Why the New York Giants made a mistake starting Daniel Jones against Arizona

New York Giants, Daniel Jones
Dec 13, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick (behind Jones) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

From a naked eye perspective, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones didn’t do nearly enough to help his team win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Falling 26-7, the Giants’ offense sputtered to get anything going, finishing the game with 145 passing yards and 78 rushing yards.

Jones was unable to spark the offense, despite dealing with a hamstring injury that severely limited his mobility. After the contest, Jones even admitted that he was hobbled by his hamstring, failing to pick up even a single yard with his legs against Arizona.

It was clear that offensive coordinator Jason Garrett did not feel comfortable utilizing him in his normal way, activating RPO’s and flushing him out of the pocket. DJ stood in the pocket for far too long, going down six times, as the OL allowed eight sacks on the day.

Ultimately, the decision to start Jones was tumultuous from the beginning. Garrett had to slash his playbook in half, and the second-year quarterback simply isn’t a good enough passer to stand in the pocket and get the job done. He’s unable to throw open his receivers and was clearly stalling through his progressions. At one point, he missed a wide-open Dion Lewis on the left side of the field, forcing the ball in the flat to Evan Engram, which resulted in an incompletion.

The New York Giants should’ve taken a safer route:

From my perspective, if Jones wasn’t healthy enough to get the job done in multiple ways, he shouldn’t have played at all. His inability to move hurt the offense and crippled their time of possession.

The Arizona Cardinals had 38 minutes of possession compared to the Giants’ 22. They picked up 22 first downs while the Giants earned only 10. That is not even mentioning the fact that Jones fumbled three times, watching his problems resurface after several weeks of forward momentum.

Conclusively, I think the coaching staff’s decision to play Jones was actually a negative thing. Colt McCoy managed to do just enough to help them over the hump against Seattle, completing some timely passes down the stretch.

While Jones didn’t throw any interceptions, his fumbling was once again a serious problem. However, he can’t be blamed for all of it, as the OL was atrocious in the contest, allowing eight sacks as previously mentioned and Hasson Reddick, linebacker for Arizona, set a franchise record of five sacks.

The Giants will be trying to forget this game quickly, but they will have to endure a harsh week of film work first.