Over his first two NFL seasons, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had turned the ball over a league-high 39 times (17 fumbles, 22 interceptions). Pressure has been an issue too, with 83 sacks taken in 27 games.
The Giants are all-in on Jones this year. Kenny Golladay was signed to be the new No. 1 wide receiver, and Kyle Rudolph was signed to pair with Evan Engram at tight end. After the Eagles jumped them in the first round of the draft to get DeVonta Smith, they traded down to No. 20 and got Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney.
Toney will join Golladay, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and former top-10 pick John Ross in the Giants wide receiver corps. Rudolph catches anything within his massive catch radius, and he’s a nice red zone target. Add in the return to health of running back Saquon Barkley (ACL), and the Giants have surrounded Jones with a diverse set of weapons. Adding to the offensive line would have been nice, but Jones has no excuses heading into his third season.
Here are three early predictions for Jones entering a make-or-break season.
3. At Least 4,000 Passing Yards
With a 17-game season coming, this one’s not particularly aggressive. 4,000 passing yards only means averaging a little over 235 passing yards per game. But per the previous standard season length, Jones averaged 3,538 yards per-16 games over his first two seasons. So even with an extra game, 4,000 passing yards would be a step up.
2. Top-12 Fantasy Quarterback
For different stretches of his career thus far, Jones has been a serviceable quarterback in fantasy. From Week 6-10 last year, aided by rushing production and his infamous fall on a long run, he was QB13. At different cut-off points during his 2019 rookie season, he was a top-10 or top-12 range fantasy quarterback. After taking over for Eli Manning in Week 3 of his rookie season, he was QB15 over the rest of the season. On a per-game basis, among quarterbacks who played at least nine games, he was QB9 from Week 3-17 during his rookie season.
With the talent around him, assuming those guys can stay healthy together for a long stretch, Jones should have no trouble getting into weekly starter range as a fantasy quarterback.
1. A 2:1 Touchdown-To-Turnover Ratio
Before you do a record-scratch an go “What?”, hear me out. During his rookie season, Jones had a 2:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio (24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions). Add in fumbles and rushing scores, and those numbers become 26 total touchdowns and 23 turnovers.
Over his last six games in 2020, Jones threw just one interception in 176 pass attempts. Nursing a hamstring injury may have helped that in some way, and he also lost a more reasonable two fumbles over that stretch (five of six total fumbles came in two games, including one game where he probably shouldn’t have played).
Let’s say Jones accounts for 34 total touchdowns this year (two per game). If he’s going to cement himself as the Giants’ quarterback going forward, much more than one turnover per game will be well-reflected in the win and loss columns. So at least being within close range of a 2:1 touchdown-to-turnover ratio will be practically mandatory, and ideally for all involved he’ll hit the mark.