There are many things you can choose to worry about after the NY Giants’ Week 1 loss; Daniel Jones shouldn’t be one of them.
Last night didn’t go how NY Giants fans wanted, and there are plenty of things to be upset about, but Daniel Jones had himself a heck of a game against on the league’s truly elite defenses.
Right away, I’ll admit there is no excuse for either of the two interceptions he threw. However, when you factor in that he was playing behind one of the worst – if not the worst – offensive lines in the NFL against what I would consider the #1 overall defense, you have to far outweigh the good to the bad.
For starters, the NY Giants offense managed to rush for just 7 rushing yards on 16 attempts outside of Daniel Jones’ own runs (he led the team with 22 rushing yards on 4 carries). That alone shows you the awful situation he was put in, yet he was able to make a dozen ‘plus’ plays minimum.
Let’s start off with the highlight of the night that was his immaculate 41-yard touchdown bomb to Darius Slayton (is their connection a thing of beauty or what?).
Off the top of my head, I can count about five quarterbacks in the NFL that have the arm strength, accuracy, and touch to complete this throw. He made is look super easy but this is as difficult a throw as you’re going to have as a QB.
And while that flashy touchdown was impressive, it was the plays he made out of nothing on crucial third downs that really stood out. On the game’s pivotal drive during the beginning of the third quarter, Jones picked up four third-down conversions and a fourth-down conversion on that single 19 play, 87-yard drive alone.
None stood out to me more than this one.
Talk about improvisation skills. First off, as Kirk Herbstreit pointed out on the telecast, it seems as though Saquon Barkley decided to do a little improvising of his own and abandon the original play call while faded out wide left instead of right.
No matter, Daniel Jones is as cool as they come as he was able to go through multiple reads while being pressured heavily and be able to have the sense to realize Barkley must have done just that while looking his way for a crucial fourth-down conversion.
All and all Jones ended the night with 279 yards passing and two touchdowns; I’d be surprised if more than 1-2 quarterbacks surpass those numbers against the Steelers all season long.
It’s not just that he achieved those numbers but how he did. He was able to continue his rookie-year success with fellow second-year player Darius Slayton as that should be a connection we are fawning over for years to come.
I can only imagine what ‘Danny Dimes’ is going to look like if/when GM Dave Gettleman is able to put together a competent offensive line.
As I’ve said all along, mostly all of the mistakes Jones makes come as a direct result of shoddy offensive line play. This isn’t like Baker Mayfield mistakes that happen when he has a clean pocket and stares down a receiver, he’s either running for his life and trying to throw a ball away that gets tipped (like his crucial red-zone interception last night, the first of his career), or he has a ball swatted out of his hands after being pressured from his blind size in under three seconds (we shouldn’t have to worry about that with Andrew Thomas anymore).
I’ll end with what I consider to be his best throw of the night outside of the touchdown — this is a throw that truly separates him from the rest of the pack and a throw that you have to be able to make if you want to be able to ever be considered an upper-echelon QB.
I mean, this play truly has it all; backed up in his own end zone, Jones faces pressure right up the gut (even though the blocking held up well for the most part here), but still has the poise to step right up in the pocket and hit what was really his second or third read on the ultimate timing route at the exact right second in between three defenders.
You just can’t teach stuff like this, it’s all about feel and Daniel Jones has it.
So while I wasn’t expecting the NY Giants to win this football game – particularly with zero actual home-field advantage due to no fans in the crowd – I came away even more encouraged with Jones’ play than I did during his rookie season which is really saying something.
Yet, I still saw and heard a bunch of Daniel Jones hate and slander last night.
For the life of me I cannot understand it.
Clearly, a bunch of NY Giants fans are only watching Giants games because if you watch the rest of the league and keen in on the quarterback play you’ll have to notice that Daniel Jones makes several plays every game that only elite quarterbacks are capable of.
He’s not elite yet — but he will be when his offensive line catches up to him.
Hopefully, that happens very soon.
2020 Chicago Bears: Week 3 report card vs. Atlanta Falcons
Positional grading breakdown as Nick Foles steps in for the Chicago Bears
It looks like the only way the Chicago Bears can win this season is to make a dramatic comeback in a game. In Week 3, the Bears (3-0) fought back from a 16-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons by the score of 30-26. But of all three of their victories in the early part of this year, this win was probably the most memorable.
Offensively, Chicago managed to accumulate 437 total yards. However, their 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter didn’t come until a surprising quarterback change was made. Chicago’s third-down efficiency (26 percent) was a matter of concern for the majority of the contest, as well as the decline of the production in the running game.
