Now Presenting: Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones Graphic Courtesy of theringer.com

Daniel Jones Graphic Courtesy of theringer.com

Jacob Chaimovitch

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Many analysts in the preseason had predicted that New York Giants backup QB Daniel Jones would replace 38-year-old starter Eli Manning under one of two conditions: the Giants fall out of playoff contention or Eli Manning got hurt. So, it was a huge surprise on Tuesday, September 17th, that Daniel Jones was announced as the starter for the Giants franchise after just two weeks. He would make his debut in the NFL against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road. What happened next was a beautiful thing for Giants fans.

Kickoff was at 4:05 pm inside the Raymond James Stadium and the Bucs started the game right away with a 75.2% chance of winning the game, and these chances spiked up when Saquon Barkley left the game after only his second carry of the game. After a Mike Evans touchdown with 9:41 in the first, Bucs kicker Matt Gay missed the PAT. Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas kicked a 36-yard field goal under six minutes later, but Mike Evans caught another Bucs touchdown. This time, Gay’s PAT was blocked. This made it 12-3 Buccaneers after the first quarter. The second quarter was when Tampa Bay exploded offensively. After new QB Daniel Jones ran into the end zone from seven yards out and Rosas kicked the PAT, the Buccaneers caught fire for 16 unanswered points in the form of a trio of field goals and a third Mike Evans touchdown. 28-10 at the half. Things looked bleak for the G-Men after the first half, per usual of the first two weeks; they had been down 21-7 entering their previous two halftimes.

On the first play of the second half, Daniel Jones throws a 75-yard touchdown pass to TE Evan Engram. The Giants go for two and it’s successful. Suddenly, it is a 10 point game. After a punt by the Bucs, on the next Giants possession, Jones throws another touchdown. This time, Sterling Shepard hauls it in and it’s suddenly a three-point game after a PAT by Rosas. A series of back-and-forth possessions by the two teams eventually resulted in a 23-yard field goal by Matt Gay to put the Buccaneers up six. It was time for the Giants to rally back. And they did just that. On a 4th and Goal with 1:16 left in the 4th quarter, Daniel Jones saw an opening up the middle and ran it into the end zone for the touchdown. The TD tied it and Rosas put them ahead. The Buccaneers had one last chance. They stormed the field on their last drive and got to the NYG 18 yard line. They called their last timeout with four seconds left in the game. Matt Gay lined up for a 34-yard field goal. If it’s good, the Bucs go up 34-32 and win the game. If it’s no good, the Buccaneers blow the largest second-half lead in franchise history. From in between the two hash marks, Matt Gay’s kick is up…and it’s wide right.

QB Daniel Jones (#8 left) and WR Bennie Fowler (#18 right) celebrate their huge road comeback win
https://deadspin.com/daniel-jones-king-of-new-york-leads-giants-to-first-w-1838340684

Time expires and the Giants picked up their first win of the season thanks to a rookie QB. Jones’ stat line at the end of the game: 23-36 pass attempts with 336 pass yards and two touchdowns. Four carries for 28 yards and two more rushing touchdowns. In the absence of star running back in Saquon Barkley, Jones’ mobility helped put 14 extra points on the board for the Giants. Mobility is something that Eli Manning couldn’t do as well as Jones did as a QB. On top of the mobility, Jones’ ability to move the ball down the field seemed effortless. One thing that needs to improve if Jones is going to succeed is the offensive line. Jones was sacked five times and fumbled two more times in the pocket. With a stronger o-line and Wayne Gallman acting more as a fullback when Barkley returns, Jones can truly blossom as the future of the New York Giants. With a division rival up next at home, Jones looks to continue his dominance.