Whether or not New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones plays up to the standards of his massive four-year, $160 million contract signed this offseason is a discussion that’ll last for seasons to come.
But Jones’s first action since signing the deal couldn’t have looked any better.
Daniel Jones looked methodical in his opening touchdown-drive
The Giants ran 10 plays on their opening drive, nine of which were passes. It’s clear Giants coach Brian Daboll wanted to get Jones all the work on the opening drive and pull him for the rest of the game, getting a look at the running backs after Jones’s departure.
Jones connected with five different receivers on the drive: Darren Waller, Isaiah Hodgins, Parris Campbell, Daniel Bellinger, and Jalin Hyatt. Waller was the featured target for Jones, catching three of the four passes thrown his way for 30 yards.
Jones worked quickly and confidently, picking up three first downs, including a 12-yard strike to Waller on a third-and-long. He followed that conversion with a 20-yard pass to Hodgins, who took the ball inside the Carolina 10-yard-line.
After a short completion to former Ohio State star Campbell, Jones, tossed a pass to Bellinger in the flat, who barreled over the goal-line for a 4-yard touchdown.
Brian Daboll is working wonders with Jones
Daniel Jones is not high on most quarterback rankings. He has a mediocre 85.5 career passer rating, which improved tremendously after last season – his first with quarterback genius Brian Daboll – when he registered a 92.5 passer rating.
Daboll receives a lot of the credit for developing Josh Allen into the superstar he’s become, and some point to Allen’s statistical drop-off last season to the absence of Daboll. With another year under Daboll’s tutelage, we could see continued improvement out of Jones – potentially enough to resurrect the glorious Giants franchise and bring it back to championship contention.
If Friday night’s touchdown drive is any indication of what we’ll see from Jones in the regular season, New York may seriously be in the running for an NFC East title and more.
Fans should always take preseason performances with a grain of salt, but there are things we can glean from these games that will likely translate to the regular season. Jones’s poise, confidence and decision making were exceptional in his 2023 debut, and I expect to see that carry over into New York’s Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys and beyond.