Daniel Jones has had a disappointing start to his sophomore season. After tossing two touchdowns in Week 1, the second-year quarterback from Duke has not thrown one since. After throwing at least one touchdown in his first 13 starts, Jones has gone cold. Real cold. The Giants offense as a whole has been difficult to watch, the offensive line is still playing at a subpar level and, with star running back Saquon Barkley out for the season, that creates an even bigger hole in an already struggling offensive core. Daniel Jones has been a problem for Big Blue this year, but he is not the only one.
Analyzing Daniel Jones After 0-5 Start To 2020 Season
Looking Deep Into The Stats
Daniel Jones, currently at the time of this being written, has 1,111 passing yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions. He also has 130 rushing yards on 20 attempts, rushing for eight first downs. The one aspect of Daniel’s game that fans had hoped would improve this offseason is ball security. So far, it does not look like the offseason work has paid off.
Jones has fumbled in four out of five games this year, losing three. He is on pace for ten lost fumbles and thirteen fumbles overall. While all of this is not entirely on Jones, he seriously has to limit turnovers, especially when it comes to fumbles.
Jones had a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio in his rookie season when he threw for 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. That has not been the case this year. After their Week 1 loss to the Steelers, Jones had a solid game, two touchdowns, but also two interceptions. Since then, he has not thrown a touchdown, and the Giants offense has been stagnant.
So stagnant, that they rank 31st in the league in points per game with 16.2. They also rank 30th in total yards per game and 28th in passing yards per game. The offense needs a jumpstart and it all starts with Daniel.
The Supporting Cast
The reason why nobody should pin the offense’s struggles completely on Jones is because of his supporting cast. When you watch the offensive line in pass protection, they rarely give Jones enough time to stand in the pocket and go through his progressions. While this does put Jones’ legs on display and his ability to extend plays with his feet, you do not want your quarterback running for his life almost every play. Jones was pressured on 60% of his drop-backs against the Cowboys, that simply cannot happen if you want your quarterback to succeed.
The run game has been atrocious. After Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL in Week 2’s matchup in Chicago, the Giants offense has struggled to run the ball. Big Blue is dead last in the NFL in rushing yards per game with 79. When your run game is completely shut down, that also shuts down the flow of an offense, which forces you to call more passing plays which is almost never a good thing. The Giants average 21 rushing attempts per game, only the Texans are worse. The team signed former Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, but even he cannot save the dying run game.
The receivers have been lacking. Giants receivers are nowhere near the top of the list when it comes to separation. Golden Tate leads all NYG receivers with three yards per separation, which is barely average league-wide.
Another key factor in the receivers being horrible is Jason Garrett‘s play-calling. Some of the routes he has them run make no sense most of the time. There’s a lot of short routes being called that crowd the secondary, forcing Jones to throw into tight windows. The bad route combinations are killing Jones’ development.
Daniel Jones went 8/12 for 111 yards when 2 or more routes were designed to be 15+ yards down the field against Dallas, according to Bobby Skinner on Twitter. Jones has also had lots of success throwing the ball down the seam in his rookie year, there has not been many plays like that this year.
The one receiver who stands out among the rest is Darius Slayton, who has 365 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 15.9 yards per catch. Slayton has been a recurring target of Jones’ dating back to last season, and he’s proving that connection is still strong in 2020.
Can Daniel Jones Be Salvaged?
The Giants offense is a mess. They show flashes of being able to move the ball, but fail to punch it into the end zone. Daniel Jones is a part of the problem. His ball security and decision making have been questionable, to say the least, two of the most important things that fans hoped would be corrected.
However, Jones has an abundance of support in the Giants locker room and even out of it. Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera had some words of encouragement for Jones, saying, “The young man is progressing,” in a conference call before they take on the Giants in Week 6.
Fans have been calling for Jones’ head after five games, the most popular being the ‘Tank for Trevor’ movement, with those fans hoping the Giants will draft Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence next year.
Hopefully, it does not come to that, and Jones can show in these next 11 games that he is “the guy” and can be this franchise’s quarterback for years to come.
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