All we hear about with Daniel Jones is his fumbling issue. Well, in 2021, it’s still a problem. And not a small one.
We began witnessing it during his 2019 rookie campaign.
We wondered if we would still be witnessing it in 2021 — and after Sunday, we can say that yes, we are.
Daniel Jones‘ worst on-field quality is his fumbling issue. The Giants quarterback and third-year player, entering Sunday’s Week 1 matchup with the Broncos, had fumbled 29 times and lost 17 of them in 27 career games.
Now, you can increase the “fumbles” and “fumbles lost” categories by one each.
In the third quarter of Big Blue’s 27-13 home loss to the Broncos, on a possession in which the Giants were driving into Denver territory, Jones lost the football on a scramble up the middle. It was almost like we knew it would occur, considering it has so many times before.
It was an absolute momentum killer, just like turnovers are, and was a huge part of the Giants’ first loss of the year.
Overall, New York’s third-year signal-caller experienced an up-and-down day. It started off great with a deep completion to Darius Slayton on the opening possession. But poor decision-making, below-average offensive line play, and underwhelming play-calling led to a so-so game for Jones, who finished with 267 yards and one touchdown on 22-of-37 passing. He additionally rushed for a touchdown as time expired to conclude the game.
Offensive Line Woes
The bleak production from the Giants offense partly had to do with the offensive line’s horrific performance.
I understand this team utilized a rotation at some offensive line spots last year, but the fact they did it so early in Sunday’s loss is what scares me. That shows they don’t trust the group as a whole, and why should they? Jones didn’t have much time to operate on numerous occasions and the Giants couldn’t find consistent space when running the ball.
Nate Solder started the game at right tackle, which shows how the team feels about second-year man Matthew Peart. If Peart couldn’t beat out a 33-year-old Solder, who didn’t play last year and struggled in both 2018 and 2019, then how bad of a camp and preseason did the 2020 third-rounder truly have?
How much faith do the Giants possess in Shane Lemieux if they had Ben Bredeson subbing in for him during the game?
This offense is already limited due to Jones’ mistake-making capabilities and Jason Garrett’s uncreative playbook — a bad offensive line, which is what the Giants seemingly employ at the moment, further limits what the unit can do.
I’m really starting to believe the organization should’ve seriously addressed the offensive line during the offseason.
Defense Looked Lost
Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who Giants fans know all too well, called a great game against Patrick Graham’s defense on Sunday.
Yes, you read that correctly.
The Giants failed to consistently pressure quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and it didn’t seem like they were really trying to.
Because of this, the secondary was relied on to get the job done for much of the game, and the unit didn’t deliver. Jabrill Peppers struggled against the opponent and Adoree’ Jackson looked lost at times, including on a deep ball to KJ Hamler that was fortunately dropped in the end zone.
Due to these issues, Bridgewater finished with 264 yards and two touchdowns on 28-of-36 passing and led Denver to a crucial victory to start the season.
A 70-yard touchdown run from Melvin Gordon in the fourth quarter also sealed the deal and is what extended the Broncos’ lead to 27-7.
The Giants must head into their Week 2 matchup against Washington (which is already this Thursday) with a different defensive game plan. They must utilize Peppers as more of a box safety than a coverage safety — he is much more valuable up near the line of scrimmage than in the deep part of the field.