After plenty of subpar seasons, the New York Giants finally have a chance to succeed. Led by Daniel Jones, this young, talented team has a chance to make some noise. One of the only things that can hold this team back is Jones himself. Since being selected at a surprisingly high 6th overall, Jones’ performance so far in his career has been lackluster at best. Here’s why this year is his last chance to succeed.
Last year, the Giants’ offense was one of the worst. With Jones struggling behind center, Saquon Barkley and receivers being injured, and the line playing awful, the whole offense struggled to the second-worst in the league. This team needed to add weapons to help their elite defense win games. And this offseason, the Giants did exactly that.
Of the free-agent wide receivers, there was one who was more sought out than the rest. Kenny Golladay, the deep threat for the Detroit Lions, entered the market following his fourth season. The Giants, a team desperately needing a number-one WR, signed Golladay to a four-year, $72 million contract. This signing gave the Giants a receiver who can win contested catches and go up for deep balls. If Jones can find Golladay downfield, the offense can score at will. With a number one WR to complement Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton, the receiving core started to look like a legitimate threat.
However, the Giants would continue to bolster their offense. Before signing Golladay, the Giants brought in Kyle Rudolph to help a struggling Evan Engram. And, after trading back to 20 in the NFL draft, the Giants selected Kadarius Toney out of Florida. The young receiver is an excellent addition who can play many roles in an offense. If Jason Garrett can utilize him correctly he’ll be a threat.
With those offseason additions, the Giants offense enters the season with Barkley, Golladay, Shepherd, Slayton, Toney, Rudolph, and Engram. Since the offense is a step up from last year, the pressure is on Jones to step up.
Jones’s Turnover Problems
Since his first start in 2019, Jones has struggled to cement himself as a starting quarterback. He has come short in many facets of the game. Some categories, such as touchdowns and yards, are products of his team and coaching. However, he has his own shortcomings too. Jones has been incapable of protecting the football, with 22 interceptions and 29 fumbles (17 lost) in 27 career games. If an offense turns the ball over that many times, they will never win games. This entire season is dependent on how he takes care of the football. His stats don’t have to be through the roof, but he needs to have significantly fewer turnovers if the Giants expect to win games.
How Jones Can Fix This
His team should help him with this. With added receiver help and another year in the same scheme, Jones should have more options and not need to force the ball. With a healthy Barkley, Jones will also have a renewed run game to not only open up the pass but play-action and more. The offense should expand exponentially this year, and it will give Jones the perfect opportunity to prove himself.
In terms of fumbles, many were due to the lack of protection Jones had the last two years. He was sacked 45 times last year and 38 in his rookie year, for a combined 83 sacks in 27 games. There are many factors that go into offensive stats, and sacks are no different. Some were Jones’s fault, as he held onto the ball for too long. Sometimes he held onto the ball for longer than he should due to the poor offensive scheme Garrett had. And of course, many of his sacks were due to having one of the worst lines in the league. However, his line is young and will improve this year, especially in comparison to last year’s line. Not to mention, Jones has also put on some muscle this offseason and worked on fumble control. With all these factors improving in Jones’ favor, you can expect him to turn the ball over much less.
Danny Dimes’s Final Chance
There’s no mistaking that this year is Jones’ final shot. With the added weapons he has and with how good the team is, there’s no reason he can’t become a solid starting QB. This year, the only thing holding Jones back is himself and his offensive line. If he can perform to expectations, the Giants will have a solid shot at making the playoffs and possibly further.