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“Daniel is our quarterback, clearly put,” Judge told reporters after Monday’s 25-23 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “He made a lot of big plays in our last drive. I like the way Daniel’s fighting right now.”
Jones ended the night on a bit of a high note as his 19-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate nearly brought the Giants back with 28 seconds left.
His final numbers provide a more full account of his performance, though. He went 25-of-41 for 256 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both the interceptions were emblematic of his biggest problem through his year and a half in the league as he made a pair of terrible decisions.
“I think those were costly mistakes for us and something I have to work on, and I understand that,” Jones told reporters of the turnovers.
Writing a quarterback off after only 20 career starts isn’t always advisable, and Jones has plenty of time to turn things around. His returns have provided little in the way of encouragement, though.
He has now thrown for 1,666 yards, seven touchdowns and nine interceptions in eight games, and his completion percentage (61.8) is fractionally worse than his completion rate as a rookie (61.9). He didn’t exactly set the world ablaze in his first season, and he’s failing to match even that level in 2020.
Leave aside Jones’ draft position (No. 6 in 2019) and this shouldn’t come as a huge shock.
He completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes in three years with the Duke Blue Devils and never eclipsed 3,000 passing yards over a single season. B/R’s Matt Miller didn’t list him in the top 50 of his final big board and ranked him as the No. 4 quarterback behind Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Drew Lock.
No two players are the same, but Blake Bortles might be quickly becoming the best parallel for Jones.
Bortles didn’t have a stellar collegiate career at UCF but improved his draft stock to the point the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him third overall in 2014. As much as moving on from Jones after only two years may seem absurd, the Jaguars might have been better off by doing just that with Bortles. Their run to the 2017 AFC title game came almost in spite of their starting quarterback.
The Giants wouldn’t even be the only team to cast aside a top quarterback from the 2019 class since Haskins appears to have no future with the Washington Football Team.
If Jones shows little improvement in the second half of the season, New York’s front office might have to seriously consider whether he’s the guy going forward.