As for the defense, they continued to display their bend-but-don’t-break attitude that gave the team a fighting chance to come away with the win. Big plays were made by both the pass rush and the secondary during crucial points of the game. Unfortunately, that didn’t keep them from shooting themselves in the foot by committing penalties that helped put the Bears in a hole.
With the combination of another win and having a new face at quarterback, the Bears could be at the start of a major turnaround that could further catapult their undefeated start to the 2020 NFL season. Once again, this game wasn’t pretty from start to finish, but it is yet another win that will keep them at the top of the NFC North. Let’s take a look at Chicago’s grades for their Week 3 win over the Dirty Birds.
Colts: Jonathan Taylor taking on entire Jets defense with punishing run is amazing
Colts RB Jonathan Taylor took on the entire Jets defense in the third quarter of Sunday’s game.
Fans in Indianapolis who were hoping for the Colts offense to put on a show at home against a sorry Jets team were probably left wanting more when the game clock showed zeroes in the fourth quarter.
That’s not to say the group didn’t perform well. Given how much the defense was dominating — it returned two interceptions for touchdowns — they simply weren’t asked to do much. Philip Rivers dropped back to pass just 21 times, which was more than enough time for him to throw his 400th career touchdown.
The same can be said for the running game, which totaled 29 carries after logging 36 in Week 2 against Minnesota. In a game in which Indianapolis won by nearly 30 points, head coach Frank Reich’s side won the time of possession battle by less than a minute.
Therefore, the highlight plays from the offense were few and far between. However, if we had to pick our favorite, it would definitely be Jonathan Taylor’s powerful run at the start of the third quarter when he simply refused to be tackled.
Talk about a complete run. Taylor showcased exceptional patience before hitting the gaping hole his offense line created for him and seemed to cap the effort off with an incredible jump cut at the first-down marker. However, the former Wisconsin star‘s sheer determination to not go down saw him carry a jumble of Jets defenders an extra five or so yards before he was tackled.
It’s punishing runs like this that prove he deserves touches when Indianapolis is faced with short-yardage situations, even though backup Jordan Wilkins has a bigger frame. Look no further than his touchdown run on fourth-and-goal halfway through the third quarter that put the game to bed.
Through the first three games of his NFL career, Taylor has proven to be every bit worth a 2020 second-round pick, taking 48 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns, while adding nine receptions for 79 yards as a receiver out of the backfield.
Taylor has had a handful of eye-opening runs thus far in the young season, but this one against the Jets oozed a different level of physicality and determination than the others, making it not only the most impressive, but our clear favorite as well.
Chiefs roster battle behind Travis Kelce was much ado about nothing
It turns out the roster battle for spots behind Travis Kelce was all for nothing.
Throughout the offseason, one of the key roster battles that seemed to be up for grabs for the Kansas City Chiefs came at tight end, at the spots directly behind perennial Pro Bowler Travis Kelce. Certainly the starter’s job wasn’t in jeopardy, but every slot behind Kelce was up for grabs and the offensive potential involved seemed interesting.
Fast forward at least two weeks into the regular season and any attention paid at all to the position(s) feels like too much. No tight end has received a single target other than Kelce, and the players believed to be the primary contenders for the role haven’t even played a single snap—despite being healthy.
Two games is a small sample size, and the narrative on all of this is easily changed, but it’s interesting to look back and see the hopes or desires placed on the signing of Ricky Seals-Jones to a one-year contract. Coming into this year, Seals-Jones had averaged 20 catches for 257 yards and just under 3 touchdowns. However, he’d also shown considerable improvement in his catch rate just last season with the Browns.
With the presence of Deon Yelder for another year in the offense and Seals-Jones as the new import, the promise of another pass-catching tight end on the roster was intriguing. Whether Seals-Jones was going to provide another red zone target or Yelder was going to grow into the role, it felt like an exciting offensive wrinkle was added.
Little did anyone know that every facet of those hopes would misplaced. First, Nick Keizer, a practice squad carryover from 2019 signed away from the Baltimore Ravens ended up winning the role of TE2 over everyone else. Even then, Mahomes hasn’t looked at Keizer even once for a pass.
All of this could change, of course. A breakout game for Keizer, an active game for Yelder, a promotion from Seals-Jones—any of them are possible and could erase this conversation entirely. However, at this point it’s interesting to note that the Chiefs are already overwhelmed with enough mouths to feed and that all the interest given in the competition behind Kelce was basically much ado about nothing.
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