Many people call Giants quarterback Daniel Jones’s 2021 season a make-or-break year, and yesterday epitomized what we have seen out of Jones in his short career.
We saw some decent moments from Jones, including a 37-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard that gave the Giants an early 7-3 lead. However, in the third quarter, with New York trailing 17-7 and driving deep into Broncos’ territory, Jones fumbled after a 15-yard scramble, which Denver recovered.
After the fumble, the Broncos would add a field goal to take a commanding 20-7 lead.
“Yeah, turnovers are always going to hurt you at any point in the game, and they’re big plays,” the third-year quarterback said. “We’ve got to do a good job of taking care of the ball, and you’ve gotta do a good job. But we’ll keep moving forward and keep improving.”
Giants head coach Joe Judge added: “We’ve got to do a better job as a team eliminating the penalties and turnovers. That’s a team focus right there, so this isn’t about any one player. It’s about a team improving and, look; good teams improve week to week. As I talked to the team, that’s what our focus has to be, to be a better team in Week 2 and a better team in Week 3. It’s a long season. We literally have an entire season ahead of us, okay. Any other year, it was 16 games; we have 16 games ahead of us that we have to improve week by week and keep climbing and make sure we’re the best team we can be.”
This loss is not all on Jones. The Broncos were able to move the ball against the Giants effectively. Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was 28/36 for 264 yards with two touchdowns, and Melvin Gordon had 101 yards rushing, including a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Denver converted 10 of 18 third and fourth-down opportunities, and according to Giants safety Logan Ryan, the defense did not play well on Sunday.
“It wasn’t our standard,” Ryan said. “We were terrible early last year in a similar way on third and fourth downs. We have to be better.”
Disappointing game for the Jones and the Giants’ defense, but fortunately for them, they get back at it on Thursday night in D.C against the Washington Football Team.
Giants starting quarterback Daniel Jones and many other of New York’s starters are expected to make their preseason debuts on Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the New England Patriots in the final game before the regular season for New York.
Many of the Giant reserves started the first two preseason games, including backup QB Mike Glennon, who started the first two preseason games for New York, including Sunday’s loss to the Browns.
According to Giants head coach Joe Judge, the plan all along was to get Glennon some work and play Jones and many of the starters in the preseason finale.
“The plan all along was to make sure (QB) Mike (Glennon) got as much time as he could in the first game when we played against the Jets, along with a lot of other guys that were in the game,” Judge said on Monday. “Mike meshed with some of our older offensive linemen, got out there, got some chemistry together with those guys. In terms of not playing this last week, it truly came down to what we thought we accomplished in practice with both the volume and intensity as a unit, along with some of the things that the Browns were doing in the game themselves. To me, him not playing, we initially thought about playing those guys for about a quarter or so. We made the decision based on what they had gone through from a physical load standpoint and intensity…
“This week, we’ll treat more as a dress rehearsal for the regular season,” Judge said. My expectation at this point would be for Daniel(Jones) to play at least the first half, and we’ll decide on what we’re going to do in terms of coming out of halftime later in the week.”
Judge was unsure if RB Saquon Barkley, who is trying to return after tearing in his ACL last September, would play against New England,
“That’s not decided yet,” Judge said about Barkley playing against New England. “We’re going to talk a little bit later today with the medical team. The priority will be to continue ramping him up and doing more and more. Last week in Cleveland, he did some one-on-ones, some pass drills with our guys, and against our defense early in practice. We were keeping him out of competitive periods last week; that was by design. We’ll see where he is. He keeps advancing in his rehab. His foot is tapping every day, wanting to do more and more, and physically he keeps progressing and showing us he can do more and more.
“Once we talk to the doctors today, we’ll formulate a plan for what he’s going to do in Foxborough through the practices and the game, but I would expect it to be more than what we saw last week. Now, I can’t say that means 11-on-11 or seven-on-seven; I can’t give that answer right now.”
The Giants will travel to Foxboro on Tuesday as they will have joint practices with the Patriots on Wednesday and Thursday.