The New York Giants went into Minnesota on the road during Wild Card Weekend and defeated the favored Vikings. A big reason why New York advanced to the second round of the NFL postseason was the stellar play of quarterback Daniel Jones, who had a breakout performance against Minnesota.
The embattled Giants quarterback would now appear to have a brighter future than anyone would’ve guessed a month ago, and warrants legitimate consideration for a contract extension.
A Matchup Nightmare
When New York hired former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as their head coach before the 2022 season, their best case scenario involved him sprinkling some of Josh Allen’s magic on to Daniel Jones. Allen is one of the best players in the NFL and has a much more dynamic skill set than Jones, but the latter has ability that is reminiscent of the Buffalo signal caller. Jones’ mobility provides real problems for defenses who look to cover up many possible plays.
That versatility was on full display against Minnesota, as Jones threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 78 yards. It’s the type of dual threat that teams would think they’d be able to slow down, considering the Giants’ lack of offensive weapons on the perimeter. Even though they know it’s coming, it’s been hard to slow down, which is a credit to Daboll, offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, and Jones.
Cleaning Up His Act
One of the main reasons why Jones was viewed as a lame duck quarterback heading into his fourth season in New York was his tendency to turn the ball over. It seemed like minimal contact in the pocket was enough for Jones to lose control of the football, and his questionable decision making also led to interceptions that put the Giants in some difficult positions.
Some would look at Jones’ numbers this season and point out the relative lack of passing touchdowns and yardage accumulated. That would be a fair observation, but further review also indicates that Jones has taken care of the ball better this season than at any point of his career. The former Duke star committed a career low in turnovers this year, which has helped the Giants turn the corner.
A Successful Precedent
Conventional thinking leads people to believe that the quarterback of a New York based football team needs to be vocal, outgoing and talkative in order to succeed in the largest market in the country. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as NFL history has shown that some of the most successful Giants quarterbacks have been mild-mannered, even-keel leaders.
Phil Simms let his teammates on defense do the talking in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. More recently, Eli Manning was viewed as rehearsed during his tenure with the Giants, where he won two Super Bowls. Jones is cut from the same cloth, and lets his production on the field speak for him.