Daniel Jones, Franchise QB

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the transformation of Daniel Jones in 2022.

Daniel Jones is not the wily magician Patrick Mahomes.

Daniel Jones is not the indomitable tank Josh Allen.

Daniel Jones is not the accurate Herbert or the confident Burrow.

The QB of the NY Giants is the resilient Daniel Jones.

At the beginning of this season I was not a believer in the future with Jones. I was not alone. At the end of April, Schoen and Daboll themselves chose not to pick up his 5th year option. Now I see the future and Jones is going to be front & center in those plans. Why? Why the change? He’s done more with less, and has addressed probably my greatest criticism- his lack of pocket poise/presence. Watch this move in the tweet below from the loss to Minnesota.

Daniel Jones did well to step into the pocket and flow to his right, extending the play and allowing Isaiah Hodgins to break open for a TD

Hodgins has three touchdowns in four weeks pic.twitter.com/8RHfOHtrN4— Nick Falato (@nickfalato) December 25, 2022

It is only one play, but this is an example of what Jones now possesses as part of his game. He rushes with precision. He takes fewer unnecessary sacks. He steps into the pocket with more frequency and with a much better clock in his head. He protects the ball.

Daniel Jones leads this team.

If Daniel Jones is going to be the franchise QB, it is going to be in part due to the stability and tutelage of the coaching staff.

“I was with (Josh Allen) for four years and each year we took a little bit of a step. [Jones’] ability to grasp information and then go out there and perform what we’re asking him to do … I think he’s made steps each way.

“I know he’s kind of a quiet guy, but in the huddle he’s a good leader. He knows everybody’s responsibilities. He can get things lined up, he can correct mistakes. He’s a problem-solver.”

Brian Daboll

It is not hard to imagine that Jones will improve with the same Offensive system providing him useful skills combined with the continuity he has lacked in his first 3 years with the Giants. His improvement in 2022, the coaching staff, confidence, experience, and an improved roster will give Jones an opportunity to become a Franchise QB. We do not want to be manic-depressives here on the blog, as naysayers after 2021 and zealots in 2022. Jones progressed substantially in 2022. He still has plenty of weakness in his game that he can improve upon. The trend is in the right direction. There is a path.

Early in the 2022 season, we said that the ‘new’ Daniel Jones which was vastly better needed to show a season’s worth of elevated play to garner a new contract. He has done that. There is little question that Joe Schoen is going to re-sign Jones. He will end up paying Jones more than you think. It will be QB eye-popping numbers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Even his biggest proponents will take pause when they see the tab. But that is the price of the most important position on the field. There are readers of this NY Giants blog that harbor doubts about Jones. They will be skeptical about Jones being worthy of the insane money that Schoen is going to pay him this offseason. A franchise tag may be part of those negotiations. Jones has earned the contract. The skeptics here will want the deal to be shorter. After witnessing how well Jones has played in 2022, while I was thinking earlier in the season that 3 years would be optimal, now I would not be surprised if Schoen goes longer than that.

Onward. The NY Giants have a QB. He is resilient and I believe his upside is significant.

MIN 27 NYG 24

The headline is that the Giants lost a bleeder, on a 61 yard FG at the end of the game. While it was a nasty loss, I have the same view of this game’s result as I do with the loss vs Dallas on Thanksgiving:

In a rebuilding year with a weak roster, the Giants are going to lose games to playoff teams. Yet because they are nonetheless very competitive, they make important strides.

  1. Shorthanded. Hands tied behind their back- consider that in the second half, 4 of their best players on defense
    Azeez Ojulari
    Leonard Williams
    Adoree Jackson
    Xavier McKinney
    were not on the field. Do you think anyone of them, let alone ALL of them, would have made a difference? Indeed, when Williams and Ojulari were on the field in the first half, the Vikings offense was less effective.
  2. Player development. Isaiah Hodgins has become an effective WR in a half dozen games. James dropped a key 3rd down pass, showing the thinness of the roster, yet he also was a meaningful contributor to the effort.
  3. Daniel Jones. The Giants have their QB. It is over. Schoen will be re-signing Jones to a multi-year deal. Daniel Jones has not only galvanized his own play, he has become a trusted leader of the team. Jones’s ascendency is arguably the greatest single development of the NY Giants franchise in 2022.

It is imperfect. Ojulari seemingly cannot stay healthy. And Evan Neal has not made improvements in his rookie season.

This NY Giants blog has not mentioned the playoffs at all this season. It is gravy. Either they will get to taste the postseason or not. And while that would be positive, it is not critical to this season’s outcome. We want to see the players get that. They want it. Yet we saw what happened vs Philadelphia 3 games ago and know this roster is not ready for primetime.

The Giants may have lost the battle this week vs Minnesota. But they are going to win this war. They have a Head Coach, a GM, and a QB. That is more than enough for 2022. It is huge for 2023 and beyond. Onward.

Not too high, not too low

So the Giants got their clock cleaned by the Eagles yesterday. The only question for you, the reader, is- were you really surprised? If you were, then I’m not sure what else to say…

Blogging the Giants for the last 10 (okay 16) years has been a cheaper form of therapy. It helps us to explain what the hell is going on when Reese fails (year after year) to address the OL. It helps us to explain why Gettleman was the wrong guy well before the Giants were willing to admit their mistake in hiring him.


