The New York Giants 2020 NFL season debut did not go as planned for Big Blue faithful and their new head coach, Joe Judge. Quarterback Daniel Jones’ two interceptions on Monday night, especially one within the red zone, proved to be deciding factors in an eventual 10-point loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, ultimately dropping the team to 0-1 on the season.
Judge held no punches postgame when discussing Jones’ miscues with members of the media:
“He had two throws I know he wants back. Down at the goal line, that’s something we can’t have happen,” Judge said of his quarterback. “Look, I’ll talk to Daniel a little bit more about it, I’ll watch the tape and make sure we clean up everything involved. That’s definitely something you can’t have, 19-play drive and come away with no points, especially down there in the low red (zone). That’s not acceptable, but I’m proud of the way he played aggressive, I’m proud of the way this team stuck together.”
Stick together the Giants did. Despite their struggles at times, were it not for a missed two-point conversation at the 1:52 mark in the fourth quarter, New York would have pulled within just one score with Pittsburgh and an opportunity at an onside kick.
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Jones Addresses Turnovers
The red zone turnover Judge harped on was in reference to a Cam Heyward interception with the Giants just four-yards away from hitting paydirt. The 19 play drive goes down in history as the longest by a Giants offense in six seasons and the longest drive by an NFL team to result in a turnover since 1999, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Jones was open with media following Monday’s loss while discussing his and his teams’ Jekyll & Hyde play vs. Pittsburgh:
“I think as an offense, I thought we did some good things and some not so good things,” Jones said, “and I certainly feel like I played good at times and bad at times.”
“Obviously a play I’d like to have back,” Jones noted in regards to his red zone interception. “I’d like to have a chance to look at it with the coaches tomorrow and we’ll look into it. That’s a costly mistake there after a long drive, so… you know, something I got to work on and improve on. … We can’t afford those mistakes in those situations.”
All in all, Jones looked the part of a starting NFL quarterback in Week 1. Yes, the two interceptions were devastating, but the 23-year-old signal-caller received no help from Saquon Barkley in the run game (6 yards on 15 carries) yet still managed to produce 301 total yards, even with wideout Golden Tate out of the lineup.
Jones and his fellow G-Men will now set their sights ahead to Week 2’s bout against the Chicago Bears.
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