The Daniel Jones era is officially under way for the New York Giants.
The Giants won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, giving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the ball to start the game. Tampa got off to a hot start, with Jameis Winston finding Mike Evans again and again to torch Janoris Jenkins and gash the Giants defense for a pair of touchdowns. Evans finished the half with 7 catches for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns and the Bucs scored on each of their possessions in the first half.
While the results were poor, James Bettcher seems to resolved to call an aggressive game. The Giants have frequently sent extra pass rushers. It has put a lot of pressure on their secondary, which as largely failed to answer the bell, but it has so far been better than sitting back and letting Winston pick them apart.
Daniel Jones had a solid start to his pro career. Jones was generally accurate and was fed a steady diet of quick, short passes with a few long passes sprinkled in along the way. We saw some new aspects to the offense, like the Giants lining up in the Pistol on their first possession. But by far the most marked change has been the incorporation of the quarterback position as a runner with Jones scoring the Giants’ first touchdown on a zone read.
Jones also had some rookie moments, misdiagnosing a pair of coverages — the first resulting in an incomplete pass and the second nearly resulting in an interception. Jones also took fumbled the ball just before the two-minute warning, recovered by the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers defense clearly decided that they weren’t going to let Saquon Barkley beat them, swarming to the ball any time it touched the running back’s hands.
Linebacker Alec Ogletree came up limping after a fumble recovery which was ultimately called back as an incomplete pass and is questionable with a hamstring injury.
Saquon Barkley left the field twice in the first half. The first time on a hard shot to the head as he was tested for a concussion. Barkley cleared the test and came back to the field, only to take an even harder shot to his legs just before the two-minute warning. This time he had to be helped back to the locker room by a pair of trainers and his return is (currently) questionable with an ankle injury.
The Giants will get the ball to start the second half.