The pressure is on Daniel Jones to perform in 2021. Jones is entering his third season as the New York Giants franchise quarterback, a career that has more lows than highs at this point. Whether that's the fault of Jones depends on who's asked, but the Giants are making sure 2021 is the year to perform.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman put the pressure on Jones Monday, believing he will succeed with the team's revamped offense.
"Obviously, this will be a big jump,'' Gettleman said Monday on WFAN in New York, via the New York Post. "This is the year, Year two to Year three, that Daniel should really make a major stride. We're looking forward to seeing him thrive."
Jones completed 62.5% of his passes for 2.943 yards with 11 touchdowns to 10 interceptions (80.4 passer rating) in 14 games last season. Of 35 qualified quarterbacks, Jones ranked 31st in completion percentage, 31st in touchdown percentage (2.5), 18th in interception percentage (2.2), 26th in yards per attempt (6.6), and 30th in passer rating. This was with an injured Saquon Barkley and a wide receiver unit that featured a struggling Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard.
Jones has a new cast of characters to throw the ball to, all immense upgrades over the previous year. The Giants signed Kenny Golladay in free agency and drafted Kadarius Toney in the first round. Slayton and Shepard are also back in the offense, which features Pro Bowl tight end Evan Engram and Barkley returning from an ACL injury.
Being a bottom 10 quarterback isn't going to cut it in year three. Not for a former top-10 draft pick, especially one who has led the league in fumbles in both his NFL seasons. Giants head coach Joe Judge defended his quarterback after missing two games with a hamstring injury, one that was more serious than Jones led on.
Perhaps that explains his poor performance.
"I would say probably 90 percent of players in the league who would have had that injury, including quarterbacks, would have been on IR for the remainder of the year. That's just the reality of it," Judge said on ESPN 98.7 FM. "It was much more severe than maybe he allowed people to know or the information that was put out there, and we're going to protect our players by not disclosing everything about their injuries, to be honest with you. He fought through a lot of things. He earned a lot of people's respect."
Time for Jones to put up better numbers -- and for his team to put up wins.