Do the Giants have a Daniel Jones problem? Early numbers are near Eli Manning level

Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The proverbial leash around New York Giants second-year quarterback Daniel Jones’ neck certainly seems to be growing shorter by the week in the court of public opinion. 

It’s pretty understandable when looking at his numbers but more so, his concerning turnover issues. 

Within a Giants offense that has its fair share of weapons but an offensive line that continues to struggle to find its footing, Jones has regressed in Year No. 2. The Duke product hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 1 and has turned the ball over at least once in each game this season. He’s recorded a giveaway in 17 of his 18 career appearances. 

The largest knock against his game currently is an inability to simply hold on to the football. In his 18 career appearances (17 starts), he’s fumbled 21 times and lost it on 13 of those occasions. 

It’s the risk that comes with a more mobile quarterback, who has been forced to scramble as the Giants’ most successful rusher at times. But it’s also a knock on his awareness in the pocket. 

All too often Jones has been caught holding onto the ball for too long while the opposing defense bears down on him, leading to sacks and turnovers more often than not.

At 0-5, the Giants are going nowhere fast, and Jones is quickly becoming the target for pointed fingers. 

Even though they’re still not even the worst team in their stadium — that dubious honor belongs to the Jets — some within the fan base have begun to dream of the No. 1 overall pick in 2021 and a shot at drafting Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

Certainly, a longshot when considering just how bad the Jets and Washington Football Team is.

But those looking for a reason to show Jones the door already might be a little too quick to write off the 23-year-old. Especially when considering that the start to his career is not only comparable but better than that of Eli Manning’s in most aspects — minus the inability to hold onto the football. 

Just look at the numbers:

Daniel Jones through 17 career starts

  • 392-of-637
  • 61.54% 
  • 4,121 yards
  • 26 TD
  • 17 INT
  • 82.8 Quarterback Rating
  • 54 sacks
  • 64 rush attempts
  • 404 yards
  • 21 fumbles
  • 13 fumbles lost

Eli Manning through 17 career starts

  • 265-of-520
  • 50.96%
  • 3,297 yards
  • 24 TD
  • 18 INT
  • 71.9 Quarterback Rating
  • 31 sacks
  • 23 rush attempts
  • 84 yards
  • 7 fumbles
  • 1 fumble lost

So maybe it’s a little early to start introducing the notion of driving Jones out of town. There are plenty of Giants fans who wouldn’t mind seeing Jones put together a similar career to Manning’s — even better, as his passing numbers suggest early on.

Jones’ core issues, like holding onto the ball for too long or simply hanging onto it, are correctable. They’ll come with proper addressing from the coaching staff and comfort under center, which will only happen when the organization adds more stalwart pieces to their offensive line. 

Week 6 brings a matchup with Washington and their 23rd-ranked defense, which would normally provide Jones with an opportunity to find some much-needed rhythm. However, this is an aggressive defense with a strong front that ranks sixth in the NFL with 15 sacks in six games.

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