New York Giants: Daniel Jones is not the problem

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants, once again, suffered a heart-breaking loss last night. The Giants fought valiantly on the road against Philadelphia but came up short to fall to 1-6 on the season. Meanwhile, the Eagles rise to the top of the division as the Giants fall off to the bottom.

The Giants were leading by 11 points last night with under five minutes left to play. The team had a quick meltdown that saw them blow their lead and lose the game 22-21.

It is easy to point fingers and play the blame game after losses like this. Often times, the quarterback gets the bulk of the blame when NFL teams lose close games. But for the Giants, the quarterback is not to blame this week. Daniel Jones is not the problem with the Giants. In fact, after last night, he looks like the solution.

Expanding the Offense

Daniel Jones is providing the Giants’ offense with a versatility that they have never had out of the quarterback position. New York spent the better part of the last twenty years scheming an offense around an immobile quarterback that could only make plays while standing in a clean pocket.

While Daniel Jones does his best work from a clean pocket, he can make plays happen elsewhere. The young quarterback has sneakily elite athleticism. Jones put his athletic ability on full display last night, ripping off an 80-yard run that put the Giants in scoring position.

That was the longest run by a quarterback in New York Giants history. That run was also longer than any rushing attempt by Saquon Barkley since 2018. Jones’s ability to make plays with his legs is special and allows the Giants to expand their offense and open up the playbook. Jones’s running ability should be treated as a real threat from now on and there should be far more designed quarterback-runs called on gamedays.

Coming Up In The Clutch

When the New York Giants needed their quarterback to mak a play last night, Daniel Jones delivered. Unofortunately, the same cannot be said for Jones’s teammates, which is ultimately why the Giants lost this game.

This season, we have seen Daniel Jones make the same mistake on multiple occasions. We have seen him put together long, 14+ play drives to get his team down in the red zone before throwing a heart-breaking interception. This happened in Week One against Pittsburgh, in Week Four against the Rams, and even in the Week Six win against Washington.

In Week Seven, the Giants put together one of those long drives to get in the red zone. This time, Daniel delivered, connecting  with Sterling Shepard on a touchdown pass to finish off a 15-play, 75-yard drivee.

So Daniel Jones passed one test; he proved he can put together long scoring drives. Check. But Jones was faced with a much more difficult and important test later in this game.

In the fourth quarter with a one possession lead with just over two minutes left in the game, the Giants are driving. Their running game is on point but stalls out. The Giants’ offense finds itself in a third and six, must-convert situation. Daniel Jones has to step up and make a play. Daniel Jones delivers with a perfect pass to Evan Engram down the left sideline.

Dropped. Evan Engram dropped it and the Giants had to punt the football. Philadelphia responds with a scoring drive and the Giants fall to 1-6.

This play changed the narrative of the entire game. If Evan Engram catches this football, fans are not talking about the upcoming “fire sale” at the trade deadline. Instead, fans would be talking about how their young, second-year quarterback marched into the belly of the beast and took down the Giants’ biggest division rival with one clutch play after another to thrust the Giants to the top of the NFC East.

Thursday night’s game should have been Daniel Jones’s coming of age. Not the reminder of the Giants’ impending doom. But if fans extract Daniel Jones’s performance from this game and analyze just the way their quarterback played, they might feel a lot more confident in the direction the team is heading. Daniel Jones had a breakout performance last night that will be forgotten due to the ineptitude of the rest of the New York Giants’ roster. The quarterback position is the lone bright spot, despite the contradictory narrative. Daniel Jones is not the problem. In fact, he just might be the solution.

New York Giants: Joe Judge says Daniel Jones “Absolutely” the guy despite 2020 struggles

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have started the 2020 NFL season with an atrocious 0-5 record. Some fans and analysts believe the Giants are destined to finish the season with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. In that scenario, the likely draft selection would be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. That is unless the Giants think Daniel Jones is better.

