By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/thenyextra.com
Is this the beginning of the end for Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones?
Jones’ performance in the team’s stunning 25-23 loss to Tampa Bay Monday night reminded Giants’ fans that the second-year quarterback truly hasn’t lifted himself from his funk.
The buzz around the Meadowlands at halftime Monday was as electric when the Giants upset Tom Brady as a Patriot in the Super Bowl when this year’s G-Men version appeared to be in the version of a huge upset.
Like with the Jets, appeared usually doesn’t generate a good result for the Giants.
For the seventh time this year, it didn’t.
Jones’ badly thrown interception on their first drive of the second half set the tone. It wouldn’t be a good second half.
Yes, the Giants were there at the end, and their running game and defense did an adequate job, but it wasn’t enough Jones.
He is now firmly embedded in the sophomore jinx. When he has a bit of success, Jones falls victim to fate. He still looks too pensive and skittish to be a productive starter. Get rid of the football, throw it away or take the sack.
These last eight games can be a ticket out for some veterans, but it also can be the final chapter for Jones.
Jones has to produce and look like the Giants’ franchise quarterback over the next two months. If he doesn’t, he’ll likely be a backup or sent packing.
Do you remember Dave Brown? He was the first highly touted Duke quarterback who was drafted first in the 1992 supplemental draft. Brown managed to start 53 games in six years and wasn’t the answer.
He now has 35 turnovers in 20 career games, 13 in eight games this season. The former mark is only bettered by legend Ryan Leaf, whose career nears the top of drafted quarterback disasters.
Jones has seven touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games as compared to 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games last year.
He has run the ball better this year with 316 yards through eight games, while he had 279 yards in 13 games last season.
His propensity for fumbling has slightly reduced to a total of 18 last year to five this year.
However, the question of whether Jones can make the key plays in the big moments still remain.
He had a golden chance to solidify himself with a sound second half against Tampa Bay, but his opportunity again became tarnished.
There are calls out there for a one-game benching, but Jones needs to prove himself for the rest of 2020.
He has another shot at redeeming himself in Washington Sunday.
This is all on Jones. His offensive line has improved and he has enough receiving and running weapons around him.
If the Giants continue to flounder, they will be staring at the second or third overall pick and quarterbacks Ohio State’s Justin Fields, Alabama’s Mac Jones, BYU’s Zack Wilson, and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance will be there. That is, assuming the Jets have the top pick and take Trevor Lawrence.
A year ago, Jones was heading into a game against the Jets where he threw four touchdowns passes and for 308 yards in a loss. At a penultimate game at Washington last season, Jones had a five-touchdown, 353-yard performance in a potentially season-shaping 2020 overtime win.
It was presumably all coming together then for Jones, and a big season was ahead.
Now, it is all falling apart, and this season could be his last.