By Lenn Robbins
Sorry Lady Gaga. Apologies Bradley Cooper.
A F&$ping star has been born.
Daniel Stephen Jones III, the quarterback the Giants allegedly drafted too high, the seemingly second coming of mind-mannered Eli Manning, the old-school drop back passer, shattered all those preconceived notions on one glorious evening in Tampa.
Jones, the No.6 pick in the draft, bolted seven yards with 1:18 left for what proved to be the winning touchdown as he rallied the Giants to a 32-31 win in his first NFL start.
Afterward, after Jones had rallied the Giants from an 18-point deficit, after the rookie from Duke had run for two touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns, after he completed 23-of-36 passes for 336 yards, it was learned he dropped the ‘F’ bomb in the huddle.
Now that’s a quarterback for New York.
“(He) cussed one time,” wide receiver Russell Shepard told reporters after the game. “I ain’t never heard him scream. He started screaming and cussing. We were in the red zone and he was like, ‘Let’s f—ing score.’”
“The fact that he did that (curse) was an eye-opener because we never seen him get out of his personality. He’s very mellow, very mild-mannered individual. He doesn’t get too high or too low. To see him get like that was pretty impressive. That was the thing that propelled us offensively to keep fighting.”
The Giants had gone 55 games in which they had failed to win after trailing by 18 points or more at halftime. They trailed 28-10 and Jones had played like a rookie quarterback making his first start on the road no less.
And then the third quarter started and Jones, before our very eyes, transformed himself from a wide-eyed, overwhelmed 22-year-old rookie into a seasoned season savior. Jones completed 5-of-8 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
When Matt Gay yanked a 34-yard chip shot that would have ruined Jones’ debut, the Giants, led by a jumping up and down Jones, celebrated as if they had won the Super Bowl. It was only their first win of the season after two miserable losses.
“We had a chance there at the end of the game,’’ Jones said. “That’s all you can ask for, We kinda struggled to move the ball there at points and — just a great job, great job moving the ball down the field as a team. We got some guys open, and they made plays. So great job, loved the fight and loved the grit of this win.”
Lost in all this, of course, was Eli Manning, the two-time Super Bowl MVP who should be remembered as one of the franchise’s all-time greats. He was the only player on the winning sideline that knew just how impressive Jones’ performance was.
But Jones is not Eli. He just penned the first chapter in his book. Some of the words might have to be blacked out.
“I was just excited,” Jones told reporters when asked about his huddle expletive. “I don’t know exactly what happened.”
What happened is a star has been born. A F5$king star.