Empire State Of Mind: NYG’s Jones Impressive In Debut

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The New York Giants ushered in a new era of football Sunday during their matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones replaced long-time starter Eli Manning and erased any doubts that the future is now for the Giants, in the team’s come-from-behind 32-31 victory at Raymond James Stadium.

Trailing by 18 points in the third quarter, the debut signal-caller took advantage of his mismatches and winded up throwing for 336 yards and two touchdown passes. Normally labelled as a “pocket passer”, Jones also managed to make his presence felt with his legs by adding two scores on the ground. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is only the second player since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to have two passing and rushing TD’s in his first career start.

Photo Credit; Newsday

During the game, Jones managed to show great poise and leadership, as well as accuracy and the ability to get rid of the ball quickly. This evidence suggests the rooke has a good grasp on the offense, especially when paired with his performance throughout the preseason. Watching the Duke graduate play has been very eye-opening at times, such as when he makes long passes uo-field to the sidelines, bringing to life ideas that the QB may be ahead of his time. 

For a brief moment in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston and the offense were driving down the field. In a “New York” minute and trailing by only one point, Tampa Bay lined up for a field goal and seemed destined to derail the comeback before missing the kick. 

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

According to Fox News, Jones said, “You never really know how it’s going to go. That’s the fun part. That’s football. We found a way to win, found a way to finish it. That’s what’s most exciting.”

For one week it seems the Giants made the right decision to look to the future and replace Manning with the 6th overall pick of last April’s NFL Draft. The knock on Jones coming out of college was that he’s not a winner and played in a weak ACC conference, yet here he is silencing his critics (cough…cough…Baker Mayfield) by sitting 1-0 in his young career as a starter. 

It’s possible that the Jones hype-train will be in full effect this week when the “G-Men” face a struggling Washington Redskins defense, despite missing star running-back Saquon Barkley who will be out a few weeks with an ankle injury. Jones’ efforts are noted in bold print across America today. Not too shabby for a kid some deemed a “loser”.

Header Photo Credit: New York Times

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