Winning isn’t the only task for the New York Giants this season. This year also serves as an evaluation for quarterback Daniel Jones at the individual level. After two previous seasons of Jones at QB, and with a new General Manager potentially coming in this offseason, this seems like the year the Giants will make a decision about the player.
So far, Jones has offered mixed results but displayed improvement against Washington and New Orleans, against whom he delivered his best games of the season. His play so far was enough to draw several praises from offensive coordinator Jason Garrett when Garrett was asked where Jones had seen the most progress.
“You have to take care of the ball and I think heâ€™s done that. Starting from about midseason last year, heâ€™s done a great job taking care of the ball. He has made really good decisions, heâ€™s played decisively,” Garrett said on Thursday about Jones.
Jones only has one fumble lost since the season opener, where he lost the ball against Denver. While he does have one interception this season, it only came on a Hail Mary before halftime in week 4.
While Jones hasn’t been perfect, and the unlucky interception could be considered karma for luckier moments earlier in the season, he has yet to throw a legitimate interception this season.
“When things arenâ€™t there, heâ€™s made good decisions to get rid of the ball. Two or three times in the game the other day, maybe a rusher came free, or something didnâ€™t come up exactly like we wanted to, he used his feet, he threw the ball away, we went to the next down,” Garrett continued.
A better environment for Jones
What has caused the improvement in play from Daniel Jones? One thing that Garrett mentioned is a better environment around him compared to last season.
“As the environment gets better around him as we protect better and we get some guys outside who can make some plays for him, heâ€™s going to continue to play better. Thatâ€™s been my experience with quarterback play.”
In the case of Jones, the improvement in his environment has come in the form of new receivers and better offensive line play. The upgrade was perhaps most visible against New Orleans, when the Giants utilized Kadarius Toney more in their gameplan. Furthermore, a healthier Kenny Golladay was able to make more of an impact in the receiving game.
For the offense, a current challenge is continuing to provide the support that Jones needs. Headed into week 5, wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton are dealing with hamstring injuries and could miss another game. The team saw a step up from John Ross in their absence, but it’s unclear whether the trend will continue.
But whether the Giants enter the game injured at receiver or not, it’s clear that Jones will shoulder much of the responsibility for Sunday’s result when the team takes on a division nemesis.