Right now, the quarterback of the New York Giants is second-year gunslinger Daniel Jones. Jones was a controversial draft pick out of Duke in the 2019 NFL Draft. “Danny Dimes” flashed potential greatness in his rookie season and has shown similar skills in 2020, but so far this season he has struggled to outweigh the bad with the good.

Daniel Jones has not scored a touchdown since Week One. Additionally, he has turned the ball over in every game this season. Daniel has thrown 2 touchdowns compared to 5 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles. His touchdown to turnover ratios is a horrific 1:4.

Despite this poor start to Daniel Jones’s second season, head coach Joe Judge is still confident in his quarterback. Judge has “absolutely!” told Daniel Jones that he is the guy.

Joe Judge on Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones, according to Joe Judge, is mentally tough and has been responding to the coaching staff well:

“My personality & the personality of this coaching staff is we’re very blunt, open, and honest. I’m not really sitting here trying to sell you a car, we’re not recruiting you to college. I’m going to tell you the truth every day. You have to be mentally tough to handle that, you have to understand the criticism that we’re giving to you, you have to be able to take the coaching & move forward with it. I’ll tell you what, man, No. 8 does that very well for us.” – Joe Judge on Daniel Jones via Tom Rock of Newsday

Judge was quoted today, saying the Giants have “a lot of confidence” in Daniel Jones. This is quite different from the consensus feeling of Giants fans and football analysts. Many are starting to lose confidence and question Daniel Jones’s makeup as a franchise quarterback.

But one thing Judge can see that the fans cannot see is Jones’s work ethic behind the scenes. Judge pointed out today that whatever Daniel’s emotion is after a game, Judge sees him “funnel it into a solid week of work.”

Joe Judge told the media that he has “seen a lot of progress from Daniel.” But, so far, this hard work and progress in practice has not shown up in the win-loss column. If Daniel Jones truly is “the guy,” he has eleven more weeks to prove it to Giants fans.

New York Giants: Is Daniel Jones to blame for offensive struggles?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Prior to the start of the 2020 season, New York Giants fans were enamored by the additional nine-pounds quarterback Daniel Jones added during the off-season. With the anticipation that Jones put more velocity behind the football and eliminate his turnover issues, an increase in production was estimated.

Needless to say, through five weeks of the regular season, Jones has taken a significant step backward in his development. Some might blame Daniel Jones for the majority of the offensive struggles, but as we dig deeper into the offense, you’ll see that he is simply overwhelmed with inadequacies at every corner.

Through five weeks, Jones has a 74.5 grade via PFF but saw a consistent drop off for four weeks straight prior to his week five matchup against Dallas. Jones hasn’t thrown a touchdown in over three games, but that isn’t necessarily his fault. The offensive line has been lackluster, and his wide receivers have failed to gain separation. It is no surprise that the offense has struggled, considering they released one of their regularly active wide receivers in Damion Ratley on Tuesday afternoon.

Through five games, though, the second-year quarterback only has 1,111 yards and two touchdowns to show. He has thrown five interceptions and fumbled the ball four times, officially turning the ball over more than he has scored. He’s also been sacked 16 times, which puts him on pace to go down 51 times in 2020.

To put that number into perspective, even during Eli Manning’s worst years regarding his inept OL, he only went down 47 times. That means Jones, who has more athleticism and mobility, is actually on pace to surpass that number.

That should give you an idea of how poor this unit really is. Taking a deeper dive into the offensive line, specifically from week five, both tackles were virtually useless in pass blocking. Andrew Thomas graded out at 31.7 and Cam Fleming at 24. They allowed 18 pressures on Jones, which writes its own story that Daniel simply doesn’t have the time in the pocket to progress through his reads. In addition, the lack of separation from his pass-catchers has made his job even more frivolous.

Pass rushers break through his protection so quickly, and his receivers take so long to get open, Jones is waiting in the pocket frantically to find a moment to throw the ball. That is the issue with the offense right now, both the OL and wide receivers are so inapt and inefficient, it is forcing Jones into problematic situations. That is why he currently leads the team with 130 yards on the ground, as he’s tried to take things into his own hands when his receivers are bottled up, and his line is as good as Swiss cheese.

