The Big Apple is Not QB City – Yet
By Lenn Robbins
If Daniel Jones wasn’t waiting for this moment, Giants fans were. Even if it wasn’t the moment anyone could have predicted.
Ever since GM Dave Gettleman sent fans scouring the Internet for insight into the player the Giants took with the No. 6 pick in the 2019 Draft, Jones had yet to make his play, the one that would enamor the quarterback in the eyes of Big Blue Nation.
It came in a fashion no one saw coming. Jones made a catch that should go down in Giants lore.
Yep. Three weeks after suffering what looked like a potential season-ending concussion, the quarterback put himself in jeopardy to make a catch that leaves no doubt that Jones can be a difference maker in the NFL.
Jones made the leaping, one-handed haul-in of a Dante Pettis wide receiver option pass and held on after getting drilled to the ground by Carolina safety Sean Chandler. The 16-yard gain helped set the stage for a Jones-to-Pettis five-yard touchdown pass that gave the Giants a 12-3 third quarter lead en route to a 22-3 Giants win.
Jones has made some excellent plays in his Giants career. There was the 80-run against the Eagles last season but Jones outran himself and stumbled down inside the 10. There was the NFL career-best 402-yard passing game earlier this season in a 27-21 win over the New Orleans Saints but that was followed by a 5-of-13 passing performance for 98 yards before getting knocked out against the Cowboys.
This time Jones’ catch sparked a 13-0 closing run as the Giants turned a 5-3 extra-inning game into a 22-point rout. It snapped a two-game losing streak. Jones finished 23-of-33 for 203 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Jones began his pro career without having been vaccinated against fumbles but Sunday was a turnover-free game.
It’s not often a Giants win might bode well for the Jets but we’ll give it a try. For all the Jets fans out there who fear Zach Wilson will be a bust, consider Jones. There were serious doubts about Jones being a franchise quarterback. In Year 3, Jones has looked the part and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has opened up the playbook.
Wilson, like Jones, is an athletic quarterback. They both come from non-power football schools – Wilson from BYU; Jones from Duke. And now, like Jones, Wilson has to deal with his first injury as a pro.
Wilson will miss 2-4 weeks after suffering a mild sprain to the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Jets 54-13 loss to the New England. The Patriots seem to have added a chapter in their playbook ‘The Belichick Way’ titled, “Going for the Opposing QBs Knees – a Primer on Getting Away with Dirty Football.” See: Deflating balls and videoing opposing teams for additional info.
Wilson took a shot to his knees from behind by Lawrence Guy in front of the Jets sideline. No penalty was called (questionable considering how the NFL puts a premium on protecting quarterbacks).
But here’s the rub, penalty or not: Not one Jets player, not one!, took issue with Guy. Coach Robert Saleh was clearly upset on the sidelines but none of his players got in Guy’s face. The franchise quarterback gets hit in the knees from behind and the Jets stood on their sideline like a doorman gazing out at the street.
Wilson actually suffered his injury on the previous play when he was tackled by Matt Judon. That was a clean play but whenever a QB is hurt, his team should be on high alert. The Jets, of course lost, 54-13, but worse than that was their passive response when their QB went down.
Wilson clearly has plenty athleticism and can make some remarkable throws on the run. Like most rookie quarterbacks not name Mac Jones, he is overwhelmed by the speed and sophistication of the defenses he’s face. The NFL is not the Mountain West.
Here’s the one consolation, and it’s a meager one at that. It took Jones until his third season to demonstrate he can be an NFL starter. Wilson’s development will be hampered by his injury. But maybe, just maybe, he can follow in Jones’ path.
CARDINALS -6.5 over Packers– If this game was on paid TV, I’d buy it, and like any self-respecting New Yorker, I don’t buy anything that’s not on sale. Kyler Murray vs Aaron Rodgers – Sweet! The 6-1 Pack at the 7-0 Cards. Sweet! JJ Watt (shoulder) likely done for the season – not so sweet. Actually, we won’t buy this game. Pack without its top three receivers
+BILLS -13.5 over Dolphins – The Dolphins have lost six straight – the last two to the Jags and Falcons – and rival the Texans for worst situation in the NFL. Not only are they losing but every day comes another distraction known as Deshawn Watson. Bills are snorting mad after tough loss to Titans.
