The success of the New York Giants in 2021 is predicated almost entirely on Daniel Jones and his progression. Since he was drafted sixth overall in 2019, he has shown flashes of elite potential. He has also simultaneously struggled in different areas of the game. In order for the team to be productive offensively next season, Jones needs to step up big time and prove that he is franchise quarterback material. If not, they may be forced to explore other options at the quarterback position.
Saying that the offense struggled in 2020 is a drastic understatement. They averaged just over 17 points per game and were ranked 31st in total offense. Granted, their best playmaker Saquon Barkley went down for the season with an ACL injury in week two against the Bears.
Nonetheless, their passing attack was completely stalled. Their lack of a true number one wide receiver, questionable play-calling by OC Jason Garrett and Evan Engram with a league-leading 14 drops in the regular season all contributed to yet another sub .500 record for the Giants. That made it the seventh negative season since they won it all in 2012.
The New York Giants are still ironing out Jones biggest issue:
Critics of Jones will typically point out his biggest issue, which has been turning the ball over. Since he was drafted, he’s thrown 22 interceptions and fumbled the ball 29 times, only six of which were recovered by the Giants.
This, to me, is not an issue that will doom Jones. Turnovers are something that can be fixed. Good coaching, solid offensive line protection, and receivers that are able to create separation all help the quarterback turn the ball over less. When the Giants won four games in a row this year from weeks 9 through 13, Jones did not commit a single turnover. When Jones has control of the football and avoids turnovers, the correlation to offensive success is obvious.
I still believe in Daniel Jones. He wasn’t an elite prospect coming out of Duke and is far from being a top ten quarterback in the NFL. However, he has all the tools to become successful and lead the Giants in the right direction. Elite mobility along with underrated arm talent and accuracy, Jones has still managed to complete at least 60% of his throws in his two full seasons starting. With Joe Judge looking like a solid hire thus far and hopefully some moves in this offseason to bolster the offensive weapons, we could be preparing to see Jones take a big leap in 2021.