It is also important to note that his top slot option Sterling Shepard has been out the past few weeks, and the lack of consistency for Shep has been detrimental to his lack of productivity. Having him healthy and developing chemistry with Jones is essential for the offense’s success. With Darius Slayton essentially representing his only reliable option, teams can easily scheme him out of the game.

The New York Giants saw some success, but not enough:

However, in week five, the Giants found a way to activate Slayton in the passing game. He hauled in eight receptions for 129 yards, which would have been more if not for Ratley’s offensive pass interference penalty that negated a touchdown.

That leads me to my next point, Jason Garrett’s scheme. If you watched the last four weeks, you’ve noticed the receivers’ lack of pre-snap motion and basic route concepts. Not to mention tight end Evan Engram, who stated that he is running more curl routes than working out of the seam in 2020.

His primary usage should be centralized around his speed, but forcing him to run short routes is against his strengths. Engram is not a refined route runner and is often best running down the middle of the field in a straight line or mesh/drag concepts. He can be used to extend the defense and push players into the secondary, but Garrett has completely taken that factor away.

It is also important to mention that Engram’s run-blocking grade averages out at 36.5, which is borderline malpractice for the offense. They need to be utilizing Kaden Smith more predominantly, but Evan has been decent in pass blocking, chipping, and then running out to receive passes in the flat. The problem, Garrett has not schemed that way and created mismatches with linebackers in space.

Back to Daniel Jones. The turnovers and bad decisions have undoubtedly played a part in his regression, but there’s only so much he can do with the lackluster talent around him. The offensive line has put him in poor positions, and his receivers haven’t given him any slack.

The entire scheme and unit is a work in progress, but without Sterling Shepard and another big-bodied wide receiver, Jones is going to have a difficult time finding his reads in the passing game. Garrett needs to give him more control of the offense and the ability to make decisions at the line of scrimmage. We saw a flash of that against Dallas, with Jones audibling into an outside zone run after spotting man coverage with Jalyn Smith and Golden Tate. The audible worked perfectly and was reminiscent of Eli Manning and his intelligence pre-snap.

Overall, I think plenty of blame falls on Jones, but much more of it results from the offensive line, Jason Garrett’s scheme, and lack of separation from the wide receivers.

All of these individual things need to improve, as it is making Jones look worse than he is. There’s only so much you can do and “wow” plays he can make to hold over the fan base, as most have already pointed their focus towards Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL draft.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones throwing with great efficiency over the middle of the field

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants‘ offense has been pitiful in 2020. The Giants’ attack is averaging only 11.8 points per game and has not scored a touchdown in over two weeks. Second-year quarterback Daniel Jones has received plenty of criticism for the team’s poor offensive play this year.

Daniel Jones has had his struggles, particularly with ball security. Jones has turned the ball over seven times in four games. But, there has been quite a lot of good mixed in with the bad, despite the current narrative indicating otherwise. In particular, Daniel Jones has been excellent when throwing down the middle of the field.

Daniel Jones’s Stats Down The Middle

Daniel Jones has excelled when throwing down the middle of the field. Next Gen Stats has charted every Daniel Jones throw this season and noted how he has done in each section of the field. Week One was especially impressive for Jones.

In that Week One loss to Pittsburgh, Jones threw the ball down the middle of the field 16 times. He completed 13 of those passes for 182 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception.

Daniel followed that up with another great outing down the middle of the field in Week Two. Against the Bears, Jones completed 13 of his 15 attempts down the middle for 172 yards and 1 touchdown.

The Giants’ offense struggled to do anything impressive in Week Three, and that includes Daniel Jones. This was definitely his worst performance of the season so far, and he was not efficient throwing in any direction. In this game, Jones threw 12 passes down the middle of the field and completed only 5 of them for 45 yards and 1 interception.

While the offense remained stagnant and struggled in Week Four, Jones did bounce back in some way. Throwing down the middle of the field, Jones completed 8 of his 11 attempts for 101 yards and 0 interceptions. This accounts for over fifty percent of Jones’s passing yards in this game.

