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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
John Fennelly

Daniel Jones forced to sit idly by as Tyrod Taylor revives Giants

The New York Giants have looked very competitive behind backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor the past two games, almost knocking off Buffalo on the road and then downing Washington at home last week.

Starting quarterback Daniel Jones, who is out with another neck injury, can only sit and wait for the doctors to clear him to play again while the rumblings about his future continue on.

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The Giants’ offense has looked smoother with Taylor under center, moving the chains, throwing deeper passes and avoiding sacks. Jones was doing none of that before he got hurt. He looked tentative and was essentially a sitting duck in the pocket behind a battered and beat-up offensive line.

Head coach Brian Daboll insists there is no quarterback controversy. When Jones is healthy again, he’s their starter. Period.

But one has to wonder why Taylor has succeeded when Jones has failed.

FOX Sports’ NFC East analyst Ralph Vacchiano has some ideas.

Vacchiano points out that Taylor is making quicker decisions and is better at vacating a collapsing pocket than Jones is. He also claims the offensive line has settled down the past two weeks with the addition of players such as Justin Pugh and Tyre Phillips.

Then, there is the decision to finally send rookie speedster Jalin Hyatt on some deep routes. Taylor hit Hyatt twice for a total of 75 yards against Washington on Sunday.

Finally, Vacchiano reminds us that Jones did not have the benefit of star running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) for three games while Taylor did for the past two.

Don’t underestimate this. In Taylor’s two starts, Barkley has rushed 45 times for 170 yards. In the previous three games, with Jones at quarterback and Barkley out, the running backs combined for 47 carries for 107 yards. Without Barkley, the Giants were completely one-dimensional. Defenses didn’t respect the Giants’ rushing attack and they found it easier to close off Jones’ running lanes too. With Barkley on the field, it changes their approach. They have to commit more defenders to the line of scrimmage. That leaves fewer players to cover and gives a quarterback more options when he throws. Barkley doesn’t even have to be good to have an impact. He just has to be there.

Jones’ contract will keep him here this year and likely next regardless of how well, or poorly, he performs as Tynes tweeted above. This isn’t a case of the Giants pivoting to Taylor, either. He’s a 13-year veteran who is a fine backup but he’s not the future by a long shot.

Some believe the future quarterback isn’t on the roster at the moment.

Jones still has control of his future but he’s largely lost support from the Giants fan base. We’ll see in time if he’s also lost the support of Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll.

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