The two touchdown passes looked great, but ultimately, Daniel Jones’ picks and incompletions told the real story.
And here we go again.
While having made a number of plays, such as touchdown passes to Dion Lewis and Golden Tate (the latter of which came late in the game prior to the failed two-point conversion and onside kick attempts), it was Jones’ blunders that really loomed large against Tampa Bay.
There were numerous times when Jones had an open receiver at his disposal, proving that the offensive woes weren’t all on Jason Garrett in the 25-23 loss at the hands of the Buccaneers. And on a significant number of those plays, Jones looked timid in the pocket, overthrowing his receiver as if he was terrified to not put enough strength behind it and ultimately throw a pick.
He seemingly did everything he could to not turn the ball over to the point where he was missing his receivers left and right. So having said that, this must mean the weekly turnovers didn’t occur, right?
What’s been a weakness of his throughout his entire young career thus far, Jones threw two interceptions against this strong Buccaneers defense, killing multiple drives and shifting the momentum towards the superior opponent.
But it wasn’t even a turnover or overthrown pass that proved to be the biggest and most crucial mistake.
After the late touchdown pass to Tate, the Giants lined up to go for two and potentially tie the game, a matchup that not many fans believed would actually be close late in the fourth quarter. On a great play-call from Garrett, the Giants sent Lewis on an arrow route right past the goal line, a move in which he did indeed find space for a moment.
The great quarterbacks are able to hit the receiver in that brief period of separation though, and Jones was anything but great on that play. The second-year quarterback waited too long to get rid of the ball and gave Bucs rookie safety Antoine Winfield Jr. just enough time to make a play on it, resulting in a missed opportunity for Big Blue.
With onside kicks nearly impossible to convert in today’s NFL, that incompletion (and mistake by Jones) effectively ended the Giants’ chances at a huge win over Tampa Bay.
Sure, you could look at Jones’ touchdown passes and successful throws throughout the game and make the argument that he didn’t play poorly. But in a loss, like the one the Giants suffered Monday night, the mistakes always sing the loudest.
For much of the 2020 season, Jones’ blunders have been flexing the golden pipes while his successful plays have experienced issues warming up the vocal cords. On Monday, that same story repeated itself, which ultimately led to the Giants’ seventh loss on the year.
One win. Seven defeats. Eight games remaining. On to Washington for Week 9.