Daniel Jones’ Midway Point And The State of The Giants

The  season is at the midway point for Daniel Jones. He has started seven games and has seven remaining. Many are of the impression the Giants are a disaster. Many say the coach should be fired and players should have been traded.

The Giants are 2-7. They have the 27th ranked point differential of -79 points. They are 31st in points allowed with Miami last at only one more point allowed.  The Giants have a league high 22 turnovers lost and are 30th in turnover margin (-10).  They are 31st in opponent total yards allowed.  The Giants are 30th in first half score differential with -58.

Lets look at the Giant games since Daniel Jones started in week three. Here is a synopsis of the games.

Tampa Bay 32-31 (W)

Down by 18 points going into the third quarter, Jones opens the third quarter with a short pass to Evan Engram that goes 75 yards for a touchdown. The next Giant drive Jones leads drive down the field which includes a deep pass to Layton for 46 yards. The drive ends in another touchdown to pull with three points. After the Buccaneers increase the lead to 6 points by a field goal with 6 minutes remaining. The Giants get the ball at the Giants 25 with 3:16 remaining down 31-25. Jones completes five consecutive passes to drive down to the Tampa 7 yard line. After two incompletions Jones runs it in the seven yards for the touchdown and his first fourth quarter comeback. Daniel Jones was 23 of 36 for 336 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 112.7 quarterback rating. He had two fumbles.

Washington 24-3 (W)

A game dominated throughout by the Giants. Jones was 23 of 31 for 225 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Defensively the Giants had four interceptions and eight quarterback hits.

Minnesota 28-10 (L)

The Giants were just Outplayed. Quarterback Kirk Cousins had 306 passing yards and a 138.5 quarterback rating. On top of that Dalvin Cook rushed for 132 yards and had 86 receiving yards. Adan Thielen had 130 receiving yards. Daniel Jones was 21 of 38, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, four sacks and with a 65.9 quarterback rating.

New England 35-14 (L)

This game was much closer than the final score indicates. Playing the undefeated Patriots the Giants managed to keep it to a one-score game up to 8:43 remaining in the fourth quarter. Then a fumble by running back Jon Hilliman was returned for a Patriot touchdown. This year only the Bills and the Ravens had a better showing against the Patriots. The much maligned Giants defense kept them in most of the game. Daniel Jones had a rough day being 15 of 31 for 151 yards, 1 touchdown and three interceptions. He had a career low quarterback rating of 35.2. Golden Tate had six receptions for 102 yards and an 8.5 yards after the catch average. The Giants defense pressured Brady getting three sacks, two hits, one interception and two fumbles.

Arizona 27-21 (L)

After Arizona went up 17-0 by the start of the second quarter the Giants came back to pull within three points at 24-21 with eight minutes remaining. That three point difference remained until 2:31 remained when the Cardinals scored a field goal to eventually win at 27-21. Daniel Jones was sacked a career high eight times. It is in a five way tie for the second most sacks on a quarterback this season.

Detroit 31-26

After going down 14-0 in the first quarter the Giants battled back to pull within five points for a 31-26 score with 1:23 remaining. The on-side kick failed and the Giants lost. Daniel Jones was 28 of 41 for 322 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, one fumble lost and a 124.2 quarterback rating. the Giants had four sacks on Matthew Stafford.

Dallas 37-18

The Giants pulled to within five points of Dallas  with 12 minutes to play and remained a five point game until 8 minutes remained. Golden Tate caught all six of his targets including a spectacular one handed catch for 17 yards on 3 and 14. That set up the Giants sole touchdown.  Safety Antoine Bethea had an interception and a fumble recovery in addition to a pass breakup and nine tackles. Safety Jabrill Peppers had 12 tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. Cody Latimer had a fifty yard kick return and averaged 30 yards on six returns.

Except for the Viking game the Giants played a close competitive game in all their other losses. Plus they had the two wins. Those competitive losses were against some good teams such as the Patriots and Dallas.

Daniel Jones is a competitive, tough quarterback who does not give up on a play or a game no matter how much down, how much hit, or how much yards to go. That is a great characteristic that needs to be developed with better ball protection. Over the last ten seasons among rookie quarterbacks that started at least seven games, Daniel Jones has the highest average of turnovers per game with a 2.13.  The next best quarterback with a high average of turnovers is Andrew Luck who comes in at fourth with a 1.63 average. Here is a table of the quarterbacks over the last ten seasons sorted by descending turnovers per game.