SCHOEN. DABOLL. Mara went outside. We’re good.

The Giants had just gone to 6-1. This is what we said:

“As far as this season is concerned, there are too many breaks that have broken the Giants way that we can get too enamored about the outlook.”

UltimateNYG 10/24/2022

Teams figured out what the Giants were doing, which is fine and expected. How do you answer that (adjust) when you’ve been manufacturing it via clever schemes up to that point and don’t have the personnel (via an inherently weak rebuilding roster and injury depletion)? Of course we all wanted better, but the Eagles are a very talented team who were going to expose anyone.

We would have much bigger problems if Schoen was (1) suckered into a big Barkley contract (2) a win-this-year trade deadline mortgage or (3) an OBJ insanity. He did none of that, and that’s why I’m optimistic about the future… because Schoen has the discipline in the present. It never was a 2022 story. Gettleman saw to that. It’s a good story. What do you expect w/o 3 of your best defenders (Williams, McKinney, Jackson)? And Schtick dreck on offense? If we are in the same place in 2024, then that’s a completely different matter.

Said another way- how many times this year has this blog (or even on Twitter) used the word “rebuild” and how many times this year has it used “playoffs”?

Or yet another way, after Week 4, when Wonder said:

PHL– If there is a weakness on this team, I do not see it.

NYG– Just made the list of the top 10 worst 3-1 teams in the NFL.

UltimateNYG- 10/2/2022

One last thing- how many freaking times do we have to be right about Barkley? In 2017 when he was at Penn State, and we said no? Too high! On draft day, when we said no? Too high! In this season’s preview, when we were “super bullish” on him in 2022? Too low! And then, on October 23rd of this year, when we said NOT to re-sign him? Too high! Only weeks later, everyone was buying, wanting to pony up the gazillions? Waaay too high! All it took was a FEW MORE WEEKS and another couple of injuries to see what this is. I love the player. I hate the position.

Quick- tell me who the OL is for the Eagles? ✅ Jason Kelce (Hall of Fame) ✅ Landon Dickerson (a Wonder draft guy) ✅ Lane Johnson (1x All Pro, multiple Pro Bowls) ✅ Round 3 Guard Isaac Seumalo (quietly getting it done) ✅ Jordan Mailata (inconsistent but excellent value for a R7 starting Tackle). Those 5 guys are why the Eagles are where they are. Quick, tell me who the Eagles RB is? Miles Sanders, a Round 2 guy getting paid $1.3M/yr on a rookie deal. Case closed. For the umpteenth time.

Remember all of this, this off-season, when everyone is pining to re-sign Barkley and draft WR in Round 1. The Eagles scooped up AJ Brown when they were close to the prize and all 5 of those linemen were already in place.

Let’s not get too high or too low on anything about the Giants. They’re on a good path. We’ll talk playoffs when OL is in place. Is that fair?!

More Than Half Full

The Giants should have gotten embarrassed yesterday. They did not. I love these kind of losses. They are such a harbinger of good things to come.

The litany of injuries the Giants had to overcome were too numerous to list. Just know that IOL, LB, WR, CB, TE and S were all impaired. If the Gmen would have gotten crushed, you couldn’t fault them. Yet they competed and played very well considering new players had no time to practice on a short week.

I admit that I have not held out much hope for the return of Shane Lemieux and Nick Gates. Correct on Lemieux. But Gates was very good.

Kayvon Thibodeaux had his best game as a Giant.

Reports are that Bellinger is nearly fully recovered from eye surgery, with his double vision nearly all gone. I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until he’s 100% and playing. Yet he’s practicing and his return to the team will be a huge boost to them making the playoffs. Just as importantly, Bellinger’s return means a 10 year staple TE nabbed in Round 4.

McKinney and Neal may be able to return next game. Neither made the trip to Dallas.

So many young players are getting valuable experience and playing time. They’ll play next year as roster players/backups/or those competing for starting jobs.

The Giants will evaluate a new surface for MET Life stadium. There is only room for improvement! Less injuries!

People are trashing Kafka for his playcalls. Regular readers of this NY Giants blog know I am typically critical of many Giants playcallers. Yet with Kafka I am going to defend him on many levels. He doesn’t have the personnel. This limits what he can do. The precipitous “decline” in the offense took place coincident with Bellinger’s departure from the active roster. Bellinger is an excellent blocker and a sound receiving option. His presence enables Kafka to use so many more run and pass plays effectively. Opposing defenses have much more trouble diagnosing what the Giants will do when he’s lined up.

Summary: injuries are temporary (assuming they can be addressed). Daboll and Schoen are building something permanent. It’s frankly remarkable and noteworthy that this team in Week 12 was able to be competitive. Where is this team going to be when it no longer has Gettleman’s parting (salary cap + dead cap) gifts, is healthier, deeper, and re-upped on requisite talent? We see an extremely competitive franchise that has been rebuilt in a single season.