Usually, a win is a win. But for the New York Giants, their 23-20 victory over the Washington Football Team was monumental. It was the first time this season that the team played a complete game, highlighted by the defense forcing five miscues and the offense committing zero turnovers in their second win of the season. The bottom number bodes very well for Daniel Jones, who is playing for his life as the Giants quarterback.
Sitting in the basement of the NFC East at 2-7, it is not outside the realm of possibility that the Giants move off Jones this off-season. The front office must see improvement from the young quarterback in the season’s final seven games or they will in the market for his replacement. Especially if they’re in position to draft either Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields in next spring’s NFL draft.
Daniel Jones Is Playing for His Life as a New York Giant
Reducing the High Turnover Ratio Is Key
The high turnover ratio and poor decision-making in the pocket continues to plague Jones’s development. Whether it is his poor awareness of the on-coming pass rush in the pocket that often results in a fumble or forcing the ball into passing lanes that just aren’t there. All of these on-field situations were labeled as “rookie mistakes” last season, but the lack of improvement from Jones in these areas has been quite alarming.
If Jones is going to come into his own, then he needs to play with more poise. That means reducing the number of turnovers committed. In 22 games played, Jones has turned the football over 36 times (21 interceptions and 15 fumbles lost). To keep his job, he will need to do a better job of securing the football and executing the play faster.
Jones needs to have better ball placement in the pocket on passing downs. This will avoid giving a defender a clear path to dislodging the football away from his body. Plus, Jones needs to better recognized when to challenge the defensive coverage with a deep throw. Too often, he under-throws the pass right into the hands of a would-be defender. It is all about taking what the defense gives you. Another area where Jones has been slow in his development.
Jones Needed an Error-Free Sunday
In contrast, Jones did play a relatively (fumbled twice, but the Giants offense recovered the ball both times) error-free game in our Nation’s Capital this past weekend. Coming into Week 9, the young quarterback’s turnover ratio was near the bottom of the NFL standings as he had thrown nine interceptions and fumbled the football away five times (four were lost).
However against Washington, Jones did a terrific job of protecting the football, especially when pressured in the backfield. Rarely did he force a pass in tight coverage which would have been intercepted in the past. Instead, Jones distributed the football to all of his playmakers. And to the delight of Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, he completed 68 percent of the 34 passes he threw against Washington in the contest.
Yes, the Giants were playing a more ball-controlled offense that isn’t very exciting to watch, but it is very effective in garnering wins.
The Future Is Clear for Daniel Jones and the Giants
Clearly, the Giants are heading in the right direction as the team has been competitive on the football field. However, the franchise is plagued by committing momentum-changing mistakes that have been the difference between a win and loss this season. But, no improvement can be made until the Giants get better quarterback play.
Jones has all of the tools (arm, run and athleticism) you want in a franchise quarterback, but he cannot avoid turning the football over. And one successful week won’t change this opinion moving forward.
His struggles have confirmed how difficult the transition from college to pro football actually is for a young, talented player. To change the narrative, Daniel Jones must build on his Week 9 performance.
Time will tell if this outcome is short-lived or a milestone moment.
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