Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones of the New York Giants said Thursday night that he was not overwhelmed playing Bill Belichick’s and Tom Brady’s defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Yet, he did throw three interceptions as the Giants lost, 35-14, bringing his total interception number up to six in his past four starts.
“I think I didn’t play well by any means,” Jones said after the game. “I don’t mean to confuse that. I think it was just bad plays, bad decisions.”
The first bad play came halfway through the first quarter when Jones’ pass was tipped and picked off by Patriots’ John Simon. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins erased the memory of that turnover pretty quickly though when, with his back to the ball, he picked off one of Brady’s passes intended for Julian Edelman on the very next drive.
The next two interceptions however, were not saved by Jackrabbit. When Jones turned the ball over in the second quarter, the Patriots responded with a score on the following drive. Then, after Jones’ interception in the third quarter, Brady led his team down the field on a drive that ate up almost nine-and-a-half minutes of the clock. The 40-yard field goal hit the left uprights, but that was precious time the Giants would not get back.
For Jones, each interception presented a different issue that he needs to fix for the rest of the season.
“The first one was late and [I] forced it, second one just held onto the ball too long and should have tried to throw it away earlier,” Jones said. “And the third one was just a bad decision.”
The Giants were missing key players due to injuries, the Patriots secondary created a lot of tight throwing windows for Jones throughout and the wind was blowing strong at Gillette Stadium, but Jones did not make any excuses. He highlighted the performance of the guys who did play, credited the Patriots defense and said that wind is “part of the game.”
Moving forward, Jones said that he needs to not only work on making better decisions but making decisions more quickly vs. the NFL’s faster pass rushes.
“I think you’ve got to be able to feel that and you’ve got to be able to have a sense for when it is time to get rid of the ball,” Jones said. “Yeah, everyone’s faster, everyone’s bigger in this league.”
Even with the increased turnovers though, Jones remained level-headed.
“To say that we’re not happy scoring points or moving the ball, or to say that I’m happy turning it over, I don’t think that’s accurate at all,” Jones said. “I mean, I think we’re pushing to play better, and by no means are we panicked or are we at all looking or questioning ourselves.”
The main lesson for Jones moving forward, as the Giants drop to 2-4 on the season, is to protect the football.
“But overall I just need to take care of the ball better,” Jones said.
The Giants have a longer week now before hosting the Arizona Cardinals a week from Sunday and Jones said that he hopes to get a head start on preparation.
“We’ve got a chance to get started on Arizona, and to get focused on getting back on track,” Jones said. “So I’ll try to do that.”