Daniel Jones knew Kenny Golladay was directing his frustration at offensive coordinator Jason Garrett in the third quarter of the Week 2 loss in Washington. Garrett was shielded from view of the television cameras, though, and it looked as if Golladay was yelling at Jones.
When asked about this — asked after the game how he felt to have his new, high-priced wide receiver screaming at him — Jones immediately covered for Golladay. Jones said it was no big deal to get berated like that and said he and Golladay were fine.
Jones took one for the team.
“That’s just the kind of guy he is,” receiver Darius Slayton told The Post after practice on Wednesday. “He’s never going to blame one of us for something or throw somebody else under the bus. He’s always going to take it on the chin. Honestly, he’s gotten probably more bullets than anybody being the starting quarterback. The fact he’s willing to take on something that isn’t even his fault, it just goes to show you the kind of guy he is.”
Jones easily could have said, “Go ask Kenny who he was yelling at because I know it wasn’t me.”
That would have left a trail to Garrett and Jones was not going to go there.
“He’s just a selfless guy,” Slayton said. “He’s willing to do whatever for his teammates. We all know that. I think this is kind of a glimpse for people on the outside of who he is.”
At the start of his pivotal third season, Jones is playing well enough for the Giants to win. But they have not. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown in Washington, and also ran for 95 yards and one touchdown — and had another rushing touchdown called back by a penalty. His offense produced 29 points but the Giants’ defense gave up 30.
“We didn’t win the game, so we didn’t do enough and I didn’t do enough,” Jones said.
Often, Jones’ performance can be assigned to the eye-of-the-beholder file, as he does just enough to make you consider he might be getting it and then falls short in a way that makes you question, “Is that all there is?”
The record heading into a Week 3 home game against the winless Falcons says 0-2, despite some decent and good and excellent play from Jones. The analytics, often so negative when it comes to the Giants’ offense, are actually quite encouraging for Jones. Pro Football Focus grades Jones as the No. 6 quarterback in the NFL, receiving a higher mark than Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers. No offense to PFF, but this seems more than a bit suspicious.
According to ESPN’s Adjusted Quarterback Ratings, which takes into account the strength of the opposing defense, Jones is No. 9, one spot behind Tom Brady. As for the old-fashioned quarterback passer rating system, Jones is No. 19.
Jones through two games is completing 64 percent of his passes, for 516 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He has 122 rushing yards, putting him behind only Jackson (193) and Jalen Hurts (144). Jones’ per-attempt rushing average of 8.1 yards is second in the entire league; Hurts is No. 1 at 8.5.
Some of the lessons the Giants are trying to hammer home are sinking in. Jones has four turnovers in his past eight games — only one interception in that span — dating back to last season. His one this year was a killer — losing a fumble because he did not slide and protect the ball in the second half against the Broncos. Otherwise, his ball-security and decision-making show signs of significant improvement.
Constant and repeated losing often leads to a player — especially a quarterback — trying to do too much to change the fortune of his team.
“Look, I think everyone at some point is a competitor and wants to do something to change the game,” coach Joe Judge said. “To me the important thing is for every player to understand you’ll change the game by doing your job with good fundamentals and execution. You change the game when everyone else does their job as well. You can’t press and try to force it, that’s when you start seeing mistakes from around the league.
“I thought Daniel did a lot of positive things the other night. Put us in a position to be successful. There’s other things as a team we have to do to eliminate mistakes that cost us the opportunity to be successful.”
As the Giants have learned, sometimes Daniel Jones does not do enough. And, he absolutely cannot do it by himself.