Daniel Jones’ first Opening Week start as an NFL quarterback had it’s ups and down, but it was a few of his mistakes that ultimately stood out the most in Monday’s 26-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Jones completed 26 of his 41 attempts on Monday night for 279 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a beautiful 41-yard deep ball to Darius Slayton. But his two interceptions proved costly, especially his third-quarter INT on the 19th play of the Giants’ drive. With the Giants trailing by only six points, Jones tried to force a ball into the end zone but was hit as he threw, giving Cameron Heyward an easy pick and completely swinging momentum back to the Steelers.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Jones said that both the coaching staff and his teammates have already been working hard to get those mistakes fixed heading into Week 2.
“It’s certainly very clear to us as players when mistakes are made and there are things we’ve got to correct, and we did that,” Jones said. “We did that together, and I thought the communication was clear and going out to practice today I thought guys were on the same page and understood the urgency and the importance of each of those corrections.
“There were certainly good things form the game that we also discussed and obviously want to grow with and build on, but as far as corrections and fixing mistakes, the communication was clear and I know the guy understand the urgency to which it needs to be corrected.”
Jones has officially been the Giants’ starting quarterback for just about one full calendar year now, stepping in as Eli Manning passed the torch.
He’s learned plenty about the NFL game since then, both on and off the field.
“I think I’ve learned a lot on the field playing football, scheme and understanding the game and how to prepare and getting ready to play, and I think a lot of stuff in between,” Jones said.
“I think I understand the expectation and the responsibility of playing quarterback and representing the New York Giants. I take that responsibility seriously. It’s something where I think I’m constantly learning and constantly understanding how to best do that.”
But as Joe Judge pointed out during his time with reporters, one of the biggest keys for Jones is to not lose the aggressive edge that he plays with as a passer. Yes, mistakes need to be cleaned up, but Jones can’t lose the way he plays in the process.
“At this level, you’ve got to be able to do both. You’ve got to play aggressive and take care of the football. That’s the job and that’s the expectation,” said Jones. “Just continuing to work on that, and I think on this level you’re expected to be able to do both, and I certainly expect that from myself.