Daniel Jones Will Reap the Massive Financial Rewards of the Giants’ 6-1 Start
The New York Giants were believed to have one of the worst rosters in the NFL but are proving doubters wrong at every turn, as they own the second-best record in the league at 6-1.
The last time the Giants won more than six games in a season was 2016, when they went 11-5 en route to the team’s last winning record and playoff appearance.
The quick turnaround could be due to the excellent hire of Brian Daboll or the return of a healthy Saquon Barkley, but it’s also because Daniel Jones’ play has drastically improved, and he looks like a much more dependable quarterback than he did in his first three years in the league.
Jones’ time in New York looked to be in jeopardy at the beginning of the season, but after a strong start to the 2022 campaign, he might be sticking around for a few more years.
Daniel Jones has taken a massive leap under Brian Daboll
Nobody expected the Giants to be five games above .500 at this point in the season or for Daniel Jones to be taking a massive jump in year four. But that’s exactly what has transpired.
Jones is coming off an NFC Offensive Player of the Week performance where he threw for 202 yards and one touchdown while also rushing for 107 yards and another score on the ground to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In the fourth quarter alone, Jones ran for 50 yards and led the Giants on back-to-back scoring drives to retake the lead late.
Late-game heroics have become a common occurrence for this Giants squad. Jones has commanded four fourth-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives this year. He had only two come-from-behind victories and three game-winning drives in 27 career games prior to this season.
The biggest improvement to the signal-caller’s game has been accuracy and better ball placement. His completion percentage is up to 66.7%, he’s been on target 79.7% of the time, and he’s only attempted a bad throw on 11.3% of his attempts, the second-lowest rate only trailing Geno Smith.
Additionally, he’s thrown just two picks in 189 pass attempts. His interception rate is down to 1.1%, a career low, and tied for the second lowest in the NFL this season. This has been achieved despite Jones being the second-most pressured quarterback in the league, as he’s felt the heat on 29.2% of his dropbacks.
Daboll also deserves his fair share of credit for the offense’s output. He was brought to New York to improve that unit, and he’s done just that by relying on the ground game. The Giants have the second-best rushing offense in the NFL at 173.4 yards per game. And while a lot of that stems from Saquon Barkley, some of it is from the quarterback.
Jones has rushed for 343 yards, the third-most rushing yards for a quarterback this season only behind Lamar Jackson and Justin Fields. He’s been equally as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm, and it’s worked wonders for the offense’s ability to move the ball.
Daboll has looked like the perfect hire for the Giants, and he’s found the best way to maximize Jones’ strengths and limit his weaknesses. And because of his genius, it may keep Jones in New York for a little while longer while also making him worth a lot more money.
Jones is set to receive a hefty extension this offseason
The criticism surrounding Jones over the past three years has been loud but fair. Prior to the 2022 campaign, the 25-year-old quarterback was 12-25 as a starter since he was drafted by the Giants at sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. He made poor decisions with the ball and was prone to mistakes, as he committed the third-most turnovers in the league in his first three seasons (29 interceptions, 20 fumbles lost).
With the lack of overall growth, the Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option this past offseason with the intention of moving on.
With that, the 2022 season was set up as a prove-it scenario where Jones needed to stay healthy and improve his game, and he has done that and more.
The Duke product has yet to make the playoffs or earn a Pro Bowl nod but is trending toward both this season. More importantly, though, he’s making the most of his contract year and has set himself up to receive a massive extension.
The Giants have a projected $61 million in cap space in 2023 and will have to spend a large sum of money to keep Jones and Saquon Barkley, also in the final year of his rookie deal, on the roster. Not only will that be good for both men’s wallets, but it bodes well for Big Blue’s overall future.
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