Jones about Eli Manning. When you are the quarterback that replaces a 16-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP, you are immediately put under the microscope by every fan and every person in the media. The Giants have worked hard to separate Jones from the legacy of Eli. And to be frank, Daniel is not the same quarterback as his predecessor. Daniel is more athletic. He can run the ball. No one ever expected Eli to run. Daniel stated he believes Eli’s best example he wants to follow is to be as “consistent” as Eli…consistent in his approach to the game, training, preparation, handling of the media, demeanor when things are going bad as well as when things are going good. Eli never threw a teammate under the media bus, not even Tiki Barber. You won’t see Daniel throw a teammate under the bus either. Leadership.

Until you make your own history, you are always compared to the guy that came before you. Just look no further than Eli following his brother Peyton into the NFL. That’s a comparison that will always be there for their lives. Eli will never be viewed as better than his brother, even though Eli was the first Manning to win two Super Bowls. But Eli too had to follow a legend onto the field in the Meadowlands, Kurt Warner. In 2004, Eli’s rookie year, Warner was the starting QB, three years removed from leading a St. Louis Rams team to a Super Bowl in 2001. Eli was learning from an eventual Hall of Fame QB. After nine games and a 5-4 record, Eli was thrust into the starting role. And his first season was rough, going 1-6 and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. There were glimmers of what could be in Eli’s play. There were also many “What are you doing?” moments.

We’ve watched Daniel play for just 30 games. And he gets better with each one. Turnovers are way down. Clock management is better. The Giants scored on seven possessions last week, SEVEN! The sad part is that five of those possessions ended in field goals. The Giants had a Jones’ TD called back for a questionable penalty and had another fall off Darius Slayton’s fingertips. Ironically, Kurt Warner did a game breakdown of the Giants and Daniel Jones this week. He titled it “Details are the Difference.” Daniel Jones needs to now hone his skills to better read defenses and make in-play adjustments. Over time, his receivers and he will get better at communicating at the line of scrimmage and making those adjustments together.

In 2007, a third-season starting QB began the season 0-2 and the fans were calling for changes. The Giants defense was giving up lots of points. That season ended pretty well for the Giants, didn’t it? In 2021, a third-season starting QB began the season 0-2 and the fans are restless and grumbling. The Giants defense has given up lots of points so far. Stay the course Giants fans. Things will be better.

And in a new season where Eli gets his #10 retired, Kurt Warner gets a movie about his career, maybe…just maybe…Daniel Jones steps forward and so do the Giants.

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