The New York Giants have a huge matchup this week. They are facing the Baltimore Ravens on the road, which is never an easy game. Quarterback Daniel Jones’ status for this game has been in question, as he has been dealing with two separate injuries.
New York is still in the hunt for the NFC East crown coming into Week 16. Sitting one game behind the Washington Football Team, the Giants need this game and some help to close the gap. They just received an injection of hope into their playoff chances, as New York will be getting Jones back for this critical game.
Daniel Jones is expected to play against the Ravens
Daniel Jones has been dealing with a hamstring and ankle injury for the past couple of weeks. He suffered his hamstring injury a month ago against the Bengals. The ankle injury came against the Cardinals two weeks ago. Both of these ailments caused Jones to miss two of the past four games.
Thankfully for New York, their No. 6 overall pick in 2019 is expected to start against Baltimore, per ESPN. Jones has passed all of the checkpoints the Giants had for him at practice this week and has looked good to head coach Joe Judge, per the report. He has taken the majority of first-team reps at practice this week. The big thing Judge wanted to see is if Jones could protect himself and use his mobility.
“All the feedback we’ve gotten medically is that he’s continued to improve, and he’s at lesser risk of being injured, and that’s really the things we’re looking for right there as far as positive news,” said Judge per the ESPN report.
Colt McCoy has been the starter in the games Jones has missed. The team went 1-1, scoring 23 points combined in those games. The win was against the Seahawks; the loss came against the Browns.
The good and bad of Daniel Jones this season
Having Daniel Jones back under center is a great thing for New York. His skill set allows the Giants to do various things offensively, which will be useful against a top-ten defense in Baltimore. Using Jones’ legs has been an essential part of the Giants’ offense this year, and they have missed that in the two games he was out. Jone’s legs are valuable to New York’s offensive gameplan.
Jones is the Giants’ second-leading rusher with 403 yards on the ground this season. He has provided 17 first downs for the Giants running the ball, which is impressive. New York has utilized the read-option numerous times with Jones. With the Giants feeling confident in his mobility again, the legs of Jones should be incorporated into New York’s playcalling early and often.
Despite Jone’s positive efforts on the ground, he needs to be better through the air. He has thrown for 2,462 yards, eight touchdowns, and nine interceptions this season, per ESPN. The Giants passing offense is fourth-worst in the league, averaging 185.7 yards a game. Jones needs to make a more significant impact in the passing game, reading the defense quicker and being accurate with the football. He also needs to protect the ball.
Jones’ turnover problems have been the glaring issue in his two-year career. This season, he has 14 total turnovers. The Ravens have 20 total takeaways, the sixth most in the league this year. He will need to prioritize the football in his return, not giving Baltimore any extra opportunities off turnovers.
Daniel Jones’ return gives the Giants’ NFC East title shot a boost
Surprisingly enough, the Giants still have a shot at winning the NFC East with two weeks left in the season. Sitting at 5-9, New York has a couple of scenarios where they could up a division champs. The simplest way is for them to win their last two games and the Washington Football Team to lose their last two games.
The return of Daniel Jones gives the Giants’ division championship hopes a considerable boost. The young quarterback was playing some of the best football in his career before his injuries. The difference between Colt McCoy and Daniel Jones at quarterback is noticeable. New York scores 20 points per game with Jones compared to 11 points a game with McCoy.
Going against a Ravens team that has scored at least 34 points in their last two games, the Giants’ offensive production will be vital. In what is considered a must-win game, having Jones back is what New York needs. A loss and a Washington win eliminate the Giants from playoff contention.
The New York Giants will have the services of Daniel Jones in this massive game against the Ravens. He will need to keep pace with a high flying Ravens offense in his return, which means playing smart, protecting the football, and using his legs when necessary. His return in Week 16 keeps the Giants’ playoffs hopes a realistic possibility.
All stats courtesy of ESPN