The New York Giants are on a slight losing skid. They’ve dropped three of their last four games, the last two at the hands of the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys, within four days.
In these two games, quarterback Daniel Jones posted the two highest passing yard games of his season. Three hundred forty-one (341) yards, one touchdown against the Lions, and 228 yards with one touchdown in Dallas. Most of the statistics came when the Giants were down by a large amount, with little time left in the game.
Despite two straight losses for the first time this season, Jones and the Giants are confident that they will get back on track and prove to everyone that they are a good team.
“I mean, we still have a lot of confidence in this team. I don’t think anyone sees a reason to lose faith or confidence in our team. We’re a good team, and certainly, we need to do some things better over the last couple of games that we haven’t done that we were doing better at the beginning of the year, but we’re confident we’re a good football team.”
The Giants currently have the hardest schedule in the league going forward, with an opponent-winning percentage of .688. Their journey begins this Sunday at home against Washington. Four of the Giants' final six games are divisional, two against the Commanders and the other two against the Eagles. Washington is last in the division, but that does not tell the whole story. The Commanders have won six of their last seven games and climbed back into the NFC East race. They’re certainly not a team to be taken lightly, especially for the Giants, who desperately need this win on Sunday.
“They’re a good team. They’ve been playing well. On defense, upfront, they’re talented. A lot of really good players up front – and in the backend too. They’re a good team, and we’ll have to play a good game.”
Reinforcements for Washington and New York are coming at great times for the final stretch of the season. The Giants are expected to have outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari, right tackle Evan Neal and safety Tony Jefferson back for Sunday. Rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger also has an outside shot at returning to help bolster things in the pit.
“I think that the strength of their defense is those guys up front, but they’ve got players across the board who can make plays. We’ll have a plan for them,” Jones said.
Something the Giants have been built on this season is their rushing attack. However, in the last two weeks, the Giants haven’t been able to run the ball effectively. Jones hasn’t seemed to receive as many designed quarterback runs as fans have been used to seeing in the earlier part of the season. Since his 107 rushing yard performance in Jacksonville in Week 7, Jones has accumulated just 108 rushing yards since then. If the Giants want to continue to lean on their running game, they will need Jones to be a part of that.
“I think it comes down to executing and ensuring we’re putting ourselves in a good position each play to execute – we’re doing our jobs. That falls on all of us to do that, preparing each day at practice and setting up well for Sunday.”
A big reason their rushing attack has failed the last two weeks is that star running back Saquon Barkley has not looked like himself as of late. Since his 35-carry, 152-yard game in Week 10, Barkley has rushed for only 61 yards since. Fans have speculated that Barkley is either hurt or his workload is catching up to him. Jones is certain that their star player is good to go and ready to contribute down the stretch.
“People are going to talk and look for something to say. I certainly haven’t seen that. I think he’s playing well, and I’m excited to watch him get out there on Sunday.”
The season starts now. That’s the message head coach Brian Daboll instilled into players after their Thanksgiving break. If the Giants are going to make a push for the playoffs, they need all hands on deck. Jones is confident that his new head coach will help lead this team to its first playoff berth in six seasons.
“I think guys have responded to his style of coaching, his way of relating to players. I think he’s done a good job planning each week and making sure we’re prepared as a team based on what the other team is doing. I feel like we’ve been prepared for pretty much everything.”
Not only is Daniel Jones playing to help this Giants team reach the playoffs, but he is playing for his job right now. The big debate among fans is whether Jones has done enough to warrant a new contract or the franchise tag. If Jones can play at a high level over the next six games and lead the Giants to the playoffs, he will have a legitimate case to earn a new deal and continue to be the quarterback of the future. It’ll be interesting to see how Jones and the Giants approach the season's final stretch.
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