Panthers +3 over FALCONS – The Sam Darnold Experiment looked so good early in the season. Now the Panthers are QB shopping. Atlanta has a future Hall of Fame QB in Matt Ryan who has found his rookie QB Kyle Pitts. It’s not as sexy as Joe Burrow to Jamar Chase but it’s effective.
Eagles -3.5 over LIONS — Tough times in Motor City and we’re not talking about the auto industry. Detroit is in the market for a future QB. Unfortunately, it’s the present
Titans +1 over COLTS – If you like physical football, here you go. There should be a picture in picture of Derrick Henry going against Darius Leonard. Indy has allowed two rushing touchdowns. Tennessee has scored 13 touchdowns on the ground. Something’s got to give. Titans won the first meeting in Tennessee, 25-16. They’re getting a point. Colts are home. Toughest pick of the week.
+Rams -14.5 over TEXANS – The NFL likes to brag that two coaches of color were hired in the last cycle. Robert Saleh (Jets) and David Culley (Texans) took over two of the worst franchise. This is progress? Rams are legit Super Bowl contenders. Texans aren’t rebuilding, they’re excavating.
Bengals -10.5 over JETS – Something special is happening in Cincinnati. Bet you didn’t expect to read that this season. This is a perfect trap game for the Bengals, fresh off their convincing win at Baltimore and facing a Jets team that might start Joe Flacco. But the Jets are so bad it would take a bear trap to stop Cincy this week.
Steelers +3.5 over BROWNS – Do you know how difficult it is to pick Baker “The Commercial Maker” Mayfield, who has accounted for just seven touchdowns in seven games? To Mayfield’s credit, he is playing in pain (shoulder). This one of the NFL’s nastiest rivalries (see: Mason Rudolph/Myles Garrett). Mike Tomlin is too good for any college job.
49ERS -4 over Bears – If you’re looking for an endorsement, don’t go to 49ers coach Sean McVay. He is sticking with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB, uh, kind of. Which means he’s sticking with Jimmy G until Trey Lance is healthy. The Bears must win on defense until Justin Fields comes of age – which means next season.
SEAHAWKS -3 over Jaguars – Yes, Geno Smith is a backup QB because he’s a backup QB. Trevor Lawrence is going to be a terrific QB, sooner rather than later, especially if Urban Meyer steps down after the season. Seattle still is one of the toughest places to play and that defense will rattle Lawrence.
CHARGERS -5 over Patriots – The Pats go from home against the Jets and Zach Wilson to at San Diego and Justin Herbert. Mac Jones goes from impressive rookie QB to rookie QB. Herbert, the sixth player and third quarterback taken in the 2020 Draft, is the Quiet Killer. He slays the Pats.
BRONCOS -3 over Washington – He is as consistent as Kyrie Irving but Taylor Heinicke is a gamer and fun to watch. Unfortunately, he can’t generate enough offense to compensate for the most disappointing defense in the league. Add Mile High to toughest places in the league to play.
SAINTS +5.5 over Buccaneers – The Bucs are playing at their best football in the Tom Brady era and there’s no reason to think they won’t go into New Orleans and win. But the Saints defense is tenacious and add the Superdome to tough home fields, regardless of the sponsor.
VIKINGS +1.5 over Cowboys – The Dallas defense is much better than last season but far from good. The Vikings have the tools in Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook to score with Dallas. Dak gets picked.
+CHIEFS -9.5 over Giants – Yes, the Chiefs have real issues. Yes, Patrick Mahomes is hurting. Yes, the Giants looked good in last week’s win over the Panthers. But Carolina’s quarterback is Sam Darnold, not Mahomes. And despite the improvement in Daniel Jones’ game, the Giants can keep pace with the Chiefs.
Home team in CAPS
+ Best bets.
Last Week: 8-5; Best Bet: 2-0.
Season, 54-49-3; 7-2.
2 thoughts on “The Big Apple is Not QB City – Yet”
The hit by Guy was clean, maybe that’s why the Jets didn’t protest.
Fair point, but let me ask you this? If the QB on your team got hit from behind right in front of the team’s sideline, wouldn’t you want at least a few players stepping up?