3 bold predictions for Giants QB Daniel Jones in first career start vs. Tampa Bay
The New York Giants have named Daniel Jones their new starting quarterback, as the rookie will be replacing Giants legend Eli Manning under center.
He will get his first taste of NFL action as a starter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday.
Here are three predictions for Jones’ first NFL game.
3. Saquon Barkley Will Be Used More
Saquon Barkley has carried the ball 29 times over the first couple of games of the season. Expect his usage to increase this weekend.
The Giants surely don’t want Jones throwing 30 passes in his debut, so they will probably lean on the running game quite a bit and will also use Barkley a lot as a receiver out of the backfield.
It would not be shocking to see Barkley get around 25 touches in this game, and based on how efficient he has been thus far, that could pay major dividends for a New York offense that greatly needs a lift.
2. He’ll Get the Ball Out Quick
Remember all of Jones’ preseason outings? They consisted of mostly short, quick throws on simple routes in order to get him comfortable and into a rhythm.
Now, obviously, it’s one thing to do that against second-string defenses and soft coverages in exhibition games; it’s an entirely different thing to do it against starters and more complex packages in games that actually mean something.
Still, I don’t think the Giants will divert from their preseason gameplan. Whenever New York passes, look for Jones to quickly get the ball out. That will at least be the primary option, anyway.
Of course, there will be times when nothing is available and Jones will have to make a play himself, but for the most part, he’ll simply be following the conservative orders given to him from the coaching staff.
1. He’ll Be Efficient
The Giants likely are not going to want to test Jones’ arm in his regular-season debut.
While Jones made a few nice deep throws during the preseason, he was, again, mainly making short, intermediate passes just to rack up some completions and move the chains.
If and when New York employs that same strategy this Sunday, look for Jones to complete a high percentage of his passes and steadily rip off chunks of yardage.
He probably won’t be throwing for 300 yards, but something like 18-for-24 with 200 yards would not be shocking.