All eyes were on quarterback Daniel Jones as the New York Giants opened their preseason on Thursday night against the New England Patriots. And now, the results are in.
“Daniel Jones is awful,” screamed countless tweets from armchair general managers.
No matter how Jones performed in Week 1 of the preseason, that was destined to be the reaction. And predictably, the critics did not fail.
But neither did Jones. Contrary to the faux outrage you might be seeing on social media, the fourth-year quarterback looked solid — albeit unspectacular — against the Patriots.
In a very watered down version of Brian Daboll’s offense, Jones opened the game with an impressive drive down the field that should have resulted in a touchdown. It didn’t because wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who ran an ugly route, dropped a likely scored at the goal line. The ball hit him in the numbers and then subsequently hit the ground.
It was the second poor effort play from Golladay on the drive.
“Yeah, there was some good and some things we could have back. What was he? 6 of 10. We threw a couple of vertical plays there,” Daboll told reporters. “They had a couple of free runners relative to the protection, but I thought he operated the offense well. He led them down on the first drive. We stalled there in the Red Zone. Good first start, but certainly things to clean up.”
As it has been for much of his career, Jones’ protection left a bit to be desired during that opening drive. And during the second drive, it completely collapsed.
Not going to lie, braced myself a bit there while watching Daniel Jones have a back shoved into his knees. Risky there. pic.twitter.com/UUQvZjalez
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) August 11, 2022
Left guard Shane Lemieux (toe) had left the game and was replaced by rookie Joshua Ezeudu. Left tackle Andrew Thomas was also subbed out. On the other side of the line, rookie right tackle Evan Neal struggled a little bit and tight end Christ Myarick was beaten badly.
The Giants were lucky Jones was not injured.
“It felt good to get out there and it was just like it used to be,” Jones said. “That’s football right? That’s football and I felt good out there. I didn’t think a whole lot about the neck or anything like that. I felt good and it was just football.”
Jones finished the game 6-of-10 for 69 yards and no turnovers. He also picked up a first down on a seven-yard scramble up the middle.
Objectively, Jones’ performance wasn’t bad. He made some nice throws under pressure and connected for a few big plays. He had a solid command of the huddle but it should have been better against the Patriots’ backups. There’s no way around that.
Tyrod Taylor, meanwhile, played to a similar level. Under consistent pressure himself, he was forced to throw several away and had a few others sail high, leading to a few tips and near interceptions. Unlike Jones however, when Taylor got into the red zone, he had his touchdown pass caught (Richie James Jr.).
When all was said and done, Taylor completed 13 of his 21 pass attempts for 129 yards, the one touchdown and remarkably, no turnovers. Third-stringer Davis Webb completed eight of his 16 passes for 51 yards (no touchdowns, no interceptions).
It was an okay performance from the Giants’ quarterbacks all around. Not great, not bad — just somewhere in the middle.
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