Daniel Jones, Washington Redskins
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

We must be reminded of the term “rookie mistake” after seeing New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones throw two interceptions.

Ryan Honey

On Sunday, New York Giants fans saw their new rookie quarterback Daniel Jones start for the second-straight game. It was his first regular-season home start, the first time he’d be running out to play in front of the MetLife Stadium fans.

It was also the first time fans sort of knew what they’d be getting out of him in this type of situation.

Think about it. In the preseason, it was unclear how Jones would fare, despite if it were against backups. Then, his four exhibition performances led to an 85.3% completion percentage for 416 yards and two touchdowns. After that, it was “okay, he won’t start to begin the season, but this kid can definitely play.”

Then, after the impending switch was made from Eli Manning to Jones, it was “okay, he played great in the preseason but that was primarily against backups. How will he fare against starting team defenses?” Jones responded by completing 23 of his 36 throws in Tampa Bay for 336 yards, and four total touchdowns, leading Big Blue to victory.

Heading into Week 4 against the Washington Redskins, now fans knew exactly what they were to get out of Jones. What they didn’t expect, especially against a Washington team that’s still winless, was their quarterback to throw two interceptions.

Yes, for the first time since his college days at Duke, the rookie Jones threw two picks in a game. Both of them in the second quarter to Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar.

It’s disappointing to see that, even if the Giants did indeed win the game 24-3. Not the greatest thing in the world to see the quarterback you’re all excited about and the guy who’s giving this organization and fanbase newfound confidence throw two picks almost on back-to-back plays.

But because of these errors that Jones made in the passing game, fans must be reminded of the term “rookie mistake.” Because since he’s a rookie, that’s exactly what these are; Rookie mistakes.

In life, it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s not ideal to make the same one twice, but when you’re a rookie quarterback trying to lead a team back to the playoffs for only the second time in the last eight seasons, you get a pass.

Usually, unless rookie quarterbacks pull a Nathan Peterman and throw five picks in a single half, they get extra chances. Actually even Peterman got chances after that abysmal 2017 game.

Look at the other quarterbacks that faulted numerous times as rookies and then became who they are today. Carson Wentz threw 16 touchdowns to 14 interceptions his rookie year. He then threw 33 touchdowns to seven picks the following year and would’ve won the NFL MVP Award had he not torn his ACL.

Jared Goff? People were questioning the Los Angeles Rams’ selection of him after he threw for only five touchdowns to seven picks his rookie season. He came back in his sophomore campaign and tossed 28 touchdowns to seven picks and made the Pro Bowl. He’s now one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the entire league.

And lastly, even though some people aren’t high on him, look at what Mitch Trubisky was able to do from year No. 1 to year No. 2. He threw seven touchdowns to seven picks his first year and improved to 24 touchdowns and 12 picks his second. His latter season earned him a Pro Bowl nod.

At the moment, Giants fans shouldn’t be hoping to have the perfect quarterback. That’s impossible for the circumstances right now. Fans shouldn’t expect Jones to throw for 30 or more touchdowns while eclipsing 4,000 yards. Think of all the times Manning wasn’t perfect during his long tenure. I forget, what happened in February of 2008 and then again in February of 2012?

I wouldn’t worry about the interceptions or any of the mistakes right now. If it’s his third or fourth year, yeah, then I’d be a bit concerned. But right now, Jones’ job is to lead this team to wins and do what he’s asked to do, while at the same time learning the position of a starting NFL quarterback. He’s doing a pretty good job right now, as he’s 2-0 as a starter.

If you reacted badly to the second or even the first of Jones’ interceptions on Sunday, I understand. It’s okay to have that sort of jerk reaction. However, the rookie mistakes are okay for right now. Soon enough, they’ll be corrected, and soon enough, they’ll be forgotten.

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