When you draft a first-round quarterback it’s only a matter of time until he gets in the game and for the New York Giants and rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, the time is now. Jones will get his first start this upcoming Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers replacing long-time starter Eli Manning.
The Giants have had a pedestrian opening to the season and while there is plenty of blame to go around, the fact that Manning is no longer the quarterback he once was is a large part of it. Adding Jones into the lineup will hopefully spark the offense and allow them to have longer, more sustainable drives. That, in turn, will help the defense as they will get more opportunities to rest between drives.
Against Dallas, in Week 1 there were consecutive plays where Manning rolled out in short-yardage situations and did not get the first down. Had Jones been running those plays the outcome would likely be different as he is more athletic than Manning is at this point in his career. The defense would have had to be concerned with the possibility of Jones running the ball and would have had to play the play differently.
Jones had a superb preseason. Many will point out that he went up against 2nd or 3rd string defenses that were playing very “vanilla.” While those are good points, he showed the athleticism and arm-strength that can help the Giants win games. Additionally, Jones, along with running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram make up a dynamic trio that can lead the Giants to victories for years to come.
Going up against Tampa Bay this Sunday, Jones should expect defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to dial up the pressure. The Buccaneers are 1 – 1 and, last week, beat the Carolina Panthers who have a quarterback that is not his former self in Cam Newton and a superstar running back who couldn’t get enough done because the offense relied too heavily on him in Christian McCaffrey.
Perhaps Giants coach Pat Shurmur didn’t want a full repeat performance from the Buccaneers and that aided his decision to start Jones.
The only question that’s left is what’s next for Eli Manning?