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‘Valentine’s Views:’ Hoping for Dwayne Haskins vs. Daniel Jones, Jackrabbit, more

Here are a few things I think I think today

Chicago Bears v Washington Redskins
Dwayne Haskins
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

C’mon, Jay Gruden! Give us what we want. Give us Dwayne Haskins vs. Daniel Jones on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

That’s the matchup that would make the New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins game really intriguing. The quarterback the Giants did draft No. 6 overall vs. the one the majority of NFL analysts and the draft community thought they should have drafted.

Sadly, it doesn’t sound like the Redskins coach is planning on granting our wish. Here is what Gruden said Monday night after Washington fell to 0-3 as Case Keenum threw three interceptions in a 31-15 loss to the Chicago Bears

“I think the most important thing is we have to have some continuity. I can’t be changing people every five minutes here. I got to give Case an ample opportunity to play with these new guys”


Let’s hope Gruden changes his mind and concludes, like Pat Shurmur did with Jones, that there just isn’t really a point to his rookie quarterback not playing.

Gruden, though, is in a somewhat different situation than Shurmur. He is in his sixth season in Washington. He is 35-47-1 overall and has led the Redskins to the playoffs once (2015). There is pretty much universal agreement that Gruden is getting fired if the Redskins don’t make the playoffs.

At 0-3, they’re not making the playoffs.

Unlike Shurmur, who’s legacy was tied to Jones since the moment the Giants drafted him, at this point Gruden really has little to no reason to invest in Haskins’ future. He almost certainly isn’t going to be on the team’s sideline to see it unfold, anyway. As badly as the Redskins needed a quarterback after the Alex Smith injury, it was always kind of weird that they used their first pick on one last spring considering the “win or else” circumstance their coach was in.

Still, it would be nice if Gruden would play along and give us Round 1 of Jones vs. Haskins.

Landon Collins returns

This is a game that Collins has been looking forward to ever since the Giants chose to let him walk in free agency and he signed with Washington.

Collins has been classless since that time in expressing his disdain for the Giants and GM Dave Gettleman. He has, at times, refused to refer to the Giants by name, called Gettleman a liar and said that given the opportunity he would go out of his way during pre-game warmups to run over the 68-year-old Gettleman.

I am very curious to see how Collins, who was exceedingly popular while playing for the Giants, is received by the MetLife Stadium crowd.

The best thing the Giants can do this week is not to engage with him when Collins inevitably speaks to reporters and bashes Gettleman again. The best thing they can do is plot lots of ways to make sure Collins has to try and cover Evan Engram on Sunday.

A word about Jackrabbit

The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29. I don’t think Janoris Jenkins is going to be a New York Giant on Oct. 30.

The 30-year-old Jenkins is almost certainly in his last season with the Giants, anyway. He has one year left on his five-year, $62.5 million contract. The Giants can save $11.25 million against the cap while taking on just $3.5 million in dead money by cutting him at the end of the 2019 season.

They almost certainly will. If they can’t find a taker for him first. Even a taker who offers the pittance of a seventh-round draft pick.

On a young, developing defense the Giants simply have to find out what they have in Sam Beal. If he can ever get healthy. They have to eventually give some snaps to Corey Ballentine to begin finding out if the sixth-round pick out of Washburn can make the transition from Division II player to capable NFL cornerback.

Like they did at quarterback, the Giants have to eventually fully embrace the future at cornerback. Especially if they feel like they may have real options. They have to know if that’s a spot they need to invest in again next offseason.

Reality is, Jenkins isn’t playing well. Further than that, the view here is that in eight NFL seasons he has really had one good year. After four less than satisfying years with the Rams, the desperate Giants gave him big money banking on what he could be, not what he had been. He gave them one fantastic season in 2016, but truthfully has not given them their money’s worth since.

His Week 2 comments throwing the pass rush under the bus likely didn’t play well with Giants decision makers. After getting torched by Mike Evans on Sunday, Jenkins admitted “trying to guess” some pass routes rather than playing what he saw.

Maybe Jackrabbit will play better and prove me wrong. Admittedly, I’ve never been a Jenkins fan. As it stands, though, I will be surprised if he finishes the season with the Giants.

About the defense

The Giants have given up 94 points, 31.3 per game. That’s 30th in the league. Be honest with yourself and you know that should be 97 after Matt Gay of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed a 34-yard game-ending field goal on Sunday.

It’s been ugly so far on James Bettcher’s side of the ball. You had to understand, though, that things weren’t always going to look perfect on a defense featuring so many inexperienced, unproven players.

Look at some of those young players after three weeks, though, and there are some hopeful signs.

  • DeAndre Baker was much better in Week 3 after struggling in his first two games.
  • Dexter Lawrence, with a sack and a blocked extra point, made a real positive impact for the first time vs. the Bucs.
  • Third-round pick Oshane Ximines is showing that he can rush the passer at the NFL level with 1.5 sacks and two quarterback hits in three games.
  • Second-year man Lorenzo Carter hasn’t been the impact player the Giants hoped, but he does have a half-sack and four quarterback hits. He is contributing.
  • Grant Haley has been good in the slot thus far.
  • Ryan Connelly, a fifth-round pick, looks like an honest to goodness starting caliber inside linebacker.
  • Markus Golden, 28, isn’t one of those inexperienced kids. He is, though, a guy the Giants signed hoping he would impact their pass rush. With three sacks and a team-high six quarterback hits, he is doing that.

The overall results don’t look great, and it is apparent the Giants absolutely need to spend the 2020 offseason adding talent on the defensive side of the ball, but there are some hopeful signs that some of the needed pieces are in place.