Player Year Age Draft Tm G GS TD Int Pick6 TD% Int% Fmb FR TO TO/G
Daniel Jones 2019 22 1-6 NYG 8 7 11 8 4.3 3.11 10 1 17 2.13
DeShone Kizer 2017 21 2-52 CLE 15 15 11 22 2.3 4.62 9 2 29 1.93
Christian Ponder 2011 23 1-12 MIN 11 10 13 13 3 4.5 4.47 6 0 19 1.73
Andrew Luck 2012 23 1-1 IND 16 16 23 18 3 3.7 2.87 10 2 26 1.63
Geno Smith 2013 23 2-39 NYJ 16 16 12 21 5 2.7 4.74 8 3 26 1.63
Jared Goff 2016 22 1-1 LAR 7 7 5 7 1 2.4 3.41 5 1 11 1.57
Gardner Minshew 2019 23 6-178 JAX 9 8 13 4 4.2 1.3 11 1 14 1.56
Josh Allen 2018 22 1-7 BUF 12 11 10 12 1 3.1 3.75 8 2 18 1.50
Blake Bortles 2014 22 1-3 JAX 14 13 11 17 4 2.3 3.58 7 3 21 1.50
Marcus Mariota 2015 22 1-2 TEN 12 12 19 10 2 5.1 2.7 10 3 17 1.42
Blaine Gabbert 2011 22 1-10 JAX 15 14 12 11 2.9 2.66 14 4 21 1.40
Brandon Weeden 2012 29 1-22 CLE 15 15 14 17 2 2.7 3.29 6 2 21 1.40
Sam Darnold 2018 21 1-3 NYJ 13 13 17 15 2 4.1 3.62 5 2 18 1.38
Nick Mullens 2018 23 SFO 8 8 13 10 2 4.7 3.65 2 1 11 1.38
Baker Mayfield 2018 23 1-1 CLE 14 13 27 14 2 5.6 2.88 7 2 19 1.36
Carson Wentz 2016 24 1-2 PHI 16 16 16 14 2.6 2.31 14 7 21 1.31
Ryan Tannehill 2012 24 1-8 MIA 16 16 12 13 2 2.5 2.69 9 1 21 1.31
EJ Manuel 2013 23 1-16 BUF 10 10 11 9 3.6 2.94 6 2 13 1.30
Josh Rosen 2018 21 1-10 ARI 14 13 11 14 4 2.8 3.56 10 7 17 1.21
Cam Newton 2011 22 1-1 CAR 16 16 21 17 1 4.1 3.29 5 3 19 1.19
Sam Bradford 2010 23 1-1 STL 16 16 18 15 2 3.1 2.54 7 3 19 1.19
Jimmy Clausen 2010 23 2-48 CAR 13 10 3 9 2 1 3.01 9 3 15 1.15
Andy Dalton 2011 24 2-35 CIN 16 16 20 13 1 3.9 2.52 5 0 18 1.13
Derek Carr 2014 23 2-36 OAK 16 16 21 12 1 3.5 2 10 4 18 1.13
Colt McCoy 2010 24 3-85 CLE 8 8 6 9 2.7 4.05 1 1 9 1.13
Teddy Bridgewater 2014 22 1-32 MIN 13 12 14 12 3.5 2.99 3 1 14 1.08
Jameis Winston 2015 21 1-1 TAM 16 16 22 15 2 4.1 2.8 6 4 17 1.06
Mike Glennon 2013 24 3-73 TAM 13 13 19 9 4.6 2.16 7 3 13 1.00
Mitchell Trubisky 2017 23 1-2 CHI 12 12 7 7 2.1 2.12 10 6 11 0.92
Robert Griffin 2012 22 1-2 WAS 15 15 20 5 5.1 1.27 12 4 13 0.87
Russell Wilson 2012 24 3-75 SEA 16 16 26 10 1 6.6 2.54 6 3 13 0.81
Dak Prescott 2016 23 4-135 DAL 16 16 23 4 5 0.87 9 3 10 0.63
Lamar Jackson 2018 21 1-32 BAL 16 7 6 3 3.5 1.76 12 5 10 0.63
Cody Kessler 2016 23 3-93 CLE 9 8 6 2 3.1 1.03 4 2 4 0.44
Kyler Murray 2019 22 1-1 ARI 9 9 9 4 2.8 1.27 2 2 4 0.44

Correcting Daniel Jones turnovers should be one of the top priorities of coach Shurmur. An improvement in this area should be enough to turn those close games into wins and solidify Shurmur’s position for 2020. In fact improving this area with Jones is enough to keep Shurmur irregardless of the wins.

On defense the top priority should be to limit the passing big play. The Giants are in a three way tie for last in 40+ passing plays by the opponent with 11 allowed. They are 27th in 20+ passing plays allowed per game with 4.22. They have to play tighter and tackle better. The players of Jabrill Peppers, Deandre Baker, Grant Haley, Alec Ogletree and David Mayo give up on average 5 yards after the catch. Safety Antoine Bethea gives up an average 10 yards after the catch.

Player Pos Int Tgt Cmp Cmp% Yds Yds/Cmp Yds/Tgt Rat YAC MTkl MTkl% YAC / Cmp
Michael Thomas 0 12 10 83.3% 118 11.8 9.8 147.2 19 0 0.0% 1.9
Janoris Jenkins CB 4 55 30 54.5% 400 13.3 7.3 65.7 67 7 15.6% 2.2
Jabrill Peppers S 1 33 21 63.6% 218 10.4 6.6 70 96 10 13.3% 4.6
Deandre Baker CB 0 47 33 70.2% 505 15.3 10.7 133.7 153 5 11.9% 4.6
Grant Haley cb 0 33 27 81.8% 293 10.9 8.9 113.8 126 3 7.5% 4.7
Alec Ogletree LB 0 23 21 91.3% 153 7.3 6.7 108.9 110 6 11.8% 5.2
David Mayo LB 0 12 9 75.0% 83 9.2 6.9 93.4 54 4 9.8% 6.0
Corey Ballentine 0 7 4 57.1% 32 8 4.6 68.7 25 0 0.0% 6.3
Nathan Stupar lb 0 4 4 100.0% 37 9.3 9.3 105.2 25 1 25.0% 6.3
Antoine Bethea S 1 14 12 85.7% 278 23.2 19.9 128.6 121 6 8.2% 10.1

The Giants are 31st in opponent yards per pass attempt with 8.4 yards per attempt. The average depth of target for the league is eight yards. The average for the Giants last seven opponents was 9.5 yards. Four of the opponents average depth of target were over 10 yards – Tampa (13), Washington (11.3), Detroit (12.2) and Dallas (10.3).  Until the Giants can tighten up that back-end coverage teams will continue to take deep shots at them.

The Giants are not as bad as their record indicates. They have some games on the schedule that they should win – Jets, Redskins and Dolphins. The Bears game is another I give them a good chance in. The goal should be to correct the turnovers and shore up the deep coverage. If they can improve those two areas they can definitely get to 6-10 and maybe better.

Enjoy the week 10 games !

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