Overall, it is hard not to recognize how efficient Daniel Jones has been while throwing down the middle of the field. In total through four weeks, Daniel Jones has completed 39 passes down the middle of the field on 54 attempts, a completion percentage of 72%. Without that pitiful Week Three performance, Jones’s completion percentage down the middle would be about 81%.

In total, Daniel Jones has thrown for 500 passing yards down the middle of the field in four weeks. This accounts for 56% of Jones’s 889 passing yards this season. Considering just how efficient Daniel Jones has been while throwing in this direction, it would be wise to see the Giants incorporate more throws down the middle of the field in their offensive game plan. New York is going against a struggling Dallas Cowboys defense this week. Expect to see some Danny Dimes delivered between the hashes.

New York Giants go for Trevor Lawrence in new Draft Wire mock

It’s the time of the year again when we’re talking about what player the New York Giants might select. But unfortunately, we’re only on week five right now. The Giants have quickly fallen out of contention for the division and as they languish near the back of the standings, talk is turning towards what the team may do in the offseason. Once again, that shift is happening while the season is still young and other teams are still in contention.

The Giants have a number of moves they can make. Firing Dave Gettleman looks like one of the likely ones barring an amazing comeback in the standings. Another, more controversial option? Going backwards in the rebuilding process to draft Trevor Lawrence.

The team already has their quarterback now, but it’s hard to be patient with Daniel Jones given the current state of the franchise. And Lawrence is the kind of college prospect that’s comparable to Andrew Luck or Joe Burrow in terms of hype.

Trevor Lawrence mocked to Giants

There’s already talks about Lawrence to the Giants, as Lawrence was mocked to the team recently by Draft Wire.

Yes, the Giants just spent a top-10 pick on Daniel Jones in 2019, and the team definitely has bigger problems on both sides of the ball. But nothing he’s done so far, nor his potential ceiling, are anywhere near enough for the Giants to pass on a prospect like Lawrence. Last year, the Arizona Cardinals proved that moving on from a young quarterback for a better one can be the best decision a team ever makes. If they can get a massive haul to trade down, that would be ideal, but if they stay here, it’s gotta be Lawrence.

This works under the assumption the Giants will draft number one overall. That’s not an unreasonable assumption given their winless start, but there is time to improve – or for another team to take their spot near the bottom.

Drafting Lawrence would be a controversial move given how the Giants already spent a high draft pick to get Daniel Jones. But if they do get rid of Dave Gettleman, they may find themselves in an awkward spot where Jones is the previous regime’s quarterback and the new administration has other ideas.

Unless his rough start is patched up, there’s no guarantee a future GM would want to build the offense around Jones in the future. Lawrence may be seen as a better long term piece, especially now that Saquon Barkley has had multiple seasons disrupted by injury. The Giants need to rely more on their quarterback to win. But whether that future quarterback is Jones or someone else may just depend on where the Giants end up drafting.

It’s no guarantee right now – but if they do end up with the number one pick, don’t be surprised if the controversial move of taking a QB is the one that’s chosen.

New York Giants: Week four stock report, ups and downs

New York Giants, Austin Johnson

The New York Giants lost to the Los Angeles Rams in a defensive slugfest on Sunday.

The final score of the game was 17-9, and practically the whole game was a defensive battle. Even with the loss, there were still many positives as the Giants bounced back from a week three blowout defeat.

Here’s how this defeat affected the stock of various aspects of New York’s team.

Stock up for the New York Giants: 

Blake Martinez, LB

Martinez had a monster game once again on Sunday. He recorded 13 tackles (8 solo) and one tackle for loss as he was a menace all over the field. His performance boosted his Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade to 79.4 which is 5th out of all linebackers in the league. His run defensive grade of 90.8 is also first in the NFL among linebackers. These first four games have firmly shown that the Giants were wise in singing Blake Martinez this offseason.

Kyler Fackrell, LB

Kyler Fackrell, another Giants linebacker signed from Green Bay, also showed out in Los Angeles. The EDGE defender recorded four solo tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack. This was a strong outing for Fackrell and definitely boosted his stock on this team.

