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Daniel Jones sees “encouraging” improvements in his play, but room to get better

Giants’ QB Daniel Jones offer a scouting report on his first nine games

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Through the first nine games of the season, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was — statistically — slightly better than he was in 2020.

Jones’ 64.9 percent completion rate is a career-high; His 1.7 percent interception rate is a career-low; His 10.8 yards per completion is a career-high; Jones’ average of 228.8 passing yard per game is 18 yards better than a season ago; His yards per passing attempt (7.0) is a career-best.

Jones still has not thrown enough touchdown passes, with only 8 in nine games, and the Giants’ average of 19.9 points per game is not good enough.

How would the third-year quarterback assess his play thus far in 2021?

“Overall, I think a lot of the things I wanted to do better, I think I’ve done some of them and that’s been encouraging,” Jones said on Tuesday. “I think at times I can be better protecting the ball and getting it out quicker and I think those are things I’m always focused on, so just being more consistent with that and continuing to work to improve.”

In recent weeks, with an incredible number of injuries on offense, the Giants have been more conservative on offense. In the last four games, Jones’ highest average yards per passing attempt was 6.94 in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. In the season’s first five weeks, Jones’ lowest yards per attempt was 7.22 in Week 1 vs. the Denver Broncos.

Jones was asked how he felt about the offense overall.

“I think it feels good to get a win on Sunday. I think that was important for us to be able to run the ball like we did and kind of control the line of scrimmage. I think the guys up front did a great job with that,” Jones said. “I think overall we’ve played games differently based on the opponent, based on kind of what the opportunity is. I think that’s encouraging that we can do different things as a group. We have a lot of guys who can make plays, so continue to work on that, continue to work through the stuff we need to correct. I think we’ve got a good group and I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

The Giants could get running back Saquon Barkley and left tackle Andrew Thomas back after the bye. Perhaps wide receiver Sterling Shepard, as well. Time off should help wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney get healthier.

Provided there aren’t new injuries, which is always possible, the Giants could be healthier on offense after the bye than they have been for most of the season.

“I think the more guys you have like that, the harder it is on a defense,” Jones said. “I think like I’ve said, like we’ve said, the guys who have stepped up have done a great job for us and have played really well at key spots. We’ll continue to work that and work through that and play with what we’ve got.”