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Daniel Jones wasn’t perfect on Friday, and that’s OK

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The rookie quarterback still did a lot of good things and had a promising night

NFL: Preseason-Chicago Bears at New York Giants
Daniel Jones (8)
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Daniel Jones is no longer perfect. But, the kid is alright.

The New York Giants’ rookie quarterback couldn’t live up to the perfection of his 5-for-5 touchdown drive in last week’s preseason opener on Friday against the Chicago Bears. He was impressive nonetheless.

Jones dealt with a modicum of adversity, something I had said on Friday would be a good thing to see, for the first time as a pro, and handled it just fine.

After going 3-for-3, including a beautiful deep ball to Cody Latimer and driving the ball to the Bears’ 19-yard line on his first series of the game, Jones botched a snap from center, a turnover that cost the Giants a scoring opportunity.

His next drive? A three-and-out.

Following that, Jones fumbled when sacked by Jason Vaughters, turning the ball over at the Giants’ 12-yard line.

When he drafted Jones, GM Dave Gettleman said one of the reasons was because the Giants had seen him handle adversity well while at Duke.

Friday night, Jones reacted well to the adversity he faced.

“He didn’t panic,” said coach Pat Shurmur. “Dropped the ball a couple times, he didn’t call his parents.

“He just went back to work and did a good job at getting us in the end zone.”

Yes, he did.

After his turnovers, Jones led the Giants on a seven-play, 34-yard drive that resulted in a 47-yard Aldrick Rosas field goal, then a five-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with a beautiful 15-yard touchdown throw to T.J. Jones.

He finished the night 11-of-14 for 161 yards, a passer rating of 138.4.

Jones said he was “very upset” after committing the turnovers, adding that “those are two mistakes you can’t make.”

“I think that’s a big part of football for everyone, particularly quarterbacks. I think there are going to be things that don’t go great, and obviously you never want that, you try to guard against them,” he said. “They’re definitely things I need to learn from, but when they happen you’ve got to find a way to make it work. So, I’m glad we were able to do that. We got big plays there on the two-minute drive by a lot of people, so it was fun to put that together.”

There may be a quarterback controversy in the minds of some fans, and some media members. Shurmur reiterated Friday night that there remains no controversy among Giants’ decision-makers.

Here is how the coach addressed remarks during the week by co-owner John Mara that he would be happy if Jones didn’t play at all this season by saying this:

“John owns the team, right? We’re on the same page.”

Shurmur added this:

“I think I’ve been saying that along. Just get a sense once in a while that when I answer those questions nobody believes me. But you heard it from the owner.”

Jones’ time will come. Shurmur believes when it does the young man will do just fine.

“When it’s his time to play he will be ready,” Shurmur said. “I’m pleased with the progress he’s made.”

We are a long, long way from being able to say Gettleman and the Giants, robustly criticized for selecting Jones 6th overall, were right to make that move. Friday night, though, counts as another small indication that they might have been.