Giants Run Game

Big Blue’s run game was able to have the best game of the season against a solid Rams defense. The Giants were able to rush for a season-high 136 yards on an average of 5.4 yards per tote. Daniel Jones added 45 of these yards as he showed off his athleticism in the run game. This was a good sign as the lack of run game has been severely detrimental to the Giants offensive attack. If the Giants can run effectively going forward then they will have a chance to maybe put up more than 20 points against a very bad Cowboys defense.

Austin Johnson, DT

Austin Johnson had the best game of his short career in week four. In this game, Johnson recorded two solo tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. This was the first forced fumble of the Penn State graduate’s career and the third sack of his career. He likely will not play a big factor in the future of the Giants but this one performance definitely increased his stock.

Patrick Graham, Defensive Coordinator

As you can see with three defensive players on this stock up list, the Giants defense vastly overperformed expectations on Sunday. They were able to have their best game of the season holding a potent Rams offense to next to nothing. Much of this is due to the elaborate and successful scheme by Patrick Graham which kept Sean McVay (arguably the best offensive mind in football) offense in check. The Rams only threw for 200 yards and rushed for 58 more—both season lows. 

This defensive masterpiece by Graham with one of the league’s worst defenses, talent-wise at least, was truly impressive. If the Giants can keep him long term and give him some playmakers Big Blue could have a very scary defense.

Stock Down

Daniel Jones, QB

Once again, Daniel Jones’ stock dropped.

Jones did not do much right in week four as he only threw for 190 yards and recorded a season-low QBR of 42.6. Daniel Jones also threw a game-ending interception that crushed the heart of Giants’ fans. However, this interception was stereotypical of Jones as he has yet to be able to take care of the ball throughout his whole career.

Julian Love, FS

Love has not been great this whole season but on Sunday was definitely not his day. He was not really active in many plays. Love also let up the game losing touchdown in man-to-man coverage with Cooper Kupp. Julian Love got burnt overtop for 55 yards making the Giants need a touchdown to tie instead of a field goal to win.
Jason Garrett, Offensive Coordinator

Jason Garrett proved a lot of his doubters right against the Rams as he once again was unable to get the Giants to do anything offensively. The offense looked putrid as they were not able to convert any of their four red-zone trips into touchdowns. 

The lack of touchdowns for Garrett’s team is a very serious concern as they have yet to score one in two straight games. Over these two games, they have also only averaged nine points which are obviously not even close enough to get by in the NFL.

Golden Tate, WR

Golden Tate was very quiet on Sunday as he only recorded 20 yards on four catches. Golden Tate also dropped his only other two targets, one which was a high throw from Daniel Jones would have made a crucial first down. Tate has yet to produce for the Giants and his lack of numbers brings concerns to his long-term spot in East Rutherford.

New York Giants’ Daniel Jones offers insight into his poor play

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The pressure is on for New York Giants‘ quarterback Daniel Jones through four weeks of the regular season. Having only thrown two touchdowns this year, the turnovers are beginning to bubble and pose a significant problem. Over the past four weeks, Jones has made three significant mistakes that have played a part in the team’s 0-4 record.

Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jones waited too long to get rid of the ball and was hit by Bud Dupree, throwing an unfortunate interception which ended the game prematurely. In week 2, he marched downfield and threw a poor pass to Golden Tate before the enzone with the game on the line. Against the Rams in week 4, Jones tossed a pass on the move to Damien Ratley that was intercepted when he had daylight ahead of him to take off running.

These mistakes cannot continue to linger, as Jones has the tangible talent to become an effective quarterback in the NFL. Of course, blame can be put on the pieces around him, as the offensive line ranks near dead last in pass protection and Jones is currently the team’s leading rusher.

However, he does understand the improvement is necessary and nothing is given in the NFL.

Daniel Jones quotes, via Dan Salomone:

“I realize that this is my second year and I do have a lot to learn … but I don’t think you ever use that as an excuse. I’m expected to play well.”

