The Giants might be in the throes of a four-game losing streak that has cast a pall on their 2019 season. Still, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones continues to gain valuable experience that is helping to shape what looks like a very positive future.
After surrendering one interception, three fumbles, and being sacked eight times against the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago, Jones does appear to be making small steps towards improvement.
Against the Lions defense, which currently is ranked 31st overall in average yards allowed per game (420.4), Jones led the Giants to 26 points in a game in which he posted his best passer rating (124.1) of the season.
He also completed 68.3% of his passes for 322 yards and a career-high four touchdowns thrown.
To help Jones continue with his professional growth, the Giants’ coaching staff has been working more with him during practice on pre-snap checks so that the rookie can make better decisions during his live pre-snap reads.
“It’s been part of what he has been able to do since we put him in against Tampa,” head coach Pat Shurmur said.
“I think that’s part of what he’s able to do. Defenses are too good, they are too multiple, and they do things within plays that changes need to be made. That’s part of why he’s had success.”
After six starts, Jones has ten touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 1,466 total yards. The Giants offense as a unit is ranked 24th in the league. Shurmur views these numbers as opportunities for improvement.
“I think he can improve in all areas of his game,” Shurmur said. “That’s what happens with a young player, he goes through the game, there are a handful of throws that he maybe could throw better.
“There are a couple of times maybe he could have done something different with the football. You are always working on your decision making, your timing, your accuracy, and just in general what the quarterback has to do in terms of managing the game. That’s a continual process for a rookie, as it would be for anybody.”
With a 2-6 record and half a season of football left to play, Jones said that he is focused on these areas of improvement as well as attacking tasks one at a time.
“We’re focused on what we’re doing today, and that’s kind of the mindset we’re going to take throughout the week,” Jones said.
“I keep saying this each week, but he’s tough, and he’s resilient, and he competes, and he tries to do everything right,” Shurmur said.