Folks, it’s no secret in life that breaking up is hard to do. It’s even harder to do after 15 years and not one, but two rings to go along with the partnership. But when you get down to the nitty gritty, it’s been a rough few years for the Giants and in particular, quarterback Eli Manning. At 38 years old, things aren’t going to be getting better as that’s just not how this game works. It’s time to rip off the band aid and start Daniel Jones Week 1 so that the next era of Giants football can begin.
The case for starting Daniel Jones is simple: He was the sixth overall pick in this past year’s draft. If you’re going to take a guy at number six overall in today’s NFL then you better be confident that he can come in and start right away. There’s also the fact that he’s gone 25/30 for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns during preseason this year and he’s looked great while doing so.
You can also look at the big picture aspect of starting Daniel Jones right away. If we’re being honest with ourselves, the Giants are not going to be a good football team this year. The starting defense may be the worst starting unit in the NFL and it’s very inexperienced. It is going to be a building year for them and hopefully it’ll be better in 2020 after they sign/draft multiple new starters. Starting the young quarterback to have him learn while the young defense learns will give both sides of the ball a chance to really grow as this season goes on instead of delaying that process.
Starting Daniel Jones during his rookie season and letting him play out the typical rookie mistakes that get made during the first year of his entry level contract will allow the Giants to be competitive with him in 2020. If Jones doesn’t get enough playing time this year then they waste a year of his inexpensive rookie contract and jeopardize what could be a good team in 2020 if the right moves are made.
There’s the argument that the Giants should play Eli Manning this season because he gives the team the best chance to win now. Does he really though? Eli Manning ranked 32nd in the league in 2018 among starting quarterbacks in completing passes at the line of scrimmage at just 84.4%. He was 28th in the league in 2018 when throwing intermediate passes at a completion percentage of 53.7%. He was also one of the worst deep ball passers completing just 36.7% of deep balls last year ranking him at 26th in the league.
Would Daniel Jones be any worse than that this season? I’d argue no. In a small sample size this preseason, Jones is 5/7 for 157 yards and two touchdowns on throws 15 or more yards. The deep ball obviously looks better with Daniel Jones. His overall completion percentage of 83.3% also shows that he can get the ball into people’s hands at a much better rate than Eli Manning can right now.
At this point, the Giants have nothing to lose. It’s highly unlikely that this team is going to be a playoff team this year (the GM has virtually said this). Getting Daniel Jones valuable game experience and getting this team set up to compete in 2020 should be the primary goal of this season.
Keeping Daniel Jones on the bench for a quarterback in Eli Manning who threw 23 interceptable passes last season despite the fact that greater than 50% of his throws were within five yards of the line of scrimmage because “Eli Manning gives the Giants the best chance to win” simply isn’t true. It’s the result of a franchise that would rather give Eli Manning a farewell tour then do what’s in the best interest of the franchise in both the short term and the long term.
When it’s all said and done, it’s time to usher in the new era of Giants football. It’s time to give Daniel Jones the reins and let the DanWagon get rolling. Anything less than Daniel Jones starting week 1 is the New York Giants organization blatantly admitting that they don’t value the future of their franchise above all else.