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Giants-Commanders ‘things I think’: Brian Daboll just cracked open the door for a quarterback controversy

Tyrod Taylor makes his bid, Tae Banks makes his presence felt, and more

Washington Commanders v New York Giants Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

After Tyrod Taylor excelled on Sunday as the New York Giants defeated the Washington Commanders running back Saquon Barkley said that the 34-year-old 13-year veteran “deserves this moment.”

Question is, will he get more? And could he get more even if Daniel Jones is ready to return from his neck injury neck week against the New York Jets?

Head coach Brian Daboll did crack the door open ever so slightly for a quarterback controversy after Sunday’s game.

“I would just say Tyrod had a good game this game and he’s a true pro and I’m glad we’ve got him,” Daboll said when asked if Taylor made an argument to be the team’s starting quarterback even if Daniel Jones is healthy.

That is not a shut the door and leave no doubt “Daniel Jones is the starting quarterback” remark from the head coach. It’s a recognition that the Giants’ offense looked better on Sunday, and for most of the Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills, than it has for all but two quarters this season with Jones behind center.

“He’s taking his drop, drop back and see one-on-one coverage and let it go and the receivers have made good plays, so it’s all tied together,” Daboll said. “It’s not just one person or one position. It never is on offense. It takes all 11. You can’t have one guy or two guys on offense. When you usually have a guy mess up, it’s usually not very good for the offense. You can’t make it up. It’s just all assignment football and he’s done a good job with it.”

Taylor threw two touchdown passes Sunday and helped the Giants score their first two first-half touchdowns of the year.

I am not going to call for Taylor to be the starter. I believe the common sense approach for the Giants to make the best possible decision about their future at quarterback is to play Daniel Jones when he is ready to return from his neck injury. I also believe that is exactly what will happen. Unless, and I don’t believe this to be the case, the Giants have already made a long-term determination that Jones is not their guy.

If Jones returns to the lineup and the dysfunction returns to the offense along with him, then I think we have our answer to the Giants’ quarterback situation.

I am, though, going to give Taylor props for the way he played on Sunday. He was excellent. Taylor completed 18 of 29 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns. He ran eight times for 20 yards. He was sacked four times, but he moved in the pocket and made plays — especially on a 32-yard catch-and-run throw to Saquon Barkley for a touchdown. Not a single time that I can remember did he come close to putting the ball in harm’s way. He made a couple of outstanding deep throws to electric rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt.

“I think he did fantastic. He did amazing,” Barkley said. “He deserves this moment. I’m happy for him. He does it the right way, comes to work every day with the right mindset. Unbelievable work ethic.

“He played his tail off for us today.”

For his part, Taylor isn’t going anywhere near campaigning out loud for the starting job.

“That’s up to coach,” Taylor said. “Obviously, if DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones) is healthy, he’s a captain on our team, captain of our team, a leader on the offense and I am here to support in any way that I can.”

Washington Commanders v New York Giants
Deonte Banks
Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Tae Banks shows out

A pass rush that sacked Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell six times and the Taylor-led offense that scored its first two first-half touchdowns of the season are likely to get most of the attention after the New York Giants’ 14-7 victory over the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

Deonte Banks, the Giants’ first-round pick, deserves flowers, too, Lots of them.

Banks set up the Giants’ first touchdown with the first interception of his career, dropping underneath a Howell pass intended for Jahan Dotson to give the Giants the ball at the Washington 48-yard line.

“We scored off that, so it was a great play for us,” Banks said after the game.

The rookie’s smart play was followed by a smart post-game decision. He gave the ball from his first career interception to his mom.

“It was my first one, so why not just give it to my mother,” Banks said. “My mother and my father always been there for me, so I just decided just to give it to my mother.”

Banks was also involved in several other big plays.

With the Giants protecting their 14-7 lead and Washington facing third-and-9 at the New York 15-yard line, the Commanders threw the ball to Terry McLaurin, their best player. Banks dragged him down 3 yards short of a first down.

On the next play, Leonard Williams blocked a Joey Slye field goal attempt.

On the final Washington drive, Banks tackled Commanders wide receiver Byron Pringle a yard short of a first down on third-and-3 at the 2:00 warning, setting up a fourth-and-1 from the Giants’ 18-yard line. The Commanders did convert that fourth-down play, but the stop was noteworthy.

First, with Adoree’ Jackson out with a neck injury it was Banks lined up on Washington’s best player. Second, it illustrated the toughness and sure tackling ability Banks plays with.

Banks said he feels like he has handled the expectations of being a first-round pick “real well.”

Banks had been solid, but quiet for the Giants in the first six games. Sunday, as usual he did not talk much. His play, though, was loud enough to make everyone notice.

Sunday, the Giants’ offense finally put its stamp on a game in the first half. When the game threatened to slip away in the second half, though, it was the defense that rose to the occasion.

“We want to be the last ones on the field,” Banks said. “We want the game in our hands. We handled it right.”

Banks was a big part of that. And that is a good sign for the Giants’ future.

Punt return mess

As Tony DelGenio mentioned in his ‘4 things we learned’ piece, no one should rip Sterling Shepard for the second half muffed punt that changed the momentum of Sunday’s game. Shepard was in a position he never should have been in thanks to the way the Giants handled the punt return job this summer.

The Giants had Jamison Crowder, who had a 17-yard return for Washington on Sunday, and Jaydon Mickens in training camp. Both are experienced, quality returners. From the beginning, though, it was apparent they were force-feeding Eric Gray, determined to give him the job even though they appeared to have safer options.

Gray muffed his third punt in seven games early in Sunday’s game, and apparently injured a calf muscle in the process. The Giants then had to trot Shepard and Darius Slayton back to try and field punts, since Adoree’ Jackson (who should not be returning punts, either) was inactive with a neck injury.

I know that the Giants want Gray to have a role, but the return thing just isn’t working out. In my view, they should bring in Mickens, who is still a free agent, or someone else who has a decent amount of NFL experience handling return duties.

Last week, they finally admitted a mistake and brought offensive lineman Tyre Phillips back to the roster. It’s time to admit another one and get an actual return man on the roster.