“I’m expected to play well, to understand what we’re trying to do, and execute it.”

“I think the offense has the capability of being explosive.”

The New York Giants need to see more from Daniel Jones:

Jones is right, this is his second year and he has plenty to learn, but his progression must start to shine through soon. With GM Dave Gettleman undoubtedly on the hot seat, Jones could also be a casualty of war if Gettleman is replaced. Similar to what we saw with the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray, new management can shake things up and go in different directions.

The Dallas Cowboys in week 5 offer a weaker defense, as they currently have the worst unit in franchise history through the first four games of a regular season. They’re allowing an averaged 36.5 points per game, providing Jones with a stellar opportunity to erase the bad juju from the fan-base.

New York Giants: Get ready for the Trevor Lawrence hype train

If the New York Giants don’t get it together, a lot of the narratives this season are going to be around the quarterback spot. And not about quarterback Daniel Jones, who has a fair share of criticism after the first four games of the season. Rather, the narrative will be about Trevor Lawrence if the Giants remain on course for the number one pick. Specifically, whether the Giants should take the Clemson star with that pick.

Right now, the Giants nearly do edge out the other bad teams in the league to claim the top spot in the Draft. They’ve made it onto the path to the number one pick, a pretty far spot from where most thought this team would be a few weeks earlier. And now that the Giants look to be on this path, there’s naturally speculation.

Lawrence is one of the most accomplished players in the college ranks right now, to the point where he may be an option for the Giants with the first pick even though they already have Daniel Jones. Assuming they get the first pick, that is. From the looks of it, they’re just one of a number of teams positioned near the bottom of the league standing.

As for Lawrence, his performances in college haven’t slowed down – and that will only boost his draft stock barring a big drop off in play or an injury. He has 73 touchdowns so far and he’s not even deep into his third college season yet.

He’s been called the most accurate college quarterback by PFF based on their data, too.

Daniel Jones, by comparison, has earned a lot of criticism through the first games for his vision and his inability to prevent turnovers. Jones is still a young quarterback, and his offensive line isn’t good, but when there’s a prospect like Lawrence available soon, it’s hard to only keep eyes on what the Giants have already.

Jones has the benefit of being relatively new – the Giants will want to give him a full chance before throwing him out. But that’s not the same thing as invulnerability. If GM Dave Gettleman goes, Jones will be another player of the previous regime. That’s not always the safest spot as a starting quarterback.

Currently. the Giants are set to draft number three as more games happen. But the season is still young and the team’s record may improve or get worse when given the rest of the season. So it’s worth keeping an out for potential prospects the Giants may draft soon.

The Giants may end up with the top pick and they may not. But wherever you stand on Daniel Jones, it’s time to get used to the takes about Trevor Lawrence to the Giants, because we should see a ton more of them as both sides continue through their seasons.

New York Giants: Why Daniel Jones isn’t to blame for the 0-4 start to the season

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have started their 2020 campaign 0-4, but their struggles have been a bit more present than anticipated. In fact, the offense was expected to be their strength and defense their weakness, but the exact opposite has occurred with the lack of talent around Daniel Jones and the defense playing above their weight class.

Thanks to fantastic free agent signings on defense, the unit currently ranks fifth in the yards allowed per game. The Giants are also tied for 13th in points allowed. Alternatively, their offense has been the worst in the NFL through four games. They are averaging a measly 11.8 points per game, with the New York Jets coming in second place at 16.3. In terms of yards per game, they are tied for last with the Jets.

Can this be blamed on Daniel Jones? Maybe, but there’s plenty of blame to go around.

Listing why Daniel Jones isn’t at fault for the New York Giants 0-4 start to the season:

-WRs are creating zero separation from coverage

-The offensive line ranks near last in pass protection and run blocking

-Very little semblance of a running game

-Jason Garrett’s scheme is bland and lack creativity

-No pre-snap motions from scheme to test man/zone coverage

-Andrew Thomas has been problematic at left tackle

Let’s start with the wide receivers, who have struggled to gain separation this year for Daniel Jones. Veteran Golden Tate has been virtually useless, offering just 14 receptions and 103 yards through four games. His ineffectiveness in the passing game has forced Daniel Jones to pick up yards with his legs and throw underneath.

