Ever since the New York Giants drafted quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall this past April fans have been asking when he will take over for Eli Manning. After a stellar preseason game against the Jets, in which he went 5-5 for 67 yards and a score, the chatter of benching Manning and starting Jones is at its highest peak. Well, to the disappointment of many, Jones will not be starting anytime soon. Even if he performs as well as he did in his first game for every game of the preseason, it still won’t be enough to dethrone Manning. But as the season progresses, there are three points in the season that seem like the most logical times to make the switch.
When Daniel Jones Will Start:
Week 7; home vs Arizona
The first time that Jones has a large chance to take over the starting job takes place against the No. 1 overall pick, Kyler Murray. The reason why this game makes sense is because of three things. Firstly, the Giants play New England on Thursday night the week before. That would leave 10 days to prepare Jones for his first start.
Secondly, it would be a home matchup against a team that will most likely not be that good. The Cardinals are projected to win just 5.5 games in 2019, .5 games less than the Giants. This is one of the easier games on the Giants schedule so why not slide in the rookie against a weaker opponent.
Thirdly, the final reason this game makes sense is because of there being a rookie QB on the other side in Murray. There isn’t a proven veteran who will make Jones look like a rookie. Yes, Murray will already have had multiple starts under his belt, but he will still be showing the signs of a rookie QB. Jones would be playing with extra preparation in front of a home crowd against a weaker opponent.
Week 12; at Chicago
The next game on the schedule that would make sense is at Soldier Field on November, 24. While the Bears will most likely be a playoff team in 2019, this game makes a lot of sense for two reasons. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, this is the Giants first game after the bye. That would allow Jones to prepare for two full weeks for his first NFL start.
Secondly, it is very possible the Giants will be struggling to stay in the playoff race at this point in the season. If the Giants are 3-7 heading into Chicago, it would be very wise to put the Rookie in. It would allow him to grow for multiple games and there would be no pressure to win vital games or make the playoffs.
Weeks 15-17; home vs Miami, at Washington, home vs Philadelphia
These are the games that it is almost a guarantee that we see Jones. Assuming the Giants win the number of games they’re projected too (6), by this point in the season the playoffs will no longer be in reach. Each of these games still makes sense for their own reason though.
Playing at home against a Dolphins team who is supposed to win just 4.5 games in 2019 seems like a very easy transition for a rookie QB. Like the Cardinals game, Jones would be facing off against one of the weaker teams on the Giants’ schedule. Plus, the Dolphins will most likely not have anything to play for with only three games to go.
Starting at Washington makes sense due to them boasting a rookie signal-caller in Dwayne Haskins and their projected 6.5 wins. While Haskins will already have many starts under his belt at this point in the season, he won’t be playing like an elite QB. This will be a very winnable game for the Giants, a game that could see the start of the Daniel Jones era.
Finally, if the Giants choose to let Eli play it out until week 17, Jones would make his first career start in the last game of the 2019 season. He would be at home playing against an Eagles team who quite possibly could have their playoff fate already decided. It would be a great opportunity to expose Jones to the NFL world so he has a taste of it when he comes back for 2020.