Jason Garrett explains why Giants' 'good environment' is leading to Daniel Jones' success

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Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett walk during practice
Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett walk during practice

Down 21-10 in the second half against the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday, Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett needed to get things going quickly when he had the ball on his side. And Daniel Jones was the man who needed to execute, or New York would be facing the dreaded 0-4 to start the new season -- a position that is extremely hard to dig out of.

The results? A 27-21 overtime victory that showcased the many weapons the Giants have on offense and a quarterback they trust to deliver when they need him to. It was the first time Jones threw for over 400 yards in his young career, and even more important, another game-winning drive to chalk up on his resume.

This is exactly what the Giants wanted to see with Jones to start the new campaign. It's Year 3 now and Jones has been one of the league's best quarterbacks with the numbers to back him up. He has the fifth-best offensive grade at QB per Pro Football Focus, and only Tom Brady has a higher passing grade.

So what exactly has changed to make him look like the franchise quarterback the Giants always believed he would be? Garrett knows the answer.

“As the environment gets better around him, as we protect better and we get some guys outside who can make some plays for him, he’s going to continue to get better," he said.

Makes sense, right? First, look at the blocking last week. Jones had some good time in the pocket, especially on that overtime victory drive, which allowed him to survey the field and throw darts to his receivers. Of course, Jones doesn't always have that luxury, but we see what he can do when he does make those plays.

"He’s made really good decisions," Garrett explained. "He’s played decisively. I think he’s getting a better understanding of what we’re asking him to do, what defenses are trying to do to us, and he’s seeing the field and he’s making a lot of good decisions.”

Quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski agrees with Garrett, saying "he's seeing the defense really well." But he also pointed out how Jones throws the ball away when he needs to instead of doing something extra that can lead to turnovers.

But the second part of Garrett's statement about the environment -- getting guys outside who he can throw to -- is the biggest part of the equation and the one GM Dave Gettleman envisioned when he added all those playmakers in the offseason. You saw Kadarius Toney making plays. John Ross' first Giants catch was a touchdown. Kenny Golladay was crucial to make sure Saquon Barkley could rush it in for the win.

The Giants always had the options on the outside. It was all about deploying them properly, which is Garrett's duty. Sunday was a glimpse at just how versatile this group can be this season.

“The essence of offensive football is attacking in different ways," said Garrett. "We’ve talked about this a lot: It starts with run and pass. You can throw to different guys and hand it to different guys, and just simply attack them whether it’s tempo, or personnel, or formation use, or movements, whatever those things are. When you add those guys, Kadarius and John, and they prove they can be effective and make plays down the field, that certainly gets the defense’s attention and that opens up opportunities for other people.”

We all know this is easily the best supporting cast Jones has had in his three seasons, though the offensive line can still be upgraded. With the right pieces in place, he's making plays and showing improvement by the week. But even in those bad times, Garrett says Jones continued to learn and develop.

“You just keep banging away. There’s never a perfect environment," he said. "I think he’s handled a really positive environment well. I think he’s handled maybe an adverse environment well. That’s a big part of who he is, how he was raised and what he’s all about."

Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys will once again put Jones in a tough situation against a divisional opponent that has seen him on multiple occasions. But they haven't yet seen Jones in this offense with various ways to hurt a defense.

A good environment for once.