Opposing defenses are simply scheming Darius Slayton out of the game, after a strong start to the season. In week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Slayton scored two touchdowns but has been contained from the deep ball in recent weeks.

With Sterling Shepard still sidelined with turf toe, the Giants need to be more creative on offense and get their receivers open in space. In addition, tight end Evan Engram has not lived up to expectations, despite slimming down and improving his athleticism. He has dropped multiple passes this year and simply hasn’t been able to create a separation matched up against linebackers.

The offensive line is an entirely different story, putting Daniel Jones under severe pressure. The second-year quarterback currently leads the team in rushing yards and has been forced out of the pocket routinely. He is on pace for 56 sacks this season, an astronomical number that can’t be tolerated.

While the line did play better in week four, their pass protection was still spotty. However, the Giants did run for over 130 yards, showing that they can, in fact, perform at an adequate level. Again, the running game helps Daniel Jones, but a lack of protection in the passing game severely limits his abilities.

So far, we can make the assumption that Jones is not at fault for 90% of the Giants’ struggles. Despite the team being 0-4, the issues that surround the offense are greatly reliant on the wide receivers and inadequacies on the offensive front. Let’s not forget about the scheme, that utilized zero pre-snap motion and is as vanilla as a vanilla frappuccino from Starbucks.

Jones is a solid quarterback who can operate at a high-level with the pieces around him doing their jobs appropriately, but that simply hasn’t been the case. Now, that doesn’t mean Jones is void of any mistakes, as we have seen in the past few games. His turnovers are still a major issue, and a late-game interception with about a minute on the clock against the Rams sealed the Giants’ fate.

Making bad decisions at the end of games is unacceptable for a franchise quarterback, and if he continues to replicate these issues, Big Blue might be forced into a decision they simply can’t afford to make.

New York Giants: Rookie OT Andrew Thomas suffering from growing pains

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

The New York Giants made it a point of emphasis this offseason to rebuild their offensive line. The Giants drafted three offensive linemen, signed a new offensive tackle in free agency, and gave Nick Gates a contract extension. The biggest investment of all of these being the Giants’ first-round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

With the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected left tackle Andrew Thomas. Andrew Thomas was an excellent offensive tackle prospect out of Georgia. He was the top offensive tackle on Pro Football Focus’s draft board, but most draft boards had varying rankings on the draft’s top four offensive tackles.

Four games into the fourth pick’s career, and Giants fans are beginning to feel underwhelmed. For the other teams that selected an offensive tackle in the first round (the Jets, Browns, Dolphins, and Buccaneers), their rookie tackles have all met or exceeded expectations. Andrew Thomas has been struggling with growing pains and failing to meet expectations through the first quarter of the 2020 NFL season.

Andrew Thomas Growing Pains

According to Pro Football Focus, Andrew Thomas has allowed 3 sacks this season, tied for the most in the NFL amongst offensive tackles. His overall grade is also a 53.7, which is the worst of the top-four tackles from his draft class.

In yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Rams, Thomas allowed four total pressures from 32 pass-blocking snaps, with one of them resulting in a sack (PFF). Head coach Joe Judge also recognized Andrew Thomas’s struggles:

“He’s been baptized by fire. … We’re not going to write him a pass for being a young guy or for being a rookie.” – Joe Judge on Andrew Thomas via Art Stapleton

Andrew Thomas truly has been baptized by fire, as Judge said. He has faced some serious competition to begin his career. Judge continued on, saying he has seen a lot of positives from Andrew Thomas as well.

All in all, it has been a somewhat disappointing start to Andrew Thomas’s career. But, this is a long season, and Thomas has another twelve weeks to turn it around. Additionally, a draft pick is not made to serve a one-year purpose. Andrew Thomas is destined to be the Giants’ left tackle for the next decade- he was a long-term investment. He has time to turn things around and prove he has the makings of a franchise left tackle.