Daniel Jones finished off his rookie season on somewhat of a tear. Over his final seven games of 2019, the New York Giants quarterback topped 300 passing yards on four occasions, including three games of at least four touchdown passes. However, production through the year has been far more difficult to come by for Jones in year two.
Jones has mustered up just eight passing touchdowns over the first nine weeks of the season thus far. He’s seen his averaged yards gained per pass attempt take a half-yard hit, while his average ypg has dipped by 24.1 passing yards per contest from a season ago.
Jones’ ability to stretch the field vertically, or lack thereof, has led many to question whether the quarterback has become too passive in his second pro season. However, head coach Joe Judge isn’t buying into that notion.
“I would disagree with that. I think he’s doing a lot of things aggressively,” Judge proclaimed when asked if his quarterback isn’t being aggressive enough with the football. “I think the way this guy stands in the pocket when the rush is collapsing on him at certain times or makes plays with his feet extending outside the pocket, the way he’s willing to pull the ball in some of the zone reads and run downfield and take a big hit. I see a lot of aggressiveness in Daniel, and I like the way he plays.”
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Giants Won’t Back Down From Taking Shots
The Giants are certainly a bit undermanned when it comes to vertical threats. Wideout Darius Slayton is the only skill player who has continuously shown the ability to take the top off the defense. Yet, New York still struggles to feature Slayton on a consistent basis. The second-year pass-catcher has two 100-plus yard performances under his belt this season. Unfortunately, he’s averaged less than three receptions and just 37.1 receiving yards in his other seven contests.
Still, if there’s an opportunity to push the ball vertically, the Giants have no plans of backing down. That is, as long as it fits within their game plan.
“When it comes time to take our shots, we’ll take our shots offensively. Sometimes we have to be a little bit more calculated about how we want to systematically move the ball down the field. You have to have a good balance of both within a game plan,” Judge said.
He went on to heap praise on his signal-caller, denouncing any belief that the Giants may be growing wary of their quarterback.
“That being said, look, I think Daniel is a developing player. I think he’s shown a lot of promise, he’s making a lot of gains this year, he’s done a lot of really, really good things for us, and that he gives us a chance to be competitive within games,” Judge said. “I see him improving on a weekly basis, and I love having that guy in the huddle right now being our signal-caller.”
Despite the backing of his coach, chances are Jones will once again struggle to push the ball downfield this Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles have held opponents to just 156.7 ypg passing over their last three games, second-fewest in the NFL over that span. In fact, that statistic includes a Week 7 matchup against the Giants where Jones accounted for a mere 187 passing yards, his third sub-200-yard performance of the year.
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