The Daniel Jones era will begin this Sunday when he makes his first New York Giants start against the (1-1) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—It’s a dawn of a new day for the New York Giants as Daniel Jones will make his first NFL start on Sunday. It’ll come on the road; the Giants will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers.
When the Giants selected Jones with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, everyone knew he would see playing time sometime this season. But no one could have envisioned that by Week 3 he would be the starter despite his impressive preseason.
But on Tuesday, head coach Pat Shurmur made the announcement that Jones will be the starter on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Jones was asked if he believes he’s ready to make his first NFL start.
“Yeah, I certainly feel good about how far I have come in my preparation and my progress since I got here in the spring, through camp and through these first couple weeks,” Jones said. “We’ll try to make sure we have the best week we can, and I’ll certainly do all I can to be as prepared as possible. Yeah, I feel ready and I’m certainly looking forward to the opportunity.”
Fans are hoping that Jones will be as efficient as he was in the preseason when he completed 29 of 34 passes for 416 yards. But fans need to temper their expectations. Facing the Buccaneers defense will be vastly different than anything Jones saw in the preseason.
Please write us a Jones caption, we're out of them 😅
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 30, 2019
The Buccaneers have game-planned for Jones all week and will throw different schemes at Jones. But at the same time, Shurmur will open the full repertoire of the Giants offense with the mobile Jones at the helm.
Here’s what you should be on the lookout for in Jones NFL debut:
Will Jones remain poised?
One of the many positives Jones showed in the preseason was his ability to remain poised in the pocket. Even when he fumbled the ball, he never seemed rattled and always kept his composure.
But will he remain poised or experience some jitters that quarterbacks often have when making their first start? Jones will also have to deal with crowd noise and a defense that battered Cam Newton last week. We’ll find out early on in the game if Jones remains calm and cool.
2. How much will the game plan revolve around Jones mobility?
One of the reasons why Jones was named the starter is because unlike Eli Manning, Jones is a mobile quarterback who will open up the playbook.
Over the summer, the Giants ran several read-option plays in practice, but didn’t show it in the preseason. Expect that to change on Sunday.
We should see a ton of rollout passes and read-option plays with him and Saquon Barkley. When the Giants are facing a 3rd-and-short, the Bucs will have to account for Jones’s ability to make plays with his legs. It should help in sustaining drives and putting points on the board.
3. Is he as accurate as he was in the preseason?
Perhaps the biggest positive in what we saw from Jones in the preseason was his ball placement. Despite the fact that he was playing against second and third-team defense, Jones was extremely accurate and put the ball where only his receiver could make the catch.
If Jones can be as accurate amongst the intensity of a regular-season game, this will give the stagnant offense a boost and will be a sign of good things to come for the youngster and the Giants.