There were too many Tuesday morning quarterbacks to count.
The same thought populated so many minds in the aftermath of the Giants’ 26-16 loss to the Steelers on Monday night, wondering what the outcome might have been had a 19-play, third-quarter drive ended with a go-ahead touchdown instead of a Daniel Jones interception in the end zone.
“There’s obviously a couple plays to correct and move on from, but man, I’ll tell you, we woke up this morning, I’m glad he’s on our team,” head coach Joe Judge said of Jones on Tuesday. “I’m very pleased with the way Daniel played. I know the rest of the team feels very confident with him in there calling the signals for us.”
Starting his first season opener, Jones completed 26 of 41 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while adding 22 yards rushing. Despite being pressured more than any quarterback in the NFL in Week 1, Jones earned the Giants’ highest offensive grade (82.1), according to Pro Football Focus.
“Obviously there’s things we have to clean up, decision-making, but I’ll tell you now I think that guy stood in the pocket with a lot of courage and delivered a lot of really good balls for us,” Judge said. “[He] really controlled the flow of the game, did a heck of a job under pressure.”
Jones now has at least one touchdown pass in each one of his first 13 NFL starts, marking the fourth-longest streak among quarterbacks over the past 50 years, trailing Kurt Warner (23), Baker Mayfield (17) and Brad Johnson (15).
What stood out most to Judge about Darius Slayton’s six catches, 102 yards and two touchdowns?
“I think he played fast. … He’s a fast guy, but there’s a difference between being a fast guy and playing fast,” Judge said. “He comes off the ball fast, he makes decisions fast, he cuts fast, he’s aggressive in traffic to make catches. That’s something you can’t replicate.”
New defensive coordinator Patrick Graham used only one defensive lineman (Leonard Williams) on more than half of the 64 defensive snaps, while starters saw wildly varying playing time. Inside linebacker Devante Downs played 14 snaps, while the other starting middle linebacker, Blake Martinez, played every snap. Martinez earned the highest grade of any player on the Giants (83.9), with his 11 tackles tied for the most among linebackers in the league.
Veteran defensive back Logan Ryan was limited to four combined tackles and 38 defensive snaps after barely a week of practice with his new team