Daniel Jones has often been the scapegoat for New York Giants’ failures but the QB tried to put the team on his back in Week 2 and couldn’t carry them.
Thanks to a last-second Dustin Hopkins field goal, the New York Giants fell in a thriller against the Washington Football Team to kick off Week 2 on Thursday Night Football. Now, you’re probably thinking that quarterback Daniel Jones had some back-breaking turnover that ultimately cost Big Blue because, plainly, that’s a familiar story. However, it’s far from the truth in this case.
Jones was the best player for New York in primetime. The much-maligned quarterback did everything in his power to propel his team to victory, finishing the game going 22-of-32 for 249 yards and a touchdown while also leading the team in rushing with nine carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.
But despite his best efforts to put the Giants on his back and carry them to a gritty win over a division rival, Jones couldn’t carry the entire team.
Daniel Jones won’t always be perfect but, when he’s on, the Giants have to give him help.
This isn’t to say that every facet of the Giants was a disaster against Washington. The offensive line played exceptionally well given how they looked in Week 1 (and last year) and that they were playing a stout defensive front. Furthermore, Graham Gano was automatic on field goals, which helped the cause, and James Bradberry came up with a huge pick.
But Bradberry’s splash play overshadows a shaky defensive performance. Consistently, New York was in soft coverage, which allowed backup Taylor Heinicke making just his third NFL start to pick them apart quite often.
Then there were the sloppy penalties throughout the night. The most glaring was an offside penalty on Washington’s final field-goal attempt, which Hopkins missed, but was given another try to win the game. He hit the second go at it. But there were more, like a holding on a long Jones touchdown run, several brutal false starts or neutral zone infractions, and so on. It was a sloppy performance.
And let us not forget that Jones lived up to the Danny Dimes moniker late in the game with what could’ve been a game-sealing touchdown pass to Darius Slayton but the wide receiver dropped it with nothing but open field around him.
What’s also not being discussed is the play-calling on what ended up being the Giants’ final drive when they kicked a field goal to go up 29-27. Jason Garrett looked fully like the coach who frustrated Cowboys fans forever as he ran twice up the middle to set up a third-and-long that New York couldn’t convert, thus setting up the field goal and opening up the door for Washington to have a field goal try to win in the two-minute drill.
Daniel Jones is rarely a perfect quarterback but he has shown flashes. But it speaks to the disarrayed state of the Giants that, when Jones flashed against Washington, the rest of the team let him down. It remains to be seen if he’s the long-term franchise quarterback the franchise is looking for but, until the team helps him, it’s going to be difficult to assess that.