Seattle Win, Arizona Loss

The Giants giveth. The Giants taketh away. These are the telltale signs of a rebuilding year. Just when 4 straight wins had optimism running rampant amongst the Giants faithful (admit it, you couldn’t wait for the Arizona game to start all week long), the Cardinals dropped a heavy dose of reality into our living rooms.

Joe Judge gets his first demerit for bringing Daniel Jones back too soon from a hamstring injury.

Joe Judge gets his second demerit for not taking his immobile sitting duck QB out much sooner. (Halftime??!! See below.)

The Offensive Line was having great difficulties. They gave up 8 sacks. Even though they were back-loaded (4 of them came in the last 2 garbage time drives), Jason Garrett needed to make adjustments in the playcalling to help both his QB and OL. We will paraphrase the quote from Joe Gibbs for the 6th time on this blog- “I will not pass the ball unless I can block it up.” This means if you can’t protect the QB, yet you need to pass, try different passes that work under such circumstances- flares screens slants, quick outs… whatever gets the ball out of Jones’ hands fast and takes away the aggressiveness of the opponent’s DL pass rush.

There was one play that really shook me to the core yesterday. It was the final Giants possession of the first half. Let’s set the table. You have the ball at your own 24 yard line with 1:44 left in Q2. You are down 13-0. You have 2 timeouts. There has been a complete inability to drive anywhere (the Giants would not get past midfield until Q3). Still, there is some hope of trying to get some points on the board before the end of the half. 1st down short pass for 4 yards. 1:25 left. 2nd and 6, Jones in shotgun. 2 seconds go off, nothing there. Pressure coming from the right side. 3 seconds. It is Haason Reddick getting past Matt Peart on the right side, Jones’ side where he sees the rusher. He slides left. Jones has a history of not protecting the ball well. He has been coached to protect the ball by throwing it away or taking the sack. Except there is one extra key ingredient today that should make Jones extremely wary and careful.

Hint… Paragraph 2 …. Paragraph 3.

Jones is a sitting duck with a hamstring injury. He is immobile.

His attempt to move left is akin to Grandma with a walker trying to stay ahead of Usain Bolt.

As usual, Jones is a day late and a dollar short. He now tries to protect the ball well after failing most miserably to outrun Bolt (played today by Reddick). Except now he can’t get his arms around the ball quickly enough and the ball is fumbled. Miraculously, the ball takes an extremely kind bounce and the Giants claim victory by only taking a 15 yard loss. A sensible draw is called on 3rd down to get some yardage and thankfully they are able to punt and somehow get AZ to miss a long FG. They get into the lockerroom with a semblance of order, only down 13-0.

What. Was. Jones. Thinking?

This is the exact opposite of pocket poise. This is pocket puke. A QB can have all the skill in the world, but until he starts using proper judgment, he is a liability to the entire team.

I believe there is franchise talent in Daniel Jones. I am not so confident in his balance. Good QBs show field awareness. Great ones have eyes behind their heads. Right now, Jones has not figured out anything about the pocket. I do not know how that gets fixed. He has had plenty of experience. The coaching staff worked with him nearly all of offseason (despite Covid) on technique to control/reduce the turnovers. Here at the end of the first half when the risks are large, when you are hobbled, your first job is to protect the ball. These are rookie mistakes. For a QB drafted 1.06 overall near the end of his second season, I am very concerned about whether he can rid himself of this problem.

The Giants are committed to Jones. He still needs the time to prove himself and to correct these issues. He certainly deserves another year. The Giants will give him two years, if not more. Gettleman has more invested in Jones than we have invested in Gettleman.

4 thoughts on “Seattle Win, Arizona Loss

  1. The Giants are a better team than they’ve been in a long time, but still not a consistently good team. The arrow is pointed in the right direction, for sure. There’s still a lot of growth needed. Two pieces of good news. First, Judge and his staff seem to be excellent teachers, particularly Bielema and Spencer, who came from NCAA programs. You can see the improvement in the players as the season progresses, which we did not see under prior coaching staffs. Second, there is a lot of young talent that is getting quality time — Jones, Holmes, Lawrence, Thomas, Peart, Lemieux, Mack, Coughlin, Crowder, Love, Slayton. Great seeing McKinney getting some reps this week. All either first or second year players, so still on rookie contracts. Team seems genuinely committed to developing players at lower price points. After years of trying to patch holes with expensive FAs in the naive belief that Eli could carry them to playoffs, they accepted that they needed to tear it down to the foundation and start over. Time will tell if it works, but the correct strategy finally seems to be in place.

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    1. As noted in the previous post, agreed, the Giants have turned the corner. They have a lot of pieces coming together. They need Jones to help them too. It’s a QB-driven league.

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  2. Thanks for the humble dose of reality. After so many loses over the last few years you become so hopeful when the team gets hot and finally defeats a worthy opponent. Then to watch them get man handled on Sunday was rough. Felt more like we caught Seattle off guard then turning the corner. Arizona was definitely some humble pie. Doesn’t help when we are the only team in the NFC east that losses this weekend either.
    Whelp, back to reality.
    Thanks for the post, they are surely missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wellington Mara said that he didn’t mind the fans booing. It was when they stopped showing up that he knew there were bigger problems. Well, it’s a good sign I’m starting to blog again because there are enough positive things happening that are worth chatting about. With that, the stakes are finally higher. And Jones and Garrett are not helping one another.

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