It’s important not to succumb to too many overreactions in the preseason, especially during opening week. Teams are just starting to figure things out, and starters are coming in and out of games like they’re playing hockey. I try to not get too caught up in making predictions based on a few preseason games.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t make one: Daniel Jones’ time as the starting quarterback of the New York Giants will come to an end sooner rather than later. I don’t think he’ll have the job come Week 7 at the latest.
Jones has had a rocky first three years in the league since being drafted sixth overall in the 2019 draft. He burst onto the scene in 2019 with 26 total touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and over 3,000 passing yards in relief of Eli Manning. Since then, however, he hasn’t surpassed 3,000 yards in a season, and has thrown a combined 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He has a career 12-25 record as a starter.
The Giants, run by new General Manager Joe Schoen, elected not to pick up Jones’ fifth-year option at the beginning of this season, all but ending his time with the G-Men moving forward. So if they don’t see him as the quarterback of the future, why make him the quarterback of the present?
In March, the Giants signed 11-year vet Tyrod Taylor to a two-year, $11 million contract to shore up their backup quarterback position.
Jones hasn’t played a full season thus far in his career, and their midseason relievers haven’t exactly been great.
Mike Glennon and Jake Fromm went a combined 0-6 last year in games Jones missed. Colt McCoy went 1-1 in 2020.
Taylor, on the other hand, has been very sharp in his sporadic starts over the course of his career. And he’s especially adept at holding onto the football — something that has plagued Jones in his first three seasons.
In his 78 career games, Taylor has thrown just 25 interceptions and lost just five fumbles. In Jones’ 38 career games played, he’s thrown 29 interceptions and lost 20 fumbles.
On Thursday night, in the Giants’ preseason opener, both quarterbacks played a full quarter. While Jones didn’t necessarily look bad in his two drives — his first was a 13-play, 63-yard drive that stalled at the Patriots’ seven and ended in a field goal — Taylor looked sharper.
Taylor’s best drive was an 11-play, 94-yarder in the middle of the second quarter. He didn’t look perfect on the drive, but nonetheless marched the Giants down the field, capping it off with a beautiful seven-yard touchdown pass off his back foot to Richie James.
Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll have treated Jones as the starter so far in training camp. He had gotten all of the first-team reps in practice until earlier this week, when Taylor got his first reps with the starters after an abysmal practice by Jones.
Schoen and Daboll were not responsible for drafting Jones. They have no connection to him, and are only worried about winning games. If Jones continues to be loose with the football, it won’t be difficult for them to pull the trigger on a replacement.
If the Giants open the season 2-4 or 1-5, I think it’ll spell the end of the Daniel Jones era in East Rutherford.
Taylor will be the perfect bridge quarterback as they look to next season’s draft class, where the Giants’ new regime can start fresh, as they begin their quest of finding a quarterback in the post